Ranking of Thefts in the Music City Bowl OT loss

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) hands the ball to Tennessee running back Jabari Small (2) during the 2021 TransPerfect Music City Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN on Thursday, December 30. 2021.
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As we’ve already detailed, there are clearly people to blame for why Tennessee football lost the Music City Bowl to the Purdue Boilermakers 48-45 in overtime. The officials stand out, but many players and units are at fault for this game as well. However, there’s also a lot of credit to give Rocky Top to make it an intriguing game.

Bowling match shootouts that go on are always fun to watch, and Josh Heupel’s team put on a show last week. Not everyone was elite in their game, but there were many players and groups that were elite enough to make it a game. Our last report card of the year will describe who was.

Just like we’ve been doing all year, we’ll have two slides for offensive ratings and one for defensive ratings, special teams, and coach ratings each. Let’s go ahead and dive in for the last time of the year, as UT closes 2021 with a 7-6 record. This is our record for Tennessee football after its loss to Purdue.

Offensive Notes Part I

Quarterback: A

You can’t ask for much more from Hendon Hooker. He’s the only person who’s played quarterback all day and threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns without interceptions. Add 59 rushing yards and he’s done almost it all. While his only turnover, a fumble, wasn’t his fault, it kept him from getting an A +, as was his failure to convert a 4th and a 1 in the fourth quarter.

The running backs: A-

Jaylen Wright actually converted a 4th and a goal from the one-yard line, but was called off early. He and Jabari Small struggled at times on short distance games. However, with Small carrying the ball 26 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns, the two Tennessee backers totaled 43 carries for 234 yards, averaging 5.44 yards per carry. It is worthy of an A.

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