Kelly, Volunteers keep Minutemen winless
Junior John Kelly rushed for 101 yards and one touchdown to help Tennessee overcome a subpar performance and record a 17-13 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday in nonconference play at Knoxville, Tenn.
Junior Quinten Dormady passed for 187 yards and one score but the Volunteers (3-1) struggled against the Minutemen (0-5). Sophomore Brandon Johnson contributed seven receptions for 123 yards.
Junior Andrew Ford threw for 129 yards and one touchdown for UMass before being helped off the field after being sacked late in the third quarter. Junior backup Ross Comis, who rushed for a score earlier in the contest, was unable to engineer a go-ahead drive as the Minutemen dropped their eighth consecutive game dating back to last season.
Tennessee totaled just 319 yards but limited UMass to 281.
The Volunteers led by eight at halftime and increased the lead to 17-6 on a 40-yard field goal by senior Aaron Medley midway through the third quarter. UMass narrowed its deficit to four when Ford threw a 13-yard scoring pass to sophomore Sadiq Palmer with 2:51 to go in the stanza.
The Minutemen lost their quarterback on their final possession of the third quarter when Volunteers senior linebacker Elliott Berry delivered the hit that knocked Ford out of the contest.
It took more than 25 minutes for Tennessee to get on the board as Kelly bounced an inside run to the left for a 12-yard scoring run. The Minutemen answered on a 5-yard keeper from Comis but the extra point was missed to keep UMass behind by one with 2:57 left in the half.
Dormady tossed an 8-yard scoring pass to sophomore Tyler Byrd with 25 seconds remaining to give the Volunteers a 14-6 halftime edge.