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Tennessee Football torchbearers: Top five performers in 34-20 loss at Alabama

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Despite the bad second half, Tennessee Football had quite a few players show up Saturday when they visited the Alabama Crimson Tide. Hey, the Vols had to build a 20-7 first-half lead somehow. Who were the best performers from Rocky Top in the loss? Here is a look at the UT torchbearers from the game.

5. Jackson Ross

Punter U is back. After a rough start to the season, Jackson Ross is really starting to emerge as the ambidextrous rugby punter from Australia. Ross averaged over 53 yards a punt on five punts and managed to nail two of them inside the 20-yard line. He did have help from Alabama inexplicably not fielding some of them, but he still deserves credit.

4. Jaylen McCollough

Gabe Jeudy-Lally deserves a shoutout in the secondary, as does Doneiko Slaughter for the play that got Jaylen McCollough on here. Big plays often times earn torchbearer awards, and McCollough had a key red zone interception in the first half that came right after UT failed to convert a fourth down. The honorable mention for Slaughter is due to him tipping the pass McCollough picked off.

3. James Pearce Jr.

Joshua Josephs, Omari Thomas and Omarr Norman-Lott all came away for tackles for a loss in this game along with James Pearce Jr., but once again, Pearce made the big play for Tennessee Football. He came away with a strip-sack in the first half to set up a UT field goal, continuing to show he’s a rising superstar.

2. Joe Milton III

By far his best game this year, Joe Milton III finally used his legs, and that completely changed the complexion of the game. He led the team in rushing with 15 carries for 59 yards, and he led them in passing, completing 28 of 41 passes for 271 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was a heck of a day for him.

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1. Squirrel White

Milton was the offense for Tennessee Football, but Squirrel White was the playmaker. White made an amazing catch on Milton’s first touchdown pass, and he finished the game with 10 receptions for 111 yards along with that score. Despite being so small, he’s proving he is a true wide receiver who can catch anything.

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