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Tennessee turned these ferocious John Kelly stiffarms into all of 3 points, as Tennessee does

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Kelly deserved better. His teammates did not.

Tennessee running back John Kelly is a force. The brightest spot so far in what’s been a disappointing Vols season, Kelly entered Saturday’s game against South Carolina averaging 5.1 yards per carry and with six touchdowns to his name.

Against the Gamecocks, Kelly began his day with these completely mean set of truck-stickings and stiff arms that left Carolina defenders sprawled about the field:

That run is pretty devastating stuff! Three Gamecock defenders jumped in front of the avalanche that was Kelly and got swept away. The fourth finally forced him out of bounds after a gain of 24 yards to the South Carolina 17. It wasn’t a touchdown, but it was one of the more dominant runs of the 2017 season so far.

The Kelly run presented a thrilling opportunity: for Tennessee to score points for the first time since Sept. 23, when it dropped a whole 17 on winless UMass.

The next plays after that Kelly run:

  • Incomplete pass
  • QB run for no gain
  • False start
  • 11-yard QB run on third-and-14
  • Field goal

That made the score 3-0, Vols. It became 6-0 a few minutes later, after another Tennessee drive stalled deep inside Gamecock territory.

A common critique of Tennessee coach Butch Jones, from a former UT player:

The Vols entered Saturday ranked 112th nationally in red zone efficiency.

Tennessee’s offense is in typical Tennessee offense form: John Kelly doing amazing things, and everybody else doing things that are amazing in a different way.