By Jason Yellin
Three Vols were named to ESPN’s All-SEC Bowl Team after Tennessee’s dominating 45-6 win over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl. Safety Evan Berry, defensive end Derek Barnett and offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson were all recognized.
Here’s what ESPN’s Greg Ostendorf said about the honored Vols:
DL — Derek Barnett, Tennessee: On paper, Barnett might have regressed from his freshman year. But the sophomore looked as dominant as ever in the bowl win with eight tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
S — Evan Berry, Tennessee: Everybody was waiting to see if Berry would return another kick for a touchdown after doing so three times on the season. It didn’t happen. But the Tennessee defensive back did cap the bowl win with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
OL — Kyler Kerbyson, Tennessee: Northwestern was supposed to have a stout defense, a front teams couldn’t run on. All Tennessee did was rush for 226 yards. As for Kerbyson, he held Deonte Gibson in check all game.
Additionally, the Vols were recognized by ESPN’s Edward Aschoff with several other accolades:
Biggest Statement Made: Tennessee — Tennessee had a ton to prove after winning five straight against teams without winning records. The Volunteers steamrolled Northwestern’s highly-rated defense for five rushing touchdowns in Tennessee’s 45-6 win in the Outback Bowl. Tennessee held Northwestern to 261 yards and forced four turnovers, including 100-yard pick-six with eight seconds remaining. With this performance and the talent coming back, Tennessee will be the trendy favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division.
Best Play: Joshua Dobbs’ TD run — Somehow, Dobbs was able to not only secure a bobbled snap that he had to fully turn around to get but he outran everyone on Northwestern’s defense to tip-toe along the sideline and dive for the pylon for a Tennessee touchdown. What an athlete.