Bowls game: Tennessee Vols-Purdue Boilermakers
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Offense: WR Cedric Tillman
Cedric Tillman flew to the Flights again. He was always very open early in the game and had two scores and over 100 receiving yards in the first period. He finished the bowl game with an incredible 150 yard stat line on seven catches and three scores.
Tillman’s efforts saw him gain over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, having totaled 124 yards and two goals in his first three years at Rocky Top.
Tillman has also been missed a few times by quarterback Hendon Hooker, so No.4’s day could have been even more massive at Music City.
Still, Tillman’s day was groundbreaking, and his third touchdown was huge for the Vols in fourth in the fourth quarter to then tie at 38.
Defense: Jeremy Banks
Banks has been productive for the Flights as a starting linebacker this season, and he ended his junior red shirt season on a high note in Nashville. Banks had a team leading 20 tackles and made a few saves in third base, particularly a sack in the second quarter. Banks finished with two total tackles for the loss and the sack.
Banks was the only Vol to have four solo tackles, and he finished with 10. The Cordova, Tennessee native also added two breakouts to his stat line.
Banks’ 20 tackles against Purdue are a Music City Bowl record.
Special Teams: Velus Jones Jr.
Tennessee senior fifth-year spreader Velus Jones Jr. had another productive day returning kicks, as he returned five Boilermaker kickoffs for 140 yards, averaging 28 yards by. Jones’ return distance of 140 yards is a Music City Bowl record.
Jones has been stellar in that department all season, and he ended his Tennessee career with another solid outing.
Jones was also strong on offense, capturing 10 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
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