Vols defense wants to build on its early momentum

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee is accustomed to kicking off the year with a dominant defensive performance.

This time, the Volunteers want to keep that momentum going the rest of the season for a change.

Tennessee held Utah State star quarterback Chuckie Keeton in check and forced three turnovers Sunday in a 38-7 rout. The performance offered reason to believe Tennessee could have an improved defense.

Then again, this type of season-opening performance isn't unusual.

The Vols blanked UT Martin 50-0 in their 2010 season opener and shut out Austin Peay 45-0 to kick off 2013. They opened 2012 by picking off four passes and producing a safety in a 35-21 victory over North Carolina State. Tennessee ended up with losing records each of those seasons.

Their next test comes Saturday against Arkansas State.


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