It was a beautiful Saturday for spring football, and the Volunteer defense took advantage.
A strong defensive second half that kept the Volunteer offense out of the endzone gave the Orange (defense) a 70-63 win over the White in the 2016 DISH Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium in front of 67,027 fans.
“Today [was] a good teaching tool,” Head Coach Butch Jones said. “Another evaluation tool, not just in the team segments — whether it was tackle or whether it was touch — but also in the one-on-one situations. We talk about that grit and internal drive to be the best and always competing in all that you do.”
The Orange used six tackles for loss, including three sacks, in the second half to hold the White scoreless by traditional standards in the closing half. Quart’e Sapp led the defense with nine total tackles and one tackle for loss, while freshman Marquill Osborne added eight tackles and a sack in his first spring game.
Joshua Dobbs led the White team in the air with 166 passing yards on 5-of-9 passing. Quinten Dormady added 95 yards on 10-of-15 passing with a 5-yard touchdown pass. John Kelly earned the bulk of the carries for the offense, rushing for 65 yards on 15 attempts and a touchdown. Jayson Sparks gathered 34 yards on 11 carries.
Preston Williams led the receiving core with 77 yards on three catches, including a 39-yard reception. Ethan Wolf went for 67 receiving yards, while newcomer Jeff George caught four for 28 yards and a touchdown.
The Orange grabbed the early 10-2 lead with a Todd Kelly Jr. interception off a tipped pass. After the defense forced a punt on the following possession, the White scored on consecutive possessions highlighted by multiple big gains. Dobbs hit Ethan Wolf in stride for a 57-yard gain, then connected with Williams for a 22-yard reception. Kelly capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown rush.
Kelly paired his touchdown run with a 27-yard rush in the following drive that led to a 5-yard George touchdown catch from Dormady. The White led 26-20 after the first quarter.
The White used two field goals — a 42-yard field goal from Laszlo Toser and 30-yard field goal from Holden Foster — to finish lengthy drives in the second quarter. Both field goals came on 12-play drives as the White entered the locker room with a 51-42 halftime lead.
The Orange outscored the White 28-12 in the second half to take control of the game and finish with the win. After breaking the 60-60 tie midway through the third quarter, the Orange held onto the lead for the remainder of the game.