With 20,000+ Rocky Top crazy fans in attendance, the Vols went into Berkeley looking to give Cal some more heartbreak, but the Bears sought for their revenge and captured it, beating the Vols 45-31.
Erik Ainge led the Vols, and looked great doing so, finishing the game with 270 yards, and 3 touchdown tosses on 31-47 passing. He showed great leadership with the revamped receiving crew. Ainge completed passes to a total of 8 receivers, led by Chris Brown, who received the most completions with 8, and Lucas Taylor, who finished with the most yards, 102. The offensive line did a solid job of giving Ainge enough time to read the defense and find the open receivers, as he threw 10 straight completions before his first incomplete pass.
Tennessee also had a solid night running the ball. Foster had 86 yards on 13 attempts, as well as a touchdown reception, making some big plays for the Vols to turn momentum in their favor. Monterio Hardesty ran for a touchdown as well.
Offense didn't serve as the major however, as it was a tough night on defense for the Vols as they faced a very stout California offense. The Bears' speed and chemistry exploited the holes in the inexperienced Tennessee defense, which gave up a total of 471 yards. Bears' head coach, Jeff Tedford, showed great play-calling, balancing the pass and run game very efficiently. Hawkins finished with 7 receptions for 89 yards, leading the Bears at receiver. The big playmaker for the Bears however was Justin Forsett, who finished the game with 160 yards on 26 attempts, and 2 touchdowns (1 rec.) Don't worry though, DeSean Jackson showed off his speed and playmaking as well with a voluminous punt return, getting the crowd in Berkeley on their feet.
At the end of the game, Xavier Mitchell was hurt on a play, and was motionless for an extent of around 5 minutes. He was removed off the field on a stretcher, and waived his hand to the crowd, relieving millions of spectators. Good luck to him, and I wish him a speedy recovery, as he will be needed on the Vols' defense.
At the end of the night, the Bears came out victorious. This is a very hard loss to swallow. The Vols look to release some steam against Southern Miss next week as they travel to Knoxville, then revenge a loss of their own against Florida, after losing to them by one point in Knoxville last season. But, don't look too far ahead, as Southern Miss should not be taken lightly.