The InsideTennessee.com staff will bring you its point of view each week.
Be sure to check back to see what the IT staff has to say about the Tennessee game every Saturday this fall.
Randy Moore’s thoughts
This was pretty much what we all expected: Tennessee took control early and dominated an inferior Buffalo team.
Offensively, Tyler Bray seemed to adapt well to the absence of Justin Hunter, completing 21 of 30 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns with at least three on-target passes dropped. Tauren Poole added 101 rushing yards and seemed more decisive than usual.
Defensively, the Vols gave up a couple of big plays but generally kept the Bulls bottled up.
Devrin Young made an impact on the kicking game in a positive sense (a 43-yard punt return) and a negative sense (fumbling a kickoff return). Michael Palardy made a pair of 28-yard field goals but he's supposed to make those. Special teams continues to struggle overall. In addition to Young's fumble, the Vols had a punt blocked, although Matt Darr scooped it up and ran for a first down.
Special Teams: C-
Danny Parker’s thoughts
Getting the month of October off on the right foot was imperative for Tennessee and it did just that, most especially with a dominant first half of play against visiting Buffalo.
Volunteer quarterback Tyler Bray was deadly accurate, completing 21 of 30 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. The 6-foot-6 junior would have had even more impressive if not for a handful of drops, including tight end Mychal Rivera coming down with a case of butterfingers in the end zone.
Senior running back Tauren Poole found some holes and netted 101 yards. Freshman Marlin Lane got but only seven carries but averaged 4.0 yards per attempts. Freshman Tom Smith needs to quit running into his offensive linemen's butts.
While many of the questions marks around the injury of star wide receiver Justin Hunter hung around the freshmen, it was sophomore Da' Rick Rogers who enjoyed arguably his finest game in orange and white with 180 yards on seven catches with two scores. Rivera, DeAnthony Arnett and Zach Rogers were solid but not spectacular.
Props should be given to the Vol offensive line, who prevented all-star outside linebacker Khalil Mack from having his name called with any sort of consistency.
Buffalo's Chazz Anderson broke free for a 68-yard touchdown run on a monumental bust by at least three UT defenders. However, other than that play, the Vols did a solid job of avoiding giving up the big play and held the Bulls to 0-for-4 on fourth downs.
Yet another blocked punt and freshman Devrin Young's fumble on a kickoff return ruined what would have been an above average day on special teams.
Overall, Tennessee was outstanding in spurts and sloppy as ever in other instances. Outscoring the Bulls just 10-3 over the final two quarters is unacceptable for a team that has hopes of knocking of the country's two best teams in coming weeks.
Special Teams: D+
Chris Price’s thoughts
Tennessee did exactly what they should have done in this game, most of the time. They dominated an inferior opponent in their stadium.
It's hard to get too excited about anything that the Vols did considering the opponent, but that is a product of who was on the schedule this week.
Tennessee fans have to be excited about what they saw from true freshman Devrin Young in the return game, with the exception of the fumble, and DeAnthony Arnett proved once again this week that he can be a valuable asset in the passing game.
It will be interesting to see what Da'Rick Rogers can do against an SEC opponent without Justin Hunter, but his 180-yard, 2 touchdown performance against Buffalo was nothing short of complete domination.
Tyler Bray still needs to prove himself against a big-time SEC opponent, but he had another great performance against a team Tennessee should have beaten.
The defense still seems to be underachieving at this point in the season and the real test comes next week with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Special Teams: C- (fumbles on the kickoff returns and blocked punt cost them)
Josh Woodward's thoughts
Tennessee took care of the Buffalo Bulls like they were supposed to on Saturday. The Bulls didn’t have an answer defensively for the young Volunteer offense. Tyler Bray is becoming a good leader on the field for the Vols, you can see him take command in the huddle like you want a quarterback to do. The offensive line still struggles to get off the ball on running plays, they just look a step slow. Da’Rick Rogers was impressive with 7 catches for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rogers will need to continue to play well for the Vols to have a good season. Tauren Poole and Marlin Lane both ran hard, but just don’t seem to have that breakaway speed you want to see in a running back. I was glad to see some screen plays that I believe would have helped at Florida, when it’s hard to run the ball the screens always seem to slowdown the rush.
Defensively the Vols on looked to make one mistake on a zone read, they quarterback kept the ball and ran it to the house. Curt Maggitt plays football at a high level; he will be a future All American at Tennessee. Also Freshman Jordan Williams looked real good at end grabbing a sack early on in the game. Also Alan Carson got to see his first playing time of the year. Coach Dooley said they just needed more bodies on the defensive front. The defense will get a real test next weekend versus a good Georgia offense.
The Vols continue to play poorly on special teams with the block punt and and a fumble from Devrin Young. Young did provide a spark on returns with an electric punt return in the first half; Young will help Tennessee with the return game with his lateral moves. The Vols must improve on special teams to win in the SEC.
Special Teams: D