EUGENE, Ore. - The Tennessee football team was gouged defensively in a 59-14 loss to the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Ore., at Autzen Stadium in front of a sell-out crowd of 57,895, including 5,000 Vol fans, in UT's first road trip of its 2013 campaign.
Despite the defeat, several Vols stood out in the second part of the Oregon-Tennessee series.
Quarterback Justin Worley threw for 126 yards on 13 of 25 passes and looked especially good early on, completing a long pass to Josh Smith for a 51-yard strike and finishing the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jason Croom - his first receiving touchdown of his career.
Marlin Lane ground his way for 63 yards but failed to reach the end zone.
After a Rajion Neal fumble, the Volunteer defense held the dangerous Oregon offense to a missed field goal opportunity and the Worley to Croom touchdown gave the Volunteers a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
Oregon would not be silenced for long though. The Ducks opened their scoring with a 38-yard field goal by Matt Wogan, favorable for the Vols who were fortunately on the other end of an Oregon offensive pass interference call that saw De'Anthony Thomas walk into the end zone.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota would connect with Johnny Mundt for a 16 yard touchdown reception, giving Oregon their first lead of the game with 3:34 left in the first quarter.
With the Ducks hyper offense, Mark Helfrich's team would start their run of 59 unanswered points.
Mariota followed up his first passing touchdown with a rushing touchdown on an option keeper and would start the Volunteer bleeding.
After a short unsuccessful drive in which the Oregon defense was able to pressure Worley into a deflected throw, Mariota met a streaking Josh Huff for another quick Oregon score, extending their lead to 24-7.
Two more subsequent touchdowns by Oregon, including one more passing by Mariota, gave the Volunteers a 38 to 7 deficit to overcome.
The third quarter proved to be all Oregon just like the others. They would tack on 21 more points and extend their lead to an imposing 59-7.
Tennessee would show some late life after Alden Hill powered his way to the Vols' second score early in the fourth quarter.
The score was a little too late however as the Volunteers were unable to make a significant dent in the steep Oregon lead.