Tennessee falls to 9-4 (6-2 SEC) on the year. LSU improves to 11-2 (6-2 SEC).
The Vols entered the game ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll and 15th in the USA Today Coaches??? poll. LSU was ranked fifth by the AP and seventh in the Coaches??? poll.
Today???s contest marked the 30th all-time meeting between Tennessee and LSU. The Vols now lead the series 20-7-3.
Tennessee has won five of its last nine games against LSU, but the Tigers own a 2-1 advantage over the Vols in neutral-site games
Phillip Fulmer???s Record
Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer???s record now stands at 146-45 (.764) in 16 seasons with the Vols.
Fulmer owns a 36-14 career record against SEC Western Division teams and is 3-4 in his career against LSU.
The Vols now own a 2-3 all-time record in the SEC Championship Game, with all berths taking place during the Fulmer era.
Ainge Becomes 12th SEC Quarterback with 70 Touchdown Passes
Senior quarterback Erik Ainge now owns a 26-10 career record as a starter, including an 0-2 mark at neutral sites.
Ainge today became the 12th quarterback in SEC history to throw 70 career touchdown passes. He has one game left to play in his collegiate career and has thrown 70 touchdowns to rank 12th in league history (one of three Vols in the top 10).
Ainge now has 3,157 passing yards this season and joins Peyton Manning as the only UT quarterbacks to throw for 3,000 yards in a season (Manning did it in both 1996 and 1997). Ainge was 11 yards shy of 3,000 last season.
Foster Ascends to Eighth on Tennessee Career Rushing List
Junior tailback Arian Foster today moved from 10th to eighth place on Tennessee???s career rushing list. His 55 yards on the ground today raised his career total to 1,162 (on 229 carries).
Tennessee???s season record for individual all-purpose yards is 1,721, set by Reggie Cobb in 1987. Foster???s season total of 1,538 ranks sixth on UT???s single-season chart and third in the SEC this year.
Taylor Hits 1,000
Junior wide receiver Lucas Taylor today became just the fifth Vol ever to log at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Taylor has 73 catches for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns this year with one game left to play. His 1,000 yards rank sixth on UT???s all-time single-season list. His first catch of the second half gave him 1,000 yards on the year.
Senior tight end Chris Brown today broke the school record for catches by a tight end in a season. Brown???s 40 receptions this year surpassed Jason Witten???s (2000-02) total of 39 in 2002.
Brown caught an 11-yard touchdown pass on the game???s opening drive, giving him six touchdown receptions this season and eight for his career. The six this year leave him one shy of tying Austin Denney???s school tight end record of seven, set in 1966.
Vols Continue to Lead Nation in Sacks Allowed
Tennessee allowed no quarterback sacks today and has allowed a total of just four sacks on the year.
Starting quarterback Erik Ainge has been sacked just three times this year in 476 pass attempts.
As a team, the Vols average one sack allowed for every 122.8 pass attempts this season.
Noting the Defense
Junior middle linebacker Jerod Mayo led the Vols today with 15 tackles. It was his third straight game with at least 10 tackles and his 11th career double-digit tackle game. Mayo has 127 tackles on the year.
Mayo had 10 tackles at the half, including one for loss.
Junior linebacker Rico McCoy forced a Trindon Holliday fumble in the third quarter. It was McCoy???s second career forced fumble and his first of the year. Freshman safety Eric Berry recovered the fumble and returned it three yards. It was Berry???s second fumble recovery.
Berry intercepted a Ryan Perrilloux pass in the third quarter and returned it 15 yards; Berry has 273 fumble and interception return yards this year. His 222 interception return yards is a school record and ranks second in SEC single-season history behind only Florida???s Joe Brodsky (244 in 1956). Berry has five interceptions this year.
Senior defensive end Xavier Mitchell logged his 100th career tackle today.
Senior strongside linebacker Ryan Karl suffered a right elbow sprain and did not play in the second half.
SEC Championship Game Records
True freshman Lennon Creer???s 50-yard kickoff return in the first quarter was the longest kickoff return in league title game history and a personal best. The previous long was 46 yards by Markeith Cooper of Auburn in 1997. The previous long by a Vol in the title game was 30 yards by Peerless Price in 1998.
Tennessee???s game captains today were seniors Erik Ainge, Chris Brown, Xavier Mitchell and junior Jerod Mayo.
Today???s attendance was 73,832.
The Vols committed no penalties for the first time under 16th year head coach Phillip Fulmer. UT went without a penalty in the opening half for the first time all season.
Tennessee wore orange pants today (no stripe) for the first time since a 17-16 Homecoming win over Memphis on Sept. 25, 1999. The Vols also wore their traditional home orange jerseys.
True freshman Gerald Jones tied a career-high with two rush attempts, and his 39 rushing yards were a career-best (carries of 20 and 19 yards).
With his start today, senior free safety Jonathan Hefney tied former Vol Scott Wells??? (2000-03) school record of starts by a position player (non-specialist) at 49.
Despite leading at halftime, the Vols??? seven points through the first two quarters marked their lowest-scoring half of the season to that point.