KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 1-ranked LSU hit a few big plays on offense and defense to take a 17-7 lead over Tennessee into the half Saturday in Neyland Stadium.
Here's a quick halftime analysis:
Turning point: LSU's Morris Claiborne intercepted a Matt Simms pass inside the 10-yard line and returned it 89 yards, setting up the Tigers' first touchdown early in the second quarter and snapping a scoreless tie. The Vols appeared to have the momentum after a review from the booth overturned a call on the field and ruled Rajion Neal was inbounds on a 38-yard catch to the LSU 42-yard line. But Claiborne's interception return changed the entire complexion of the game.
Stat of the half: The Tigers had to drive just 41 yards for their two touchdowns.
Stat of the half II: Who would have guessed that Tennessee would have as many rushing yards at the half (64) as LSU?
Stat of the half III: The two teams are a combined 2-of-11 on third down.
What Tennessee needs to do: If the Vols can keep from turning the ball over in the second half, they may have a chance. They looked like they might have found something in the running game there at the end of the half. On the flip side, the Vols are probably going to need the Tigers to turn it over to make up the 10-point deficit. That's easier said than done. LSU has now gone 46 offensive possessions in a row without a turnover.