LIVE THREAD | Vols lead Zips 42-0 in the 3rd

Tennessee looking to improve to 3-0 on the 2022 season
On Shields Watkins Field
On Shields Watkins Field(Rick Russo)
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2022 at 11:14 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Following a hard-fought road win over Pitt last weekend, No. 15 Tennessee returns home to host Akron on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols are hoping to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2016 and will look to remain unbeaten against opponents from the current Mid-American Conference.

This weekend, Tennessee is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first night game in Neyland Stadium. On Sept. 16, 1972, No. 7 Tennessee topped Joe Paterno’s No. 6 Penn State, 28-21.

Today’s game against the Zips will be the second night game for the Vols this season after defeating Ball State, 59-10, in the season opener. Vols by the way, are clad in all Big Orange against the Zips.

Players wearing all orange uniforms vs. Akron
Players wearing all orange uniforms vs. Akron(Rick Russo)

1ST QUARTER

So not exactly the offensive explosion Vol fans expected at the start. UT’s opening drive stalls at the Zips 30. Chase McGrath is off on the 47yd FG attempt. No score early

The Vols defense would force Akron to a 3-n-out on its first possession. Trevon Flowers takes the punt and the Vols will start their second possession at their own 26.

Tennessee would not come up empty on its second possession. Tennessee drives 74 yards in 7 plays capped off by a two yard Jaylen Wright TD run. The highlights on the drive including a 27 yard Hendon Hooker run and then a 19 yard completion from Hooker to TE-Princeton Fant. UT leads 7-0 with 8:39 remaining in the 1st quarter.

UT’s next possession would result in another score. On 3rd and long, QB Hendon Hooker hits TE Jacob Warren for a 17 yard gain. Then on 4th and 2 the Vols go for it and it’s Hooker with the option pitch to freshman running back Dylan Sampson. he gets cracked at the pylon, but hangs on as the Vols take a 14-0 lead over the Zips. Tennessee now with 177 total yards of offense. Hooker is 5 of 9 passing for 96 yards.

2ND QUARTER

Vols close out the 1st quarter converting a 4th and one. Tennessee now 3 for 3 on 4th down conversions so far in the football game.

Tough moment on the field. Tall pass for Tillman who’s tackled low and banged up on the play. Hobbling a bit, but walking off under his own power.

Vol drive continues after Tillman injury. And on 4th and 4 at the Akron 9, Hooker again tosses to Dylan Sampson on the option. This time it’s an 11yard TD. UT now 4 for 4 on 4th down conversions. Vols lead 28-0 in the 2nd quarter.

DJ Irons would lead his Akron team back down the field and deep into Tennessee territory. Once again though the Vol defense would rise up. TAt the Tennessee 5 yard line, Irons rolls right and takes off but is met rudely by linebacker Jeremy Banks. He pops the ball out and defensive lineman Latrell Bumphus recovers in the endzone for a touchback. Ball goes over to the Big Orange!

And Tennessee would capitalize. Once again, Hooker connects with Hyaltt this time on a short slant. The junior receiver does the rest. The touchdown covers 48 yards as Tennessee takes a 35-0 lead into the break in front of a sold out crowd of 101, 915 at Neyland Stadium.

3RD QUARTER

First possession of the 2nd half for Tennessee and the Hooker to Hyatt connection works again, this time for 47 yards. That sets up a one yard Jaylen Wright TD run as the Vols extend their lead over the Zips to 42-0.