Knoxville, TN (water) – no. The Tennessee 15 had a great game against Akron after a road win over Pitt.
Tennessee improved to 3-0 on the season after beating the Zips 63-6.
Tennessee started the game’s first drive with 11 yards from Jabari Small. The running back rushed for another 3 yards before withdrawing from the game with an injury. The Vols went on to put up 12 games for 41 yards, but fell behind in the opening game. Kicker Chase McGrath missed a 47-yard field goal, his first turnover of the season, leaving the game scoreless.
Walls started working on defense. Bryon Young pressured Akron quarterback DJ Irons to make a quick 3-pointer. Tennessee capitalized on the subsequent push. Jaylen Wright signed the trumpet at running back and finished seven games with a 2-yard touchdown to give Walls an early 7-0 lead. Tennessee keeps going. True freshman running back Dylan Sampson found the end zone in a speed pick to give Walls a 14-0 lead to end the first quarter.
Tennessee continued to dominate in the second quarter. Hooker showed his arms at the start of the second quarter and connected with Jalyn Hyatt on a 57-yard ball to give Walls a 21-0 lead. Hooker has passed for touchdowns in 15 straight games. Vols found the end zone again. Sampson found the orange and white boards extended UT’s lead, 28-0, in a speed option game from 11 yards. Senior foreign aid Cedric Tillman withdrew early after a lower body injury, so Hyatt became Hook’s number one target for the night. Hooker connected with Hyatt for a 48-yard touchdown to give Tennessee a 34-0 halftime lead over Akron.
Walls opened the third quarter with a sprint from one yard down the middle for his second touchdown of the night. McGrath remained automatic in the extra-point attempt, extending the Vols’ lead to 42-0. Akron avoided being squeezed by completing a 35-yard field goal to make it 42-3 to the board. Tennessee’s defense stifled any momentum in Akron. The Tennessee front line had three straight sacks during Akron’s third drive of the quarter, including two from freshman linebacker Elijah Herring. Joe Milton III signed under center and completed a 57-yard drive to Lamel Keaton to extend UT’s lead to end the third quarter 49-3.
Milton continued to show off his arm cannon in the fourth quarter. Milton completed a 38-yard midfield pass to sophomore Walker Merrill, Milton’s second touchdown pass of the night, to end the game 56-3. Akron managed to score 6 points, but only through the post. Tayven Jackson replaced Milton in the Vols’ final game. The freshman ended the night with his first touchdown in Orange and White. Jackson called out his number from 1 yard to end Walls’ scoring.