Five things to know: The win over Missouri

The No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers returned to Neyland Stadium for the final home game of the season, taking on the Missouri Tigers and earning a 66-24 victory.

The Vols improved to 9-1 in 2022 and 5-1 in Southeastern Conference action. Here are five things to know about winning:

1. Hot offense despite cold weather

Heading into Saturday, the Vols ranked No. 1 in the nation in total offense and passing efficiency and ranked second in scoring attack as well as passing attack. True to its reputation under Heupel, the Tennessee offense put on another show against Missouri.

The high-octane band exploded in Saturday’s win, racking up a school-record 724 total rushing yards (460 passing, 264 rushing). The previous record was 718 set against Troy in 2012 when Tennessee beat the Trojans 55-48. Six different Vols scored touchdowns in the contest, as Tennessee posted a season-best 66 points, marking the third time this season that UT has eclipsed the 60-point mark. It’s tied for the program’s record for a single season, having also done so in 1912, 1914 and 1915. Additionally, the Vols’ five games with 50+ points this year broke the program’s previous record. of four, which came in 1914, 1993 and 2015.

Defensively, Missouri entered the game ranked 13th in the nation in total yards allowed per game at 304.1. That number was largely due to the team’s rush defense, which averaged just 111.2 yards allowed per game. Tennessee erased both of those season averages. In fact, Tennessee has faced five top-20 defenses this season and is averaging 500.8 yards per game in such contests. Those five defenses have come in the Vols’ last five games against FBS opponents.

Hendon Hooker led the passing offense with 355 yards through the air for three scores in addition to his eight carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. Came into play in the fourth quarter, Joe Milton III orchestrated a pair of late scoring passes for UT, completing all three passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Two of his connections came in the big game variety, finding Ramel Keyton for a 46-yard touchdown before throwing a bomb at White Squirrel 58 yards, descending to Mizzou 1 before Dylan Samson hit in the score.

In addition to its four scores in the air, the Big Orange found the checkers on the ground. Four different Steals combined for five touchdowns, marking the third time this season that UT has rushed for five scores and the fifth time in the Heupel era. Jaylen Wright led the way with a pair of touchdowns, bringing his season total to eight. Little Jabari kicked the score when he took a 10-yard run home for his ninth rushing score this year. Dylan Samson led UT on the ground, rushing for 98 yards on eight carries and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

A pair of Vol Wideouts eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards in the same game for the second time this season. Jalin Hyatt had seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown, while Bru McCoy recorded nine receptions and 111 yards. Princeton Fan punctuated his tenure at Neyland Stadium with an exclamation mark, getting a pair of touchdowns in the game, marking his second multi-touchdown performance of the year.

2. A final lap at Neyland Stadium

Tennessee honored 21 seniors ahead of Saturday’s game as the Class of 2022 crossed the T for the final time.

In Hendon Hooker’s last fight at Neyland Stadium, the quarterback threw for three touchdowns and scored a 14-yard rushing touchdown late in the first half. Minutes after the final whistle, the volunteer caller looked towards the southeast corner of the stadium and swung with his brothers to the alma mater before climbing a ladder wedged in front of The Pride of the Southland Band and lead the final game of Rocky Up, on Rocky Top. As he descended to his Big Orange-clad teammates, chants of “Heisman! Heisman! Heisman! rocked the walls of the Football Palace as the Vols walked off the pitch after defending their territory to the tune of a 7-0 home record in 2022.

Senior Offensive Lineman Jerome Carvin made his 57th career appearance in orange and white, breaking the school record for most games played in Tennessee football history. Offensive Lineman Friend Darnell Wright enjoyed their final game at Neyland Stadium, as the duo helped pave the way for Tennessee’s record-breaking performance in total yards (724).

Smokey X also made his final trip across the T, receiving his own senior day honors. As the top dog since 2013, he is expected to retire at the end of the season. For his final appearance at Neyland Stadium, the beloved mascot crossed the T and celebrated nine Tennessee touchdowns, rushing the board and screaming with the crowd.

3. Jalin Hyatt Shine, climb the record books

Junior wide receiver Jalin Hyatt again showed his dominance at wide receiver, continuing his climb up the volunteer record books.

Hyatt eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the season after rushing for 146 yards against the Tigers. He is the ninth all-time Vol to achieve the feat in a single season and recorded the program’s 10th 1,000-yard season. In just two seasons under coach Heupel, the Vols have reached the milestone twice as many Cedric Tillman had 1,081 yards last season. Hyatt moved into third place in the Tennessee record books for receiving yards in a single season with 1,116 after sitting just outside the top 10 at the start of the day.

With his 68-yard touchdown in the third quarter, Hyatt is now tied for fourth in UT history with Peerless Price for receiving career touchdowns (19) and has a program-record 15 touchdowns this season. . That mark is tied for sixth in SEC history for most in a season with Ike Hilliard (Florida, 1995), Jack Jackson (Florida, 1994), and Jameson Williams (Alabama, 2021).

4. BIG orange tusk

The Volunteers entered Saturday’s game leading the SEC with 18 takeaways. The 4th and fourth quarter inches, Doneiko slaughter clawed back a mishandled pitch to give Tennessee its 19th turnover of the season and ninth fumble recovery of the year.

The Big Orange defense has created a turnover every game this year and has run the streak to 12 in a row, dating back to Vanderbilt (11/27/21) last year.

Overall, the Tennessee defense held the Tigers to seven outs and kept Missouri off the board for the final 23 minutes of action. The Vols recorded seven tackles for loss, a pair of sacks and three pass breakups, underscoring the havoc created by the Volunteers defense all afternoon.

Junior defensive end Tyler Baron was a one-man wrecking team up front, recording four tackles – all for a loss – and a sack.

5. Strong Neyland, all year round

Vol Nation wouldn’t be deterred by the weather from supporting its boys in Big Orange for the last time in 2022, keeping the environment as loud and as hostile as it has been all year.

The weather may have brought rain, but it was Vol Nation that brought the thunder. For the sixth time this season, Neyland was at capacity with 101,915 fans in the stands watching his top 5. The game marked the first time since 2007 that Tennessee had six home sales in a single year. The slate of seven home games in 2022 saw a total of 703,726 fans pass through the turnstiles.

The excitement and atmosphere of Rocky Top this year has become a staple of college football. With two visits to Knoxville by ESPN’s College GameDay, a rocking #CheckerNeyland and three ranked matches on the spot. Flight Nation broke the record noise level at Neyland Stadium on the third Saturday in October with 125.4 dB louder than a jet taking off.

This season saw six pre-game flyovers, two demolished goal posts, new black helmets debuted and Summitt Blue accents celebrating 50 years of Title IX. Records were broken as Rocky Top echoed throughout Knoxville all fall.

With the victory over the Tigers, the Vols finished with a 7-0 slate at Neyland Stadium, completing their first perfect home record since 2007 and proving once again that Rocky Top is home to one of the most elite atmospheres in the game. college football.

Yet there is more football to play.

Looking ahead to Week 12, the Vols hit the road to take on South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium next Saturday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. The match will be broadcast on ESPN.

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