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No. 15 Tennessee handles deal with Akron

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KNOXVILLE, TN (WATE) – No. 15 Tennessee followed up a big victory over Pitt with a dominant performance against Akron.

Tennessee improved to 3-0 on the season after defeating the Zips 63-6.

Tennessee started the first drive of the game with an 11-yard run from Jabari Small. The running back rushed for another three yards before being injured and ending the game.The Vols continued down the field with 12 plays for 41 yards to fall short on their opening drive. Kicker Chase McGrath missed a 47-yard field goal, his first mistake of the season, to keep the game scoreless.

The Vols worked on defense. Bryon Young pressured Akron quarterback DJ Irons to force a quick three-and-out. Tennessee took advantage of the ensuing drive. Jalen Wright checked in with Small at running back and closed out a 7-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Vols a 7–0 lead. Tennessee has stepped into the gas. Dylan Sampson, a bona fide freshman, found speed on his option play to find the end in his zone, giving the Vols his 14–0 lead to end the first quarter.

Tennessee continued to dominate in the second quarter. Hooker showed off his arm to start the second quarter, connecting with Djarin his Hyatt on a 57-yard-deep ball to give the Vols his 21–0 lead. Hooker completed his touchdown pass in his 15th straight game. The Vols found the end zone again. Sampson spotted the orange-and-white checkerboard, speeding from an optional play he ran off 11 yards and he extended UT’s lead to 28-0. Senior wideout Cedric Tillman ended the game early with a lower-body injury, making Hyatt his target for the top hooker that night. Hooker connected with Hyatt for a 48-yard touchdown pass to give Tennessee a 34–0 lead over Akron at the half.

The Vols started the 3rd quarter by rushing 1 yard down center and scoring for their second touchdown of the night. McGrath remained automatic on the extra point attempt to extend the Vols lead to his 42-0. Akron avoided compression by hitting the board with a 35-yard field goal to go 42-3. Tennessee’s defense held back some momentum from Akron. The Tennessee front produced three consecutive sacks during Akron’s third drive of the quarter, including two from freshman linebacker Elijah Herring. Joe Milton III checked in under center and sent a 57-yard deep ball to Ramel his Keaton to extend UT’s lead to his 49-3 to close out the third quarter.

Milton continued to show off his arm artillery in the 4th quarter. Milton completed a 38-yard pass to his sophomore Walker Merrill to the middle for Milton’s second touchdown pass of the night, making it a 56-3 game. Akron scored a total of 6 points, but only in uprights. Tayven Jackson succeeded Milton on his Vols final drive of the game. The freshmen capped off the night with an orange-and-white first touchdown. Jackson called his number on a 1-yard run to close out the scoring for the Vols.