Tennessee-UTSA notebook

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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General Notes

• Saturday’s attendance at Neyland Stadium: 101,915

• Tennessee has now sold out eight consecutive home games, a streak dating to Sept. 17, 2022, vs. Akron.

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• Tennessee’s all-time on-field record improved to 870-411-53 with Saturday’s win (NCAA record: 859-411-53).

• Saturday marked the first meeting between Tennessee and UTSA.

• With Saturday’s victory, the Vols have now won eight consecutive games against non-conference foes with seven of those wins coming by double-digits.

• The Vols are 14-3 at home under Heupel, outscoring opponents 783-353. Tennessee has won 11 consecutive games in Neyland Stadium, a streak that dates to Nov. 20, 2021 vs. South Alabama.

• Tennessee’s 11-game home winning streak is its longest since winning 23 straight in Neyland Stadium from 1996-2000.

Joe Milton III notes

• QB Joe Milton III finished Saturday’s game completing 18-of-31 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

• On Tennessee’s first offensive play, Milton kept the ball on a read option and dashed 81 yards to the checkerboards. It was the longest run by a quarterback in Tennessee history and tied the 10th-longest rush by any player in program annals. (of note: halfback Hank Lauricella also had an 81-yarder vs. Tennessee Tech on Nov. 11, 1950. Lauricella threw 65 passes that same season).

• Dating to the 2022 Orange Bowl, Milton has multiple touchdown passes in five consecutive games. He has at least one passing touchdown in eight-straight contests.

Offensive notes

• Josh Heupel-led teams have scored 30 or more points in 57 games (33 at UCF, 24 at Tennessee) and own a 49-8 record when doing so.

• Heupel’s teams have scored 40 points 37 times (17 times at Tennessee).

• The Vols finished Saturday’s game with 512 yards of total offense (303 rushing, 209 passing). Heupel’s teams have put up 500 yards of total offense in a game 34 times (13 times at Tennessee.

• UT’s 303 rushing yards were a season-high and the most for the Vols since racking up 362 at Vanderbilt on Nov. 26, 2022.

• Heupel’s Vols have posted 300-plus rushing yards four times since 2021.

• RB Dylan Sampson had a career day, taking 11 carries for a career-high 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He added a 20-yard catch to finish the game with 159 all-purpose yards.

• Sampson entered the checkerboards on his first touch of the game, a 10-yard rushing touchdown with 10:03 left in the first quarter. With 10:17 left In the fourth quarter, he weaved through defenders, broke tackles in the secondary and rushed for 41 yards for his second touchdown of the night.

• The sophomore has six touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving) scored in three games played this season, tying his total of six from the entire 2022 season (10 games played).

• WR Kaleb Webb reeled in his first career touchdown with 14:23 remaining in the second quarter with an 18-yard grab over the middle to put the Vols ahead 21-0.

• The sophomore entered Saturday’s contest with two career catches for 11 yards.

Defensive Notes

• The Vols limited their opponent to less than 100 yards rushing for the third time in four games this season (UTSA 88, Austin Peay 79, Virginia 95).

• DB Tamarion McDonald nabbed his fourth-career interception and first of the 2023 campaign in the second quarter, stepping in front of a slant route over the middle.

• McDonald also finished the contest with a game-high 2.0 tackles for loss.

• DB Warren Burrell recorded his first-career interception in the fourth quarter with 7:31 on the clock. UTSA quarterback Owen McCown coughed it up after Andre Turrentine pressured on a scramble.

Special Teams

• Punter Jackson Ross booted a career-high six punts for 266 yards (44.3 avg), including a career-long 52 yarder and downing three punts inside the 20.