Tennessee cruises past Commodores

Published 1:46 pm Monday, November 27, 2023

NEWS REPORT

No. 21 Tennessee churned out 617 yards of total offense on Saturday as the Vols stormed past Vanderbilt, 48-24, on Senior Day at Neyland Stadium.

The Vols’ (8-4, 4-4 SEC) victory is their 80th on-field win over the Commodores – 78th in terms of NCAA record – and is the program’s second-most wins over a single opponent. Tennessee also extended its sellout streak to 13 consecutive home games dating back to the 2022 season.

Saturday marked the seventh time in the Heupel-era that UT has eclipsed 600 yards in a game, including the second time it has done so this season.

In his final start at Neyland Stadium, quarterback Joe Milton III accounted for six touchdowns – a career-high four passing and two rushing – becoming the first Vol to accomplish the feat since Jonathan Crompton totaled six scores versus Memphis on Nov. 7, 2009.

On the ground, running back Jaylen Wright totaled 75 yards on 11 carries to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau for the year, becoming the first Vol to do so since Jalen Hurd in 2015.

Wide receiver Squirrel White was Milton’s favorite target on the night, finishing with 10 receptions for 110 yards. Senior wideout Ramel Keyton posted his first-career 100-yard receiving performance, hauling in four catches for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tight ends Jacob Warren and McCallan Castles combined for six receptions for 126 yards, as well. Both Warren and Castles caught first-half touchdown passes.

Milton opened UT’s scoring on the third play of the game with a 56-yard touchdown strike to Keyton. The redshirt senior signal caller finished the night 22-of-32 passing with a career-high 383 yards.

Vanderbilt (2-10, 0-8 SEC) struck back as quarterback AJ Swann found Junior Sherrill on a 19-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7 on its first drive. The Commodores added a 40-yard Jacob Borcila field goal early in the second quarter to cut their deficit to 21-10, but were held off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter after the field goal.

Meanwhile, Tennessee scored on four straight possessions to end the first half, converting three drives into touchdowns, while also connecting on a 24-yard Charles Campbell field goal as the Big Orange took a 31-10 lead into the halftime break.

UT scored on its opening drive of the second half on another long touchdown to Keyton before Milton capped his night with a 2-yard rushing touchdown – becoming the only Vol this century with six total touchdowns in a regulation SEC game.

With the Vols leading 45-10 in the fourth quarter, Vanderbilt scored a pair of touchdowns to cut into the UT lead, 45-24.

Campbell knocked through a late 27-yard field goal to give the Vols a 48-24 lead and account for the final margin of victory.