In a noon game in front of a homecoming crowd, Tennessee football put on a show against the UT-Martin Skyhawks Saturday. The Vols, ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll and No. 4 in the Coaches Poll, scored 52 first-half points en route to a 65-24 victory over their in-state FCS foe in their first game not against a Power Five team in the top 25 since Week 3.
UT-Martin was ranked, though. It was just at the FCS level, as they came in No. 18 in the STATS ranking and No. 14 in the Coaches Poll. Rocky Top snapped their three-game winning streak with this game, the first meeting between the two schools since 2010 and the second ever.
With the win, Tennessee football improves to 7-0 overall and remains 3-0 in SEC play with a visit from the Kentucky Wildcats and a trip to the Georgia Bulldogs set for the next two weeks. UT-Martin falls to 4-3, remains 3-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference, and will visit the Houston Christian Huskies next week. Here are five takeaways from this game.
These are the things we learned from the Tennessee football Volunteers’ victory over the Skyhawks.
5. There was no letdown early.
All the talk after the Alabama win was the fact that the Vols were lucky to face UT-Martin the next week so they could regroup and not suffer from an inevitable letdown. Well, Josh Heupel did an incredible job getting his team ready to play, and they didn’t have any letdown despite facing an FCS foe with two ranked SEC opponents next.
The Vols forced a three-and-out on UT-Martin’s first drive. They then proceeded to score on their first eight possessions, nine if you don’t count the drive at the end of the first half. Seven of those first eight and eight of those first nine possessions ended in touchdowns as well.
How’s that for no letdown? Tennessee football has done a great job maintaining the right mentality for every game this year, and that was never more clear than in this game. They saw this is one of their few chances to play football on a Saturday and made the most of it, and everybody starting was going all out.