18-of-24, 276 yards, 3 TDs; 4 carries, 28 yards
Once again, the guy throwing the ball to Jalin Hyatt and Ramel Keyton (most of the time) is obviously going to be the star of the game as well. Hendon Hooker continued his Heisman campaign, and despite only playing a half, he didn’t lose any ground Saturday as he helped Tennessee football blow out UT-Martin.
Hooker actually missed a few throws, but for the most part, he was himself. He averaged 11.5 yards an attempt, seven yards a carry despite being sacked once and completed 75 percent of his passes. One of this most notable moments came on a 3rd and 19 early. UT was clinging to a 14-7 lead, and Hooker, on 3rd and 19, actually scrambled for the first down.
Only three bad plays stood out. One was the sack. The other was an overthrow in the end zone that should’ve been a third Keyton touchdown, and there was an underthrow to Squirrel White, which was a 49-yard completion but should’ve been a 69-yard touchdown pass.
Still, two of Hooker’s touchdown passes were over the middle, both to Keyton, showing he can be accurate with the ball from the pocket on difficult throws. Joe Milton III deserves a shoutout for going 4-of-7 for 135 yards and one touchdown as Hooker’s backup.
Simply put, Tennessee football’s passing game was elite once again. They returned to no interceptions after Hooker threw his first of the year against Alabama, and Hooker was the star of the passing game, so he easily once again earns player of the game.