In typical Tennessee football fashion under Josh Heupel, the Vols managed to come away with quite a few big plays as they blew out the Kentucky Wildcats 44-6. Yes, even against Mark Stoops, they were able to cross the 40-point threshold en route to improving to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the SEC with the Georgia Bulldogs up next.
However, it was a bit less conventional than other Heupel wins. The Vols were often forced to move the ball down the field rather than hit the big play, which made for fewer highlights than a Heupel game usually has. Being able to do that said a lot about the team, though.
Also, don’t worry. Tennessee football still had plenty of notable plays in the game that everybody will want to remember, and that started on the first drive of the game. Hendon Hooker to Jalin Hyatt was a part of all this again. Let’s take a look at some of the standout highlights from the Vols’ win over UK.
Hendon Hooker 55-yard touchdown pass to Jalin Hyatt
Juwan Mitchell interception
Hendon Hooker 31-yard touchdown pass to Jalin Hyatt
Doneiko Slaughter interception
Jaylen Wright stays on his feet for 25-yard run
Hendon Hooker 8-yard touchdown run
Byron Young sack
Some of the highlights couldn’t be pulled. Hendon Hooker had a touchdown pass to Jabari Small late that blatantly seemed like a way for Heupel to pile on Mark Stoops and the Stoops family. Princeton Fant had a touchdown run. Then there was a Brandon Turnage interception, and that was part of the story of the night.
While the offense still had a few big plays, the defense still had more highlights in this one because of the three picks. We were able to put two of them on display, but the truth of the matter is the defense was the highlight story for the Vols all night.
That’s a huge change for Tennessee football as it gets set to visit Georgia next week. The Vols haven’t lost anything on offense, but they were much closer to full strength in the secondary in this one, and it seemed to show. Heading into Athens, they seem to have everything coming together at just the right time.