19-of-25 for 245 yards, 3 TDs; 10 carries for 23 yards, 1 TD
There’s nothing Jalin Hyatt does that Hendon Hooker’s not responsible for. Well, almost nothing. Princeton Fant did have that touchdown pass to Hyatt against the UT-Martin Skyhawks. Anyway, Tennessee football relied on Hooker once again, and he delivered once again, this time with four total touchdowns and no turnovers in the game.
In both of his touchdown passes to Hyatt, Hooker looked off the safety to make the throw. Kentucky relies on quarterback containment and avoiding big plays a lot more than other teams, so Hooker was going to be forced to make plays from the pocket.
He did that perfectly. That’s not to say Hooker still didn’t run when things broke down sometimes, and he was sacked twice, but for the most part, he was fine in the pocket, and all of his runs were smart runs. Those big plays to Hyatt don’t happen if Hooker wasn’t forcing Kentucky to respect the middle of the field.
Bru McCoy was a huge part of that, grabbing six catches for 54 yards, and in his return, Cedric Tillman had four catches for 22 yards. There was also a touchdown pass to Jabari Small late. Small had 21 carries for 78 yards and two catches for 17 yards, including that score, so he deserves a shoutout as well.