Obviously in a 56-0 victory, you’re going to have lots of highlights, and that was no different for Tennessee football as they dominated the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville Saturday night to close out the regular season. The Vols made big play after big play, mostly in the second half, to coast through a dominating night.
Ironically given the score and Josh Heupel’s offense, the highlights were almost exclusively on the ground in this game. UT relies on the running game for its offense to take off, but the passing attack is usually where the big plays come from. That certainly wasn’t the case in this one.
As we get set to bring you video of the big plays in the game, it’ll become clear how entertaining those runs were. There were some passes, though, and a big special teams play, but the run game was the story. Let’s dive in and see why here. These are the main highlights from Tennessee football’s 2022 regular season finale.
Joe Milton III 61-yard pass to Jalin Hyatt
Princeton Fant 4th and goal second-effort touchdown run
Dee Williams 73-yard punt return touchdown
Jabari Small 52-yard touchdown run
Jaylen Wright 50-yard touchdown run
Jaylen Wright 83-yard and Dylan Sampson 80-yard touchdown runs
There were a few other highlights that we couldn’t pull. One of them was the touchdown pass Joe Milton III threw to Walker Merrill. It was a seven-yard TD, but given the storyline behind Milton coming in with Hendon Hooker now out for the season, it’s a highlight that should have been out there. Milton himself deserves it.
Dee Williams’ punt return wasn’t his only special teams success either. He also had a 19-yard return, but most notably, he forced a fumble on a fake punt. Meanwhile, the defense pitched a shutout with 13 tackles for a loss and three sacks. None of their big plays made the highlight reel, but the unit deserves a shoutout.
The dramatic turnaround of Tennessee football’s defense was the main story on that side of the ball beyond just the highlights. It was more of just a complete performance, as that Williams forced fumble was the only turnover for either team in this game. Still, even without that unit, the highlights were plentiful in this one.