Tennessee’s 10-2 regular season in review

KNOXVILLE, TN - September 01, 2022 - Wide receiver Jalin Hyatt #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Ball State Cardinals and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. / Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics


Sept. 1 in Knoxville

Tennessee 59, Ball State 10

Tennessee receiver Jalin Hyatt (11) celebrated after his 23-yard touchdown catch just 23 seconds into the 126th season opener in program history. The Volunteers racked up 570 yards and 32 first downs against the Cardinals, collecting their largest victory margin over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since a 63-7 demolishing of Western Kentucky in 2009.


Sept. 10 in Pittsburgh

Tennessee 34, Pitt 27 (OT)

Cedric Tillman hauled in this 28-yard touchdown reception in overtime, and the Vols used a defensive stand to defeat the Panthers in Acrisure Stadium at the second annual Johnny Majors Classic. Tennessee fumbled twice and had a punt blocked in the second half before topping a ranked nonconference team on the road for the first time since a 2003 victory at Miami.


Sept. 17 in Knoxville

Tennessee 63, Akron 6

Jaylen Wright rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns as Tennessee amassed 676 yards in front of what would be the first of six consecutive Neyland Stadium sellout crowds this season. The Vols had 416 of their yards by halftime, but the easy win was soured by Tillman leaving midway through the second quarter with a high-ankle sprain that sidelined him for five weeks.


Sept. 24 in Knoxville

Tennessee 38, Florida 33

Bru McCoy had five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown to help Tennessee defeat Florida for just the second time since 2005. The Vols racked up 576 yards and never punted against the Gators, with Hendon Hooker throwing for 349 yards and three scores. Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson threw for 453 yards and rallied his team from a 38-21 deficit.


Oct. 8 in Baton Rouge, La.

Tennessee 40, LSU 13

Edge rusher Byron Young was a defensive menace, collecting 2.5 sacks at the expense of LSU's Jayden Daniels, as the Vols played their most complete contest of the Josh Heupel era. Hooker threw for two scores and Jabari Small rushed for two more, and Tennessee's special teams recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and produced a 58-yard Dee Williams punt return.


Oct. 15 in Knoxville

Tennessee 52, Alabama 49

Tennessee ended a 15-year losing streak against its longtime rival in dramatic fashion, compiling 567 yards against the star-studded Crimson Tide defense and sealing the win on Chase McGrath's 40-yard field goal as time expired. Hooker and Hyatt teamed for a school-record five touchdown connections as the Vols survived 455 aerial yards by the dynamic Bryce Young.


Oct. 22 in Knoxville

Tennessee 65, UT Martin 24

Sixth-year senior tight end Princeton Fant had touchdown runs of 1 and 11 yards, a 17-yard reception and a 66-yard touchdown pass to Hyatt as the Vols displayed no hangover effects from the win and ensuing field-storming against Alabama. Hooker threw for 276 yards and three touchdowns in just the first half, while Hyatt had seven catches for 174 yards and two scores.


Oct. 29 in Knoxville

Tennessee 44, Kentucky 6

Da'Jon Terry had one of Tennessee's four sacks of Will Levis as the Vols, wearing black helmets, black jerseys and black pants for the first time in program history, obliterated the Wildcats in this rivalry's first matchup of ranked teams. Hooker had 245 passing yards and three scores, with two going to Hyatt. Levis threw for just 98 yards and had three interceptions.


Nov. 5 in Athens, Ga.

Georgia 27, Tennessee 13

Hooker gathered the Vols together before the biggest game in Sanford Stadium history, with Tennessee No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings and reigning national champion Georgia at No. 3. The Bulldogs would hold the Vols to 289 yards and got their needed offense with Stetson Bennett's two touchdown passes and Ladd McConkey's 94 receiving yards that included a 37-yard score.


Nov. 12 in Knoxville

Tennessee 66, Missouri 24

Small scored the first touchdown of the afternoon, and the Vols never stopped scoring, racking up a school-record 724 yards in the Neyland Stadium finale. Hooker threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns in his final home game, with Hyatt and McCoy combining on 16 catches for 257 yards. Hyatt extended his single-season program mark with a 15th receiving score.


Nov. 19 in Columbia, S.C.

South Carolina 63, Tennessee 38

Safety Jaylen McCollough made a rare stop in a defensive debacle that eliminated the No. 5 Vols from the CFP picture. Tennessee was a three-touchdown favorite but yielded 35 first-half points and was no match for Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler, who threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns. Hooker suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fourth quarter.


Nov. 26 in Nashville

Tennessee 56, Vanderbilt 0

Dee Williams had a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown midway through the second quarter to put the Vols up 21-0 in this rout that clinched a 10-win season, the program's first since 2007 (which included a bowl victory). Joe Milton III made his first start of the season and found Hyatt for 61 yards on the game's third play, but the big story was Small, Wright and Dylan Sampson combining on 28 carries for 370 yards and five scores.