NCAAF: No. 15 Tennessee cruises past Akron, 63-6


Hendon Hooker tossed two touchdown passes to Jalin Hyatt, and Dylan Sampson and Jaylen Wright each rushed for a pair of scores to lift No. 15 Tennessee to a 63-6 victory over visiting Akron on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Hooker completed 14 of 18 passes for 298 yards, and Hyatt reeled in five catches for a career-high 166 yards.

Joe Milton III relieved Hooker and connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass to Ramel Keyton and a 38-yard scoring strike to Walker Merrill.

Tayven Jackson added a rushing touchdown for the Volunteers, who have started the season 3-0 for the first time since winning their first five contests in 2016.

Tennessee held a decisive 676-276 edge in total yards, including a 238-35 advantage on the ground. The Volunteers also converted all four of their fourth-down attempts.

All was not rosy for Tennessee, however, as running back Jabari Small (knee) and wide receiver Cedric Tillman (knee) sustained injuries in the first half.

DJ Irons completed 32 of 44 passes for 241 yards for the Zips (1-2), who have been outscored 115-6 in their last two games. Akron dropped a 52-0 decision to then-No. 14 Michigan State on Sept. 10.

Tennessee overcame a missed field goal on its first possession to quickly take control of the contest.

The Volunteers forced a three-and-out before Wright rushed for a 2-yard touchdown to cap a seven-play, 74-yard drive.

Another three-and-out for Akron was followed up by Sampson taking a pitch from Hooker and extending the ball just inside the pylon to score from 9 yards out on a fourth-down play. Sampson completed a five-play, 79-yard drive and gave Tennessee a 14-0 lead with 5:52 remaining in the first quarter.

The Zips mustered six plays for just 11 yards on their next possession before Hooker connected with a wide-open Hyatt down the right sideline on a 57-yard score early in the second quarter.

Sampson added his second touchdown of the night midway into the quarter following an 11-yard rush off an option.

Hooker connected on a 48-yard strike to Hyatt to stake Tennessee to a 35-0 lead just before halftime.

Hyatt reeled in a 47-yard reception to set up Wright’s 1-yard score on the Volunteers’ first drive of the third quarter.

The rest was academic.

–Field Level Media

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