Vols Roll Past Chattanooga, 45-0

A dominant performance in all three phases propelled Tennessee to a 45-0 victory over Chattanooga at Neyland Stadium Saturday.

“It’s really nice for these guys. We got a good win and got five turnovers today, which was very important. We didn’t turn the ball over, which was probably the difference in the game,” head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “We created some opportunities in special teams and with the turnovers, we were able to keep them out of the end zone. I don’t know how many guys we played, but we had the opportunity to play a whole lot of guys. That was good for those guys. We definitely improved from last week to this week. It was a good day. We’ve got to be more consistent on both sides of the ball and we’ll do that the more these guys get an opportunity to play.”

Tennessee outgained UTC 360-227 in total yards, forced five turnovers and was a perfect 4-for-4 in the red zone– with three of those possessions resulting in touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano tossed a career-high three touchdown passes—all coming in the first half—and accounted for 142 yards through the air while completing seven of eight pass attempts.

The Vols spread the wealth all afternoon, with five separate running backs gaining 20 or more yards on the ground, along with eight different receivers hauling in at least one catch.

UT came out of the gates quickly, as Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 58 yards into UTC territory before the Vols went 41 yards­–all on the ground­–in six plays to open up the scoring and take a 7-0 lead.

On the Mocs’ ensuing possession, UT forced a quick three-and-out, followed by a blocked punt returned by Brandon Johnson for a 28-yard touchdown to increase the Vol lead to 14-0. The return was Johnson’s second career touchdown.

The defense continued its stellar start to the opening quarter when Nigel Warrior picked off Mocs quarterback Nick Tiano on third down and returned the ball to the UTC 11-yard line. The Vols capitalized on the takeaway when Guarantano found Jauan Jennings wide open in the middle of the end zone, giving UT a 21-0 lead with more than eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.

In the quarter’s final seconds, the Big Orange forced their second turnover of the contest when linebacker Darrell Taylor corralled a mishandled snap to give UT the ball back inside its own 20.

Tennessee proceeded to reel off three consecutive scoring drives in the second quarter.

Guarantano capped off the Vols’ next two drives with a 39-yard strike to senior receiver Marquez Callaway and a 29-yarder over the middle to freshman tight end Cedric Tillman to give Tennessee a 35-0 lead. Tillman’s TD was the first of his career.

Vols’ kicker Brent Cimaglia closed the half with 34-yard field goal to increase the UT advantage to 38-0. It was Cimaglia’s 10th consecutive make dating to last season.

Following a fourth forced three-and-out and a mishandled snap on the ensuing punt, UT took over at the Chattanooga 25. Freshman quarterback Brian Maurer proceeded to lead the offense down the field in three plays, finishing the drive himself on a six-yard run for his first career touchdown.

The teams later traded defensive stands, with UT forcing the Mocs to turn the ball over on downs three separate times in the second half to solidify the final score line.

Saturday marked the Vols’ first shutout since defeating UTEP 24-0 last season.

Source: The University of Tennessee Athletic Department