Tennessee moved to distance itself from a pair of defeats to open the season, getting three touchdowns less than seven minutes into the game and rolling to a 45-0 victory Saturday over visiting FCS opponent Chattanooga in Knoxville, Tenn.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was 7 of 8 passing for 142 yards and three touchdowns, while Ty Chandler led a balanced rushing attack with 46 yards and a TD as the Volunteers (1-2) move into Southeastern Conference play next week with some daunting challenges ahead.
Tennessee will travel to No. 9 Florida next week and face No. 3 Georgia at home on Oct. 5.
Running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks had 85 yards rushing for Chattanooga (1-2), which was held to just 76 yards passing. Tennessee had a 360-227 advantage in total yards, while the Volunteers’ defense forced five turnovers.
Special teams set the tone for the Vols as Chandler returned the opening kickoff 58 yards and then scored on a 13-yard run on the sixth play from scrimmage. The second Tennessee TD came on a blocked punt by Tyler Byrd, with Brandon Johnson returning the ball 24 yards for the score.
The Vols finished off their dominating opening quarter by getting a 12-yard TD pass from Guarantano to Jauan Jennings, while Darrell Taylor recovered a fumble on the final play of the period at the Vols’ 11-yard line to halt a scoring drive by the Mocs.
Cedric Tillman and Marquez Callaway also caught first-half TD passes from Guarantano as Tennessee improved to 39-2-2 all time against Chattanooga in the first meeting between the schools since 2014. Tennessee led 38-0 at halftime.
Jennings’ TD was his only catch of the game, giving him 99 receptions in his career and moving him one away from becoming the 22nd Vols player with 100.
The Mocs appeared to avert the shutout with just over three minutes to play, but wide receiver Reginald Henderson was called for offensive pass interference, wiping out what would have been his 12-yard TD catch.
—Field Level Media