Tennessee football made its season debut in the AP Top 25 Monday, coming in at No. 24 following its season opening victory over Ball State.
Tennessee remained on the outside looking in of the Coaches Poll, coming in at No. 26 after receiving 143 votes to No. 25 BYU’s 170 votes.
The Vols were the first team out of the preseason poll and quickly found their way in the top 25 after decimating Ball State, 59-10.
Hendon Hooker and Tennessee’s offense began the season on a roaring start, scoring 45 points (six touchdowns and an field goal) in the eight drives Hooker played against the Cardinals. Despite his day ending early in the second half, Hooker completed 18-of-25 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns while adding a pair of rushing touchdowns as well.
The Vols jumped Houston, Cincinatti and Oregon to land at No. 24 in the poll while Florida jumped Tennessee following its win over Utah.
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Tennessee jumping into the top 25 sets the stage for round two of the Johnny Majors Classic this weekend. The Vols travel to Pittsburgh to face the 17th ranked Panthers and avenge last season’s, 41-34, loss in Knoxville.
Pitt opened the season with a dramatic, 38-31, win over arch rival West Virginia. The Panthers trailed by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but a late score and a M.J. Devonshire pick six lifted them to the win.
Tennessee is one of eightSEC teams in the AP poll following week one, joining No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Georgia, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 12 Florida, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 20 Kentucky and No. 22 Ole Miss.
The Vols face Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida this season while not battling against SEC West foes Arkansas, Ole Miss or Texas A&M.