Tennessee remained undefeated on the season, defeating UT Martin, 65-24, Saturday afternoon at Neyland Stadium.
The Vols jumped out to a 52-7 first half lead as there was no Alabama hangover from Tennessee. The 52 first half points were the most Tennessee’s ever scored in a half.
Tennessee’s slot receivers had a massive day in the win. Jalin Hyatt caught seven passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns while Squirrel White caught five passes for 122 yards and another touchdown.
“Obviously the middle of the football field, the slot position had a huge day,” Heupel said. “Jalin with seven receptions, Squirrel with five. Massive yardage from both of them. Just structurally how they (UT Martin) played. I thought Squirrel, from the jump, did a really nice job. Read coverage the right way and then went and made competitive plays. The deep ball, coming back to it and going up and high pointing it. He continues to get better in what we’re doing.”
While Tennessee dominated in the first half, its back ups and reserves struggled some in the second half. The Skyhawks even outscored Tennessee, 14-13, in the final two quarters.
Tennessee’s offensive second half success came from big pass plays as Joe Milton III completed three passes over 30 yards.
“I didn’t think our young guys performed the way that I thought they were capable of,” Heupel said. “We talked a lot about everybody inside of our program taking a step forward. It’s not that they didn’t prepare the right way but it’s different being out there. Just because the guy in front of you makes a play doesn’t mean you’re going to make it. Great opportunity for them to see themselves on film, learn from it and get better.”
Tennessee’s head coach also discussed Hendon Hooker breaking a program career record, Dee Williams’ success as a punt returner and more.