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Hendon Hooker Leads the Pride of the Southland in Final Neyland Game

Hendon Hooker
Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker. Photo via Tennessee Athletics.

After defeating Missouri and subsequently finding victory in his final game in Neyland Stadium, Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker did what legendary quarterbacks do in Knoxville.

Lead the world-class Pride of the Southland marching band.

Hooker climbed up to the top of the ladder, waited for his cue, and then started conducting away as Rocky Top began blaring from the band.

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“That’s always kind of been a dream for me,” Hooker said about the moment with the band after the game. “Just coming here and seeing Peyton stand up there and conduct the band. I always thought that was the coolest thing ever, to be able to strike up the band. And that’s what we want to do every week and put the ball in the endzone. Strike up the band.”

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As Hooker alluded to, Peyton Manning’s moment of leading the band eventually became a tradition passed down to some of the great Tennessee quarterbacks over the years. Former Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs was the most recent to do so before Hooker after the Missouri game.

Hendon Hooker ended the game on Saturday with 355 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-25 passing. The Heisman candidate also added in some spectacular runs, totaling 50 yards and one score on the ground.

No. 5 Tennessee emphatically defeated Missouri by a score of 66-24 in the final home game of the 2022 season on Saturday afternoon in Knoxville. The Volunteers needed a statement to the playoff committee and found one with their 42-point victory on Senior Day.

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