KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee had no problems when rival Kentucky rolled into Neyland Stadium on Saturday, winning 44-6.
The third-ranked Vols jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the first drive and never trailed after that. Quarterback Hendon Hooker found wide receiver Jalin Hyatt for a 55-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the game. That receiving touchdown tied the school record for Hyatt.
Kentucky scored a touchdown of their own later in the first quarter when running back Chris Rodriguez scored on the ground, but the Wildcats missed the extra point so UT maintained the lead, 7-6.
The Vols extended their lead in the second quarter when tight end Princeton Fant scored another rushing touchdown to make it 13-6 after UT missed an extra point of their own.
Later in the second, running back Jaylen Wright scored a one-yard rushing touchdown and Tennessee went up 206.
Kentucky was driving in the redzone down two touchdowns. Linebacker Huwan Mitchell came up with a timely interception off of Kentucky quarterback Will Levis and UT didn't let up any points. The Vols didn't score any points off the turnover.
As the half was winding down, the Vols got the ball back with less than a minute to go. They move at lightning speed and scored in less than thirty seconds, as Hooker found Hyatt again. That touchdown was 21 yards and gave Tennessee a 27-6 lead
Hyatt broke the Tennessee single-season record for receiving touchdowns with 14 in just eight games, topping former Vols wide receiver Marcus Nash who set the record of 13 back in 1998.
Tennessee kept rolling in the second half. A field goal from kicker Chase McGrath put them up 30-6. Hooker had a rushing touchdown later in the quarter to put them up 37-6. Hooker later threw a touchdown pass to running back Jabari Small for a 44-6 lead.
The Vols defense continued to dominate in the second half. Defensive backs Brandon Turnage and Doneiko Slaughter came up with an interception.
Tennessee stays undefeated on the season and therefore remains perfect in SEC play for an 8-0 record. This is their fifth-ranked win of the season.
The Vols play No. 1 Georgia next weekend on the road in Athens. That game is at 3:30 p.m.