There must be something different in the water on Rocky Top. For all the celebrating Tennessee did a week ago, it hardly showed any sign of a hangover. Josh Heupel’s Volunteers are now 7-0 following a 65-24 homecoming win over UT Martin.

Early in the first quarter, it looked like we might have another shootout on hand in Rocky Top. UT Martin went 75 yards on 8 plays to make it 7-7. Down 14-7, the Skyhawks were driving again until walk-on William Wright intercepted a pass at the 23-yard line. From there, the Vol defense tightened up.

At halftime, it was 52-7 Tennessee, a modern-era program record for first-half points. Hendon Hooker boosted his Heisman Trophy campaign by adding 3 passing scores (18-of-24 for 276 yards). The passing highlight of the day, though, might go to Princeton Fant.

The tight end, who had 2 rushing scores, found Jaylin Hyatt for a 66-yard touchdown. Hyatt continued his monster 2022 season 7 catches for 174 yards and 2 more TDs. Hyatt is the first Vol since Marcus Nash to record multiple TDs in 3-straight games.

Hooker’s day was done after 2 quarters. Joe Milton led a 5-play, 75-yard drive to open the 3rd quarter for the Vols, extending the lead to 58-7. In the 4th quarter, Milton launched a deep ball for a wide-open Squirrel White, resulting in a 64-yard touchdown. UT Martin managed 3 second-half scores, including a pair of touchdowns.

In this kind of game, many fans are most concerned with the injury situation. Brandon Turnage left the game early after hitting his head against the wall behind the end zone. In the third quarter, Alyssa Lang shared a Turnage update on the SEC Network broadcast, relaying that the junior cornerback would be out for the rest of the game. She added that Turnage should not miss the Week 9 game against Kentucky, a key showdown to keep UT on the path to playing for an SEC Championship.

Early in the 4th quarter, Tennessee DL Elijah Simmons hobbled off the field after being examined on the field.

After the thrilling win over Alabama, there were plenty of “hangover” concerns for Tennessee in Week 8. The schedule set up perfectly for the Vols with an FCS game. Judging by the starters’ first-half performance, Tennessee did not even need a “hangover” gimme game.

Down 7 starters and playing a noon game against an FCS opponent, Tennessee rolled along to another big win.