Tennessee football has finished the regular season 10-2 in Josh Heupel’s 2nd year as head coach. The Vols downed Vanderbilt 56-0 Saturday night to earn their first 10-win regular season since 2003.

It was Joe Milton III under center in place of Hendon Hooker following an awful ACL tear last week against South Carolina. Bazooka Joe (as they call him in Knoxville) was decent in his first start in 441 days, throwing for 147 yards and 1 touchdown.

He set the tone early, connecting with Jalin Hyatt for a 61-yard completion. Hyatt had enough of a cushion that he could have scored, but lost his footing upon catching the bullet from Milton’s right arm.

This ball could not have been thrown any better.

Speaking of Hyatt.

The junior receiver has been one of the best in the nation this season, based partially on the speed you saw in the clip above. He’s also just completed one of the best regular seasons for a Tennessee wide receiver in its history.

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.

Hyatt needed 117 yards against the Commodores to surpass Robert Meachem’s season receiving record of 2,198 yards in 2006. He had 86 by halftime and needs just 32 yards to break the record with 1 game to go.

Jabari Small didn’t break any records, but he was incredible all evening against a struggling Vanderbilt defensive line. He went off for 79 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, including this 52-yard house call to start the 3rd quarter.

He made not 1, but 2 Commodores miss on this run, with some help from Dayne Davis. It was Small’s longest touchdown rush of the season.

Jaylen Wright was equally as impressive. He broke off a 50-yard touchdown run and an 83-yard touchdown run en route towards a 160-yard, 1 touchdown day at the office. Is that good?

Even Dylan Sampson got in on the fun. He rushed for an 80-yard touchdown in the late stages of the 4th quarter, representing Tennessee’s 4th rushing touchdown of more than 50 yards on the day. Sampson finished with 11 carries for 131 yards and 1 touchdown on the evening.

In total, Tennessee rushed for 371 yards and 6 touchdowns. Princeton Fant also got in on the fun.

Defensively, Tennessee was incredible. The Vols put last week’s horrific performance in the rearview, holding the Commodores to just 254 total yards and zero scores.

Aaron Beasley and Jeremy Banks stood out, as did Tennessee’s secondary despite being down Brandon Turnage, Trevon Flowers, De’Shawn Rucker and more. Wesley Walker especially played well on a makeshift secondary unit.

The Vols even had some good things happening for them on special teams. Dee Williams finally got his punt return touchdown early, returning a punt 73-yards to give the Vols a 28-0 lead.

He had a pretty incredible celebration, too.

Squirrel White had a pretty good return a few possessions later, setting up the 50-yard touchdown rush by Jaylen Wright.

The Vols have put themselves in a great position for a strong bowl game after the win and LSU’s loss to Texas A&M. The Vols will leapfrog the Tigers and may even have enough to jump Alabama for a spot in the Sugar Bowl. After all, South Carolina beat Clemson Saturday afternoon to make Tennessee’s loss to the Gamecocks look slightly better on paper.

The Vols also knocked the Commodores out of bowl eligibility, winning their 4th straight over their in-state foes. Vanderbilt officially finishes the year 5-7.

Now all there is to do is wait, get healthy and make future plans. The Vols, even down Hooker, proved once again to be a top offensive unit in the country.

There’s still plenty of history to be written for the 2022 Tennessee Volunteers.