Tennessee has reportedly settled in on its starting quarterback as the Volunteers take on Tennessee Tech at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

According to GoVols247 and 247Sports’ Patrick Brown, Hendon Hooker will start behind center against the Golden Eagles. Hooker will play in place of Joe Milton, who suffered a lower-body injury in the Vols’ loss to Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

Head coach Josh Heupel understandably played his cards close to the vest when it came to the choice between Hooker and sophomore Harrison Bailey, but, at least for now, the Virginia Tech grad transfer has received the call.

Hooker was with the Hokies for 4 seasons, redshirting in 2017 before seeing time in 6 games during the 2018 season. In 2019, he started 8 times, going 99-of-162 for 1,555 yards, 13 touchdowns, and just 2 interceptions. Through 7 starts in 8 games in 2020, he threw 9 touchdowns but saw his interception total jump to 5 despite throwing for 1,339 yards on 98-of-150 passing. He showcased his dual-threat abilities, though, rushing for 9 touchdowns and 620 yards in 2020.

Against the Panthers, Hooker totaled 188 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick on 15-of-21 passing. He also recorded 9 carries for 49 yards.

The Vols and Golden Eagles kick off at noon ET, with the game streaming on ESPN+.

Read More

Sports betting in Tennessee 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.