No. 21 Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III threw for 383 yards and accounted for six touchdowns, as the Volunteers scored a 45-24 win over Vanderbilt in their annual rivalry game in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday afternoon.
The Vols (8-4, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) never trailed and held a 617-306 edge in total offense.
Vanderbilt (2-10, 0-8) ended the season on a 10-game losing streak.
On the Vols’ first possession of the second half, Milton hit Ramel Keyton with a 46-yard touchdown, Keyton’s second of the day.
Milton accounted for his sixth score on a 2-yard rush with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Vols knocked Vanderbilt starting quarterback AJ Swann out late in the third quarter. Vanderbilt then went to Ken Seals, who in the fourth quarter added a 1-yard scoring run and a 5-yard scoring strike to Quincy Skinner.
Tennessee took a 31-10 halftime lead and held a 347-189 edge in total yards, with Milton accounting for 252 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and a rushing score.
The Vols scored one minute into the game when Milton hit Keaton with a 56-yard touchdown pass.
But the Commodores struck right back to tie it when Swann hit Junior Sherrill with a 19-yard touchdown pass.
And then Vanderbilt’s offense stalled, leading to two more Tennessee scores.
The first came when Dee Williams returned a punt to the Commodores’ 39, setting up Milton’s throw to tight end McCallan Castles in the left corner of the end zone for a 10-yard score.
The Vols then partially blocked Matt Hayball’s punt, took over at their 27 and needed just four plays to score, when Milton hit Jacob Warren for a 34-yard touchdown.
The Commodores finally slowed the tempo, going 54 yards in 11 plays and getting Jacob Borcila’s field goal to pull within 11.
But Tennessee again answered with a seven-play, 59-yard drive that resulted in Charles Campbell’s 24-yard field goal with 6:04 left before halftime.
On Vanderbilt’s ensuing drive, a fight erupted after the Vols hit Swann on consecutive dead-ball plays. Both benches cleared and officials assessed offsetting personal fouls on each team. That drive ended with a fourth-and-36 and another Commodores punt.
Williams’s 20-yard return set the Vols up at the Vandy 46, and Milton added a 2-yard rushing score with six seconds left in the half.
–Field Level Media