KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Volunteers scored early and often against the Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon, easing to a 45-20 in Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC) was superior in every offensive category — outgaining the visitors 472-370 on the day.
Hendon Hooker completed 17-of-23 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. The Virginia Tech transfer also added 66 total yards and a score with his legs.
Tiyon Evans picked up 119 yards and a rushing touchdown, as well.
“The ability to be multiple, to be aggressive,” Vols head coach Josh Heupel said. “Our kids are competing really hard and I think that’s the first step to making this fanbase and this state extremely proud of who we are on the football field.”
“Our goal on every play is to go as fast as we can on every play and literally every play and we do accomplish that good things happen on the back end,” Hooker said.
In their new alternate uniforms, the Volunteer defense swallowed up South Carolina, sacking the quarterback four times and coming up with a crucial redzone interception in the second quarter.
“I’ll say this is a big win but we just take it a game a time next week we are on to next week,” sophomore Brandon Turnage said.
“I felt like a nighthawk everybody was excited about it I was like man thinking about it we have these black jerseys and the legends are coming back in town,” wideout Velus Jones Jr. said. “We are going to have to set it off.”
The Gamecocks (3-3, 0-3 SEC) were led by quarterback Luke Doty, who threw for 167 yards without a touchdown or interception.
Next Saturday, the Vols will welcome back former head coach Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss to Neyland Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.