Vols Overpower Skyhawks 65-24


The No. 14 ranked University of Tennessee at Martin football team squared off against Football Bowl Subdivision’s No. 3 ranked Tennessee on Saturday afternoon and could not overcome the Vols high scoring offense, falling on the road 65-24.

The Skyhawks (4-3) faced a big deficit in the first half but rallied back to score three touchdowns and a field goal in the contest – including outscoring the Vols 17-13 in the second half. UT Martin saw its offense do nice things against the Tennessee secondary with 392 yards of total offense, including 316 of those yards coming through the air.

Quarterback Dresser Winn found success through the air as one of the Football Championship Subdivision’s top signal callers completed 26-of-45 pass attempts for 301 yards and two touchdowns. The contest marked the eighth 300-yard passing performance of his career and fifth this season. Additionally, his yardage moved him into fifth place in UT Martin history by bumping his career passing total up to 4,934 yards while also moving into a tie for seventh place with 32 passing touchdowns.

The receiver group had a few bright spots with standout Colton Dowell tallying seven receptions for 112 yards on the afternoon. Dowell now has 10 career 100-yard receiving performances while bringing his career total up to 2,453 yards – sitting just 41 yards behind the program’s all-time record. Others highlighting the stat sheet were EJ Smoot with 88 yards and George Qualls, Jr., who posted a career day with 66 yards for two touchdowns.

While the Skyhawks joined the other six teams on Tennessee’s schedule by struggling to slow down one of the nation’s top offenses, the team still made plays. Linebacker John H. Ford II led all players with a game-high 10 tackles – including 1.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore Carson Evans also tallied a career-high nine tackles in the contest while Jay Woods forced the team’s lone turnover with his second interception in as many weeks.

“They are certainly good on offense and put us in some binds,” UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson said. “The kids kept fighting and we won the second half, which is what we preached at halftime. I’m proud of our kids. Dresser and Colton had nice days. You know, both of those guys are up for FCS awards so I’m proud for them to be able to compete and keep their names out there in those ballots. We just have to play better as a team around them. The kids battled, they’ll see some things on tape tomorrow that we got to do better. We will just turn our attention to the rest of our FCS and OVC schedule.”

Tennessee (7-0) lived up to its billing with a high-speed offense and tempo throughout the first half by scoring 52 points before heading into the break. The Vols racked up 696 yards of total offense while scoring nine touchdowns. Heisman candidate Hendon Hooker completed 18-of-24 pass attempts for 276 yards and three touchdowns in the contest while fellow receivers Jalin Hyatt (174 yards, two touchdowns), Squirrel White (122 yards, one touchdown) and Ramel Keyton (77 yards, two touchdowns) had big days in the pass game.

UT Martin will now turn its attention back to the remainder of its schedule against FCS opponents, beginning with another road matchup at Houston Christian on Saturday, Oct. 29.