Aug 31, 2013
KNOXVILLE - The football team opened up the Butch Jones era Saturday with the program's 800th win, trouncing Austin Peay State University, 45-0 in front of an opening night crowd of 97,169 at Neyland Stadium.
"First off, I'm proud of our program for accomplishing a milestone with our 800th program victory," said Jones. "There are not many programs in the country that can say that, and it's a tribute to all the great players who have come before us and have laid this tradition, this passion. So congratulations to them."
From the start, the Vols hit the ground running - literally. Senior running back Rajion Neal carried the ball for 141 yards on 16 carries and one score while junior Marlin Lane ground out 38 yards rushing on six carries and two touchdowns. Both exited the game after the first half.
Neal's 47-yard run in the beginning of the first quarter broke the scoreless tie and ignited the Volunteer attack.
From there the Vols' offense cruised scoring five more touchdowns in the first half. Three Justin Worley passes resulted in points as the junior quarterback connected with wide receivers Devrin Young and Alton Howard and tight end Brendon Downs.
Worley, who played only the first half as well, finished 11 for 14 with 104 yards passing and the three touchdowns, keeping the Vols from having to punt in the first half.
Just as impressive as the offense was Jones' defense which only allowed 211 total yards and created two turnovers, helping lead to the shut out.
It was the first time in 84 games that Austin Peay had been held scoreless. The last time they failed to score in a game was on Sept. 24, 2005 when they lost to Drake University 54-0.
Defensive lineman Daniel Hood's early tipped pass and interception set up a Lane 14-yard touchdown run putting Volunteers up 14-0 early.
The first team defense would allow only 99 first half yards, shutting out the visiting Governors in the half in route to a 42-0 halftime blow out.
The third quarter saw the removal of many Volunteer first team players and veterans and with them the threatening offense of the first half.
Consequently, several Vol newcomers made their collegiate debuts including receivers Josh Smith, Marquez North, Paul Harris and Johnathon Johnson who all contributed catches to the young receiving corps.
Freshmen Malik Foreman's interception early in the fourth quarter also helped to stop an Austin Peay drive that had reached the Volunteer red zone.
Leading the way for Austin Peay was junior quarterback Andrew Spivey who passed for 94 yards and completed 11 of his 22 attempts.
The Governors' Darryl Clack had 3 catches for 80 yards, leading the team in receiving while running back Tim Phillips accounted for 38 yards rushing on 8 carries.
Part of the success for the Volunteers was a result of their composure.
Jones has stressed the importance of playing fundamentally sound football and it showed Saturday as the Vols finished the game without a penalty. "The big thing is that I wanted a clean game," said Jones. "I didn't want to have 10 men on the field and have to call unnecessary timeouts. I thought our special teams did a great job in terms of getting the right people on the field."
The last time Tennessee committed no penalties was on Dec. 1, 2007 against Louisiana State University in the SEC Championship game.