From the University of Tennessee athletic department
KNOXVILLE, TN - Tennessee didn't have much trouble
moving the ball against Akron on Saturday night, pulling away for a 47-26
victory in the Vols' last game before facing four straight ranked SEC
Tennessee pulled away from the Zips (1-3) in the second half to
reach 3-1 for the first time since 2006.
Beginning its second possession of the second half tied 23-23,
Tennessee moved deep into Akron territory but appeared to be stopped
when officials said tight end Mychal Rivera fumbled. A video review overturned the call, and the Vols scored three plays later to take the lead for good at 30-23.
The Zips drove for a field goal on their next possession, and it wasn't until Justin Hunter scored on a 19-yard pass from Tyler Bray that Tennessee truly seemed in control. That score, which gave UT a 40-26 lead, was set up by an Eric Gordon interception one play earlier.
Former walk-on Jacob Carter had his first career touchdown, giving the Vols a 47-26 lead.
Kicker Derrick Brodus - a current walk-on - had four field goals for Tennessee, which topped 600 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tyler Bray finished with 401 yards passing, the second time in his career he's thrown for more than 400 in a single game.
It was a solid night on the ground for the Vols as well.
Rajion Neal had a career-best 151 yards on 22 carries, and Tennessee finished with 232 yards rushing.
Akron's Avis Commack intercepted Bray in the first minute of the
game, returning it 44 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Vols
answered, driving 75 yards in 13 plays and tying the game on A.J. Johnson's 2-yard touchdown run.
The teams traded a pair of field goals - Akron's Robert Stein
connecting from 45 and 32 yards and Brodus hitting from 37 and 23
yards - before the Vols broke a 13-13 tie midway through the second
Bray connected with Zach Rogers for a 48-yard gain to the Akron 5. Two plays later, he found tight end Brendan Downs - playing in his first game this season after suffering a knee injury late in fall camp - for a 6-yard touchdown.
The Zips answered with Stein's third field goal of the first half, making the score 20-16 with 5:04 left before halftime.
running back Quentin Hines outran the Vols' defense for a 70-yard
touchdown, giving Akron a 23-20 lead.
A 35-yard catch-and-run by Marlin Lane put the Vols inside the Akron 10 on the final drive of the first half, but they had to settle for a Brodus field goal going into halftime.
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