Tennessee football is aiming for its first 3-0 start since 2016 when it plays Akron.
This is a chance to notch an easy victory in between two key games.
The No. 16 Vols (2-0) are coming off a big road win over Pittsburgh, and they face rival Florida next week. Today’s game against Akron (1-1) is 7 p.m. ET at Neyland Stadium. It can be watched on streaming on ESPN+ and SEC Network+.
Tennessee is a heavy favorite over Akron, with some sports books setting the line at almost 50 points. The Vols beat the Zips 52-9 in 1989 and 47-26 in 2012. Last week, Akron lost to Michigan State 52-0.
INSTANT RECAPTennessee football routs Akron but injuries, ejection loom ahead of Florida
REPORT CARDTennessee football vs. Akron grades: Offense scores at will, gets top mark
JOHN ADAMSFor Tennessee football, Akron means nothing. Florida means everything
FINAL: Tennessee 63, Akron 6.
Florida, who is in a dogfight with South Florida in the fourth quarter, is up next. The Vols had 676 total yards tonight. Postgame stories to come.
59 seconds left: Tayven Jackson keeps the read option and scores from a yard out. Vols lead 63-6.
4:30 left: Tayven Jackson in the game at QB, and he’s throwing.
6:22 left: Akron’s backup kicker makes a 41-yard field goal. Vols 56, Akron 6.
12:16 left: Joe Milton to Walker Merrill for a 38-yard TD catch. Tennessee leads 56-3.
12:30 left: James Pearce with a third down sack. Akron will punt.
End of the third quarter: Joe Milton throws a 57-yard touchdown pass to Ramel Keyton as the quarter ends. The Vols punted on Milton’s first two drives before the TD. Keyton was open up the right hash.
Joe. On the money.
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3:05 left: Jimmy Calloway is ejected after throwing punches. I’m not sure why that happened.
7:35 left: Akron with a field goal to get on the board, from 35 yards out. Kamal Hadden nearly had an end zone interception to preserve the shutout.
Tennessee 42, Akron 3.
10:15 left: Touchdown Tennessee. Jaylen Wright from a yard out, his second of the game.
11:24 left: Another long Jalin Hyatt reception, for 47 yards. First and goal, Tennessee.
12:04 left: Akron gets a first down, then has to punt. Good on Akron’s Noah Gettman for the fake-out on a Vols player to avoid getting his punt blocked. Hendon Hooker in at QB to start third quarter.
HALFTIME: Tennessee 35, Akron 0.
Vols have 416 total yards. Hendon Hooker is 13-of-17 for 251 yards and two touchdowns. It would be a surprise to see Hooker for more than a drive in the second half, if that.
56 seconds left: Jalin Hyatt again. Touchdown Tennessee. Hyatt takes a simple slant route 48 yards for the score, his second of the game. Tennessee 35, Akron 0.
2:54 left: Akron’s best drive ends at the goal line, as LaTrell Bumphus forces a fumble that is recovered by Jeremy Banks in the end zone.
Cedric Tillman will not return to the game tonight, per the SEC Network+ broadcast.
6:47 left: Dylan Sampson scores on fourth down again, his second touchdown of the day.
8:45 left: Cedric Tillman is hit low after a catch and stays down. Oh boy.
He is helped up after several moments on the ground and limps off. That’s going to be a concern.
8:59 left: Cedric Tillman fumbles, and Akron recovers. This will go to review. It’s close, but Tillman looked to have his rear end touch the ground before the ball comes out.
It’s overturned after review. Vols keep the ball.
9:32 left: Akron’s Cory Smigel’s 40-yard field goal try is no good. Zips had a third down drop to halt their drive. Vols 21, Akron no score.
11:03 left: Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Pitt transfer, makes a catch at the UT 25 and holds on after the hit. Akron is moving.
12:00 left: Akron gets into Tennessee territory for the first time.
14:40 left: Touchdown Tennessee! Jalin Hyatt is wiiiiiiide open down the right sideline. 57-yard touchdown catch from Hendon Hooker. Vols 21, Zips 0.
Lost: Jalin Hyatt
Found: the endzone
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End of the first quarter: Tennessee 14, Akron 0.
1:44 left: Jeremy Banks TFL on third down. Akron will punt.
3:54 left: Akron has its first first down of the day, followed by a roughing the passer penalty on Tyler Baron. That penalty is cancelled out by an Akron post-play personal foul.
5:52 left: On 4th and 2, Hendon Hooker runs the speed option right, with Dylan Sampson taking a pitch 9 yards for a touchdown. Vols 14, Akron no score.
He opted for the endzone.
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6:23 left: Bru McCoy called for offensive pass interference on a 16-yard TD catch. Iffy call.
7:33 left: Squirrel Wright with a great one-on-one catch for 47 yards. Then another Akron DPI on a pass intended for Bru McCoy.
7:41 left: Another Akron three-and-out. Going to be a long night for Joe Moorhead’s offense.
The announced attendance is 101, 915.
Tonight’s attendance: 101,915
Tennessee’s first sellout for a nonconference game since 2015 vs Oklahoma. https://t.co/Vlg9xJV10O
8:41 left: Touchdown Tennessee! Jaylen Wright drives the pile into the end zone for the touchdown. Extra point good. Tennessee 7, Akron 0.
The SEC Network+ broadcast reported earlier in the drive that Jabari Small has an upper-body injury but is expected to return. Good news for the Vols.
9:00 left: Princeton Fant catches an odd pass over the middle and sets up first and goal. Next play: Akron pass interference against Cedric Tillman.
9:25 left: Hendon Hooker scrambles for 27 yards on third down. UT driving.
Good crowd in Neyland tonight.
9:37 left: Cedric Tillman has a step, but Hooker overthrows him on a potential touchdown.
10:31 left: Vols defense forces a three-and-out. Akron’s offense likes to get to the perimeter, which might be more successful against MAC defenses and less so tonight.
12:04 left: Vols’ first drive stalls out, and after an Akron offside penalty on 4th and 9, Chase McGrath’s 47-yard field goal is wide left.
Hendon Hooker starts out 1-of-4 for 9 yards.
14:27 left: Jabari Small slow to get up after the second play of the game. UT medical staff out to talk to him. Small walks off slowly.
14:55 left: The Vols get the ball first. Tennessee in orange tops and orange pants with white helmets.
The Vols and Zips are getting close to kickoff in Neyland Stadium. Don’t forget that this game is online-only. If you’re here for the first time this season, welcome. We’ll have live updates all evening.
INJURY REPORT: Tennessee football cornerback Warren Burrell, three other Vols out against Akron
Reach Adam Sparks at [email protected] and on Twitter @AdamSparks.