DALLAS – Tennessee has been named to the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America after its thrilling 52-49 victory over rival Alabama on Saturday night inside Neyland Stadium.
The win over the No. 3/1 Crimson Tide helped the Vols move up to third in the AP Poll this week, its highest ranking in the poll since opening the 2005 season at No. 3.
UT’s historic victory marked its first win over Alabama since 2006, snapping a 15-game losing streak in the series. With the victory, the Vols improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1998 when they went on to win the BCS National Championship.
The Big Orange’s high-powered offense led the way with 52 points and 567 yards of total offense. The 52 points were the most against an AP Top 25 opponent in program history and were the most allowed by an Alabama team since giving up 54 to Sewanee back in 1907.
The duo of redshirt senior quarterback Hendon Hooker and junior wide receiver Jalin Hyatt torched the Crimson Tide’s normally stout defense. Hooker passed for a career-best 385 yards and threw five touchdown passes – all to Hyatt – who broke the single-game program record and tied the SEC single-game record for touchdown catches. Hyatt also finished with a career-high 207 receiving yards, which ranks sixth most in program annals.
After the Vols’ defense stood tall and forced a 50-yard field goal that missed wide right on Alabama’s final drive, Hooker and the UT offense got the ball back with just 15 seconds remaining and proceeded to connect on passes of 18 and 27 yards to get into field-goal range with just two seconds remaining on the game clock.
Redshirt senior kicker Chase McGrath booted the game-winning 40-yard field goal as time expired to send the sold-out Neyland Stadium crowd of 101,915 into a frenzy as they rushed the field and tore down the goalposts in celebration.
This marks the third time that the Vols have been named National Team of the Week by the FWAA and their first since 2016. The other was in 2006. To read the FWAA’s full release, click HERE.
Tennessee continues its three-game homestand this Saturday when it welcomes in-state foe UT Martin to Neyland Stadium for Homecoming. Kickoff against the Skyhawks is slated for noon ET on the SEC Network.
Tickets for the contest are available in limited quantities at AllVols.com. In addition, season tickets for the 2023 campaign are on sale now at AllVols.com.