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Tennessee Football beats Vanderbilt 48-24: Instant reaction

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Joe Milton III became the first Tennessee Football quarterback to total six touchdowns in a game Saturday since Jonathan Crompton against the Memphis Tigers in 2009. In the process, he helped lead the Vols to a feel-good, dominating 48-24 Senior Day victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores.

For his final home game on Rocky Top, Milton completed 22 of 32 passes for 383 yards, four touchdowns and 0 interceptions while running for 11 yards and two more touchdowns. It was a career-high for him in passing yards and passing touchdowns, including his time with the Michigan Wolverines.

Things got started on the first drive for Tennessee Football, as Milton completed a 56-yard touchdown pass to Ramel Keyto on the third play of the game. Vandy did respond with a touchdown drive of its own, though, and the two teams then traded punts twice, keeping the game close for at least a little while.

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Then the seniors stepped up on offense for the Vols. Jabari Small ran down to the 10-yard line on the Vols’ fourth offensive drive of the game to set up a TD from Milton to McCallan Castles. That was the start of four touchdowns and a field goal on six different drives, including Milton throwing another score to Keyton, one to Jacob Warren and his two runs.

Keyton finished the game with four catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Warren three catches for 82 yards and that score, Squirrel White had 10 catches for 110 yards, and Castles had three catches for 47 yards and that score. Jaylen Wright led the way rushing with 11 carries for 75 yards.

With the win, Tennessee Football finishes the 2023 regular season 8-4, snapping a two-game losing streak to the Missouri Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs. Josh Heupel’s team will now wait to see where it goes bowling. Clark Lea and Vandy finish the year 2-10 and on a 10-game losing streak. It’s Vandy’s fifth straight loss to UT.

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