KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Joe Milton, Jr. passed for 254 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score, all in the first half, and No. 19 Tennessee had three defensive TDs for the first time in program history in a 59-3 victory over UConn on Saturday.
The Volunteers (7-2, No. 17 CFP) had three scoring plays of at least 60 yards as they built a 35-3 halftime lead. Milton's TD passes were 60 yards to Ramel Keyton and 83 yards to Squirrel White. Jaylen Wright broke an 82-yard run on the second play from scrimmage and finished with 113 yards rushing.
“I wouldn't say it was the best performance we're capable of,” Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said. “Our best is still out there.”
Milton, in his first full season as a starter, has been efficient (29 of 35, 482 yards and three TDs in his last two games.
“(Milton) is still a young starter,” said Heupel. “There are a lot of new and moving pieces around him. He's able to grow like the guys around him.”
Milton said the recent success comes with practice. “You treat every rep like a game. We still have more work to do," he said.
The Huskies (1-8), who lost their third straight game, held a 17-minute advantage in time of possession but rushed for only 35 yards, committed three turnovers and finished with 256 total yards.
“That was a very, very, very, very, very, very, very fast; very, very, very, very talented offensive team at every position,” UConn coach Jim Mora said.
The Vols' Tyler Baron had a 24-yard fumble return and Jaylen McCollough had a 34-yard interception return and Aaron Beasley a 39-yard pick-six.
Tennessee kept its momentum going following its win over Kentucky. The Vols established their offense early and put the game away quickly. The Huskies, who had lost five games by 10 or fewer points, suffered their most lopsided loss since Michigan beat them 59-0 early last season.
Tennessee could move up but its best opportunities for promotions come in the next two weeks with a trip to No. 14 Missouri and a home game against No. 1 Georgia.
ODDS & ENDS
Wright’s 82-yard TD run was the ninth-longest in Tennessee history and the second-longest of his career. He had an 83-yarder against Vanderbilt last year. ... Milton has thrown a TD pass in 13 straight games, tying him for third in UT history with Tony Robinson. ... Tennessee’s heralded freshman QB Nico Iamaleava threw his first TD pass to McCallan Castles. ... The Huskies were paid a $1.8 million guarantee.
UConn: visits No. 23 James Madison.
Tennessee: visits No. 14 Missouri.
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