Tennessee’s win featured numerous game-changing moments that will be shown on Vols highlight clips for years to come.
It wasn’t always pretty, but Tennessee made the plays when it counted.
After re-watching the game late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I picked out what I believe were the top seven biggest moments of the night for the Vols.
7. Jabari Small TD in the third quarter
The Vols changed the game in the final minutes of the first half and the first minutes of the second half.
With Tennessee leading 17-14, it looked like Hendon Hooker had put the Vols up with a touchdown run. But the score was called back due to an offensive penalty, putting Tennessee near the 16-yard line in a goal-to-go situation.
The Vols didn’t waste the opportunity. Despite the tough field position, Tennessee scored on this pass from Hooker to running back Jabari Small, giving the Vols some breathing room.
Massively underrated moment in the game. Scoring here after the penalty wiped a score off the board was huge for the Vols. pic.twitter.com/Z3IDBSBtgN— zach ragan (@zachTNT) September 25, 2022
6. Jaylen Wright’s TD run in the fourth quarter
This score didn’t put the game away like I thought it did at the time — Florida never quit fighting — but it was still a massively important moment in the game.
It also gave us one of the best visuals of the day. Wright’s Gator Chomp in the end zone after scoring is a signature moment for a Tennessee program that’s been dying for a signature moment for the last five seasons.
An all-time moment. You’re in the story of this rivalry forever Jaylen Wright. pic.twitter.com/kKmBHi3rEJ— zach ragan (@zachTNT) September 25, 2022
5. Anthony Richardson’s fumble
It felt like Tennessee couldn’t pull away from Florida in this game. Every time the Vols scored, the Gators went right back down the field and put pressure on UT’s defense.
Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson played his best game of the season. But on this play — he said after the game that he got a little “greedy” — the Vols got a break and avoided watching Florida make it a one-score game.
Big moment in the game for the Vols pic.twitter.com/qdG62daAhp— Tennessee Vols News (@Vols_Report) September 25, 2022
4. The final play of the game to seal the win
Florida had a chance to ruin the night for Tennessee fans after recovering an onside kick late in the game.
But the Vols escaped with a victory after this Richardson pass was intercepted.
This play happens because Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks came after Richardson with some pressure, forcing an errant throw. It was a perfect call from the second-year Vols defensive coordinator.
TENNESSEE WINS! pic.twitter.com/9TmKlx1VDO— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) September 24, 2022
3. Hendon Hooker’s 44-yard run
If Hendon Hooker had a Heisman moment on Saturday, it was this 44-yard rush.
After the game, Gators head coach Billy Napier said he felt Florida had Hooker “dead to rights” a couple of times, but Hooker managed to escape.
I imagine this play was at front of his mind.
Instead of taking a sack for a loss of six or seven yards, Hooker somehow turned this into a huge gain. It was a memorable and important moment for the Tennessee signal caller.
One of the biggest plays of the game. Florida had Hendon Hooker sacked and instead of 2nd and 16, Hooker turned this into a 44 yard gain and got the Vols in the red zone pic.twitter.com/88EPtCXAXA— zach ragan (@zachTNT) September 25, 2022
2. Ramel Keyton’s diving catch
This was easily the catch of the year. And it was an important one, too. This catch from Keyton — one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen in college football — led to a score for the Volunteers before halftime.
Insane catch by Ramel Keyton pic.twitter.com/1vnNGd0SKe— zach ragan (@zachTNT) September 24, 2022
1. 99-yard drive before halftime
Alright so the Keyton catch was part of this 99-yard drive, but I still think this drive was the most important part of the game for the Vols.
Scoring before the half and going 99 yards to do it was a statement drive by Tennessee.
The Vols had their back against the wall on that drive, too. This third-and-10 throw from Hooker, while evading pressure, to tight end Princeton Fant, was one of the biggest moments of the game.
This drive completely changed the tone of the game. All the momentum was in the Vols’ favor after this impressive drive.
Easily one of the biggest plays of the game. On the Vols’ 99 yard drive before halftime, this pass from Hooker to Fant (with Hooker evading pressure) kept the drive alive. pic.twitter.com/FuPRV7OvCZ— zach ragan (@zachTNT) September 25, 2022
Featured image via USA TODAY Sports