KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Alvin Kamara ran for 127 yards and two scores to lead Tennessee to a 24-0 homecoming win over North Texas on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The Vols are now bowl eligible for the second-consecutive year.
The Vols’ (6-4) win over North Texas (1-9) also marked the earliest date that UT had become bowl eligible since the 2007 season when the Big Orange recorded its sixth win on Nov. 3, 2007. Tennessee is now bowl eligible in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
The victory before the 96,197 in attendance at Neyland Stadium was also UT’s first shutout since a 45-0 win over Austin Peay on Aug. 31, 2013, and the first time that North Texas had been shut out since a 41-0 loss to Alabama on Sept. 17, 2011. The Vols have won three games in a row for the first time since 2010.
Tennessee improved to 70-19-3 all-time in homecoming games with wins in 29 of its last 32 homecoming contests.
Kamara ran for 127 yards on 15 carries with a pair of scores for his fifth multi-touchdown game of the season.
UT’s Joshua Dobbs finished 15-of-23 for 136 yards and an interception. Josh Malone led the Vols’ receivers with four catches for 38 yards.
North Texas quarterback DaMarcus Smith went 12-of-25 for 103 yards. Jeffrey Wilson had 52 rushing yards on 14 carries and tight end Marcus Smith hauled in five catches for 46 yards.
The Vols had 409 yards of offense and limited North Texas to 199 yards, marking the fewest yards Tennessee has allowed since holding UT-Martin to 142 yards on Sept. 4, 2010.
Tennessee took a 7-0 lead just over a minute into the game whenAlvin Kamara sprinted 27 yards up the right sideline for the game’s first score, capping a five-play, 56-yard drive.
Jalen Hurd punched in a one-yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to complete an eight-play, 71 yard dive and push the Vols lead to 14-0.
Aaron Medley’s 34-yard field goal with 2:41 left in the first half gave Tennessee a 17-0 advantage heading into halftime. The Vols outgained the Mean Green in the first half, 226 yards to 101 yards. Kamara had 70 rushing yards on five carries and Hurd had 60 yards on 12 carries before the break.
Kamara extended Tennessee’s lead to 24-0 early in the fourth quarter when he broke through the line for a 15-yard touchdown run to the left side.
The Vols resume SEC play on Nov. 21 against Missouri in Columbia. The game will feature an ESPN2 broadcast with kickoff slated for 7:15 p.m. ET.