KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Senior quarterback Justin Worley threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more as Tennessee pounded Chattanooga, 45-10, before 93,097 on Homecoming at Neyland Stadium. The Vols ended a three-game losing streak and evened their record at 3-3.
Worley finished the day 19-of-24 for 198 yards connected withJohnathon Johnson twice and Marquez North once for touchdowns. Worley became the first Vols quarterback with a pair of rushing scores in a game since Casey Clausen ran for a two 1-yard TDs in a 2002 Citrus Bowl win over Michigan.
“I thought we did what we needed to do to win the football game tonight,” said head coach Butch Jones. “We got back to playing Tennessee football in terms of one penalty. We had some individuals step up and impact the game: Aaron Medley’s seven touchbacks; anytime you can do that helps in the field positions game. Justin (Worley) was responsible for five touchdowns.”
Junior Johnathon Johnson had his best day as a Vol scoring the first two touchdowns of his career. He finished with three catches for 46 yards
Sophomore Jason Croom had a career-high in catches with six for a career-high 76 yards. North had four catches for 26 yards with his score.
Nine different receivers caught balls for the Vols.
Quarterback Nathan Peterman scored the final Tennessee touchdown with a 14-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth. It was the Vols’ first game with three rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks since Tee Martin scored three himself vs. Georgia on Oct. 9, 1999.
“Johnathon Johnson continues to step up and (his) consistency and performance by that young man in practice and in game, (and) you always know what you’re going to get with him,” added Jones. “Derrell Scott and Justus Pickett gave us some valuable reps today. We had two big returns tonight by Cameron Sutton and Evan Berry, which are momentum plays so that’s always great to see.”
The Mocs, who are ranked 12th in FCS, also stand at 3-3 after the loss.
On defense, the Vols limited UTC to 201 yards in the game and just 11 first downs. It was the fewest yards allowed by the Vols since holding UT Martin to 142 in the 2010 season opener.
Senior A.J. Johnson led the way yet again with nine tackles and a forced fumble. Tennessee’s Orange Swarm posted six tackles for loss.
Tennessee came into the game third in the nation in third-down conversion percentage defense lowered their total to 23-of-87 for .26 percent. The Vols held the Mocs to 5-of-14 on third down.
The Vols built a 24-3 lead at halftime and never looked back. Worley was responsible for all three touchdowns with two throws, to North and Johnathon Johnson, and an 8-yard rushing score.
Tennessee limited UTC to just two first downs in the first half as the Mocs totaled just 42 total yards.
In the third quarter, Tennessee continued to dominate as Worley hit Johnson for a 19-yard score and them closed the quarter with with his second TD on a 1-yard rush.
The Mocs were set to receive a punt when C.J. Board fumbled at the 15. Cortez McDowell recovered the fumble. On the first play of the drive, Peterman ran the ball for a touchdown.
The Vols travel to Oxford, Mississippi to play #3 Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 18. That game kicks off at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN or ESPN2.