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Vols finally get 1st win with 45-0 blowout of Chattanooga

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee got some desperately needed momentum just in time for the start of Southeastern Conference competition.

Jarrett Guarantano threw three first-half touchdown passes and Tennessee rolled to a 45-0 blowout of Football Championship Subdivision program Chattanooga on Saturday as the Volunteers began digging their way out of their slowest start in over three decades.

Tennessee (1-2) is trying to bounce back from its first 0-2 start since 1988, when the Vols dropped their first six games before finishing 5-6.

''The one thing that you never want to get is where (losing) doesn't bother you,'' Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said. ''It bothers me. I can't sleep at night. I probably make everybody in our building miserable because of it. I know I do at home. We've got to get our players to where that's the way they are, and we've got a lot of them in our program that are that way.''

Tennessee took out its frustrations on Chattanooga (1-2) before beginning a grueling monthlong stretch.

In its next four games, Tennessee visits No. 9 Florida, hosts No. 3 Georgia and Mississippi State and visits No. 2 Alabama.

''It felt good being able to build our confidence going into our SEC games and being able to know that we can execute,'' Tennessee linebacker Henry To'o To'o said.

Chattanooga coach Rusty Wright spent the last two seasons working as an assistant at Georgia State, which stunned Tennessee 38-30 as a 26-point underdog two weeks ago. But Wright's current team couldn't come close to producing a similar shcker.

Tennessee instead forced five turnovers and took the suspense out of this one early. The Vols capitalized on Chattanooga's mistakes to grab a 21-0 lead in the game's first 6 1/2 minutes.

''They got the momentum first -- and we never really got it back,'' said Chattanooga running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks, who rushed for 85 yards on 15 carries.

Tennessee's Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 58 yards to set up his own 13-yard touchdown run around left end. After Chattanooga went three-and-out on its first series, Tyler Byrd blocked a punt and Brandon Johnson picked up the loose ball and ran 24 yards into the end zone.

Chattanooga's next series ended when Nigel Warrior picked off a Nick Tiano pass and delivered a 22-yard interception return before going out of bounds at the Mocs' 16-yard line. The turnover set up Guarantano's 12-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings,

Guarantano also threw touchdown passes of 39 yards to Marquez Callaway and 28 yards to Cedric Tillman in the second quarter as Tennessee built a 38-0 halftime lead. Guarantano went 7 of 8 for 142 yards before sitting out the second half.

Guarantano said his confidence never wavered during this season's tough start because ''I wasn't raised that way'' but acknowledged that these last couple of weeks had been difficult for him.

''There were definitely some trying times and tough times, but I learned more about myself in these past two weeks and these trying times than I ever have,'' Guarantano said. ''I don't think I ever really went through something like that, and I'm happy to get over the hump and am starting to feel like myself again.''

Guarantano's three touchdown passes set a new career single-game high for the junior, who was making his 21st start. Jeremy Banks sparked Tennessee's defense by recording two interceptions.

THE TAKEAWAY

Chattanooga: The Mocs made far too many mistakes to have a chance of competing with a Southeastern Conference team. Tiano and Drayton Arnold each threw two interceptions. Punter Colin Brewer also mishandled a snap early in the third quarter to set up another Tennessee touchdown. An offensive pass interference penalty wiped out Chattanooga's only touchdown.

Tennessee: It's tough to tell whether the lopsided result really indicates Tennessee has improved after its 0-2 start because Chattanooga was such an overmatched opponent. But the Vols' ability to force turnovers was encouraging. Tennessee had produced just 16 takeaways in the first 14 games of Pruitt's coaching tenure.

VOLS' CHANGES

Tennessee's Darnell Wright and K'Rojhn Calbert made their first career starts on the offensive line, with Wright at right guard and Calbert at right tackle. Freshman Wanya Morris got the start at left tackle in place of the injured Jahmir Johnson.

Linebacker Daniel Bituli, the Vols' leading tackler in 2017 and 2018, made his 2019 debut after recovering from an offseason knee procedure. Cornerback Kenneth George Jr. made his first career start.

SPECIAL SHIRT

Members of Tennessee's Pride of the Southland marching band briefly wore a T-shirt that the university designed this week to honor a young Vols fan who was teased at his school.

The fourth-grader's story went viral after his teacher posted on Facebook that the student's peers mocked a T-shirt he designed for his school's ''college colors'' day.

After the post gained attention, Tennessee's VolShop website created its own shirt featuring the boy's design. School officials say over 50,000 shirts have been presold. Proceeds benefit STOMP Out Bullying.

Tennessee has offered him a four-year scholarship starting in the fall of 2028, assuming he chooses Tennessee and meets admission requirements.

UP NEXT

Chattanooga hosts James Madison on Saturday.

Tennessee visits No. 9 Florida on Saturday.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Follow Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 12:20
42-B.Cimaglia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
45
Touchdown 12:27
18-B.Maurer runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
25
yds
01:16
pos
0
44
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:50
42-B.Cimaglia 34 yards Field Goal is Good.
11
plays
39
yds
02:54
pos
0
38
Point After TD 5:22
42-B.Cimaglia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
35
Touchdown 5:30
2-J.Guarantano complete to 85-C.Tillman. 85-C.Tillman runs 28 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
82
yds
05:10
pos
0
34
Point After TD 12:01
42-B.Cimaglia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
28
Touchdown 12:09
2-J.Guarantano complete to 1-M.Callaway. 1-M.Callaway runs 39 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
89
yds
00:00
pos
0
27
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 8:36
42-B.Cimaglia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
21
Touchdown 8:40
2-J.Guarantano complete to 15-J.Jennings. 15-J.Jennings runs 12 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
16
yds
01:27
pos
0
20
Point After TD 10:52
42-B.Cimaglia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
14
Touchdown 11:01
punts 0 yards from CHT 40 blocked by 10-T.Byrd. 7-B.Johnson runs 24 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
0
yds
0:00
pos
0
13
Point After TD 12:16
42-B.Cimaglia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 12:24
8-T.Chandler runs 13 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
41
yds
02:36
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 15 22
Rushing 7 13
Passing 5 8
Penalty 3 1
3rd Down Conv 6-17 4-10
4th Down Conv 1-4 1-3
Total Net Yards 227 360
Total Plays 70 57
Avg Gain 3.2 6.3
Net Yards Rushing 151 195
Rush Attempts 44 38
Avg Rush Yards 3.4 5.1
Net Yards Passing 76 165
Comp. - Att. 9-26 10-19
Yards Per Pass 2.9 8.7
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 4-49 5-65
Touchdowns 0 6
Rushing TDs 0 2
Passing TDs 0 3
Other 0 1
Turnovers 5 0
Fumbles - Lost 2-1 0-0
Int. Thrown 4 0
Punts - Avg 2-46.5 2-57.0
Return Yards 0 126
Punts - Returns 0-0 1-40
Kickoffs - Returns 0-0 1-58
Int. - Returns 0-0 4-28
Kicking 0/0 7/7
Extra Points 0/0 6/6
Field Goals 0/0 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Chattanooga 1-2 00000
Tennessee 1-2 21177045
76 PASS YDS 165
151 RUSH YDS 195
227 TOTAL YDS 360
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
N. Tiano 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
25% 40 0 2 21.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
25% 40 0 2 21.0
N. Tiano 4/16 40 0 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
N. Tiano 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 15 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 15 0
N. Tiano 2 15 0 13
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Defense T-A SACK INT
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Guarantano 2 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
87.5% 142 3 0 360.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
87.5% 142 3 0 360.4
J. Guarantano 7/8 142 3 0
J. Shrout 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
33.3% 23 0 0 54.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
33.3% 23 0 0 54.8
J. Shrout 3/9 23 0 0
B. Maurer 18 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
B. Maurer 0/2 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
T. Chandler 8 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 41 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 41 1
T. Chandler 10 41 1 13
T. Jordan 9 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 33 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
5 33 0
T. Jordan 5 33 0 14
F. Orr 40 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 32 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 32 0
F. Orr 7 32 0 12
E. Gray 3 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 32 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
8 32 0
E. Gray 8 32 0 11
C. Omer 42 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 24 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 24 0
C. Omer 2 24 0 18
B. Maurer 18 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 16 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 16 1
B. Maurer 4 16 1 8
J. Christian 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 12 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 12 0
J. Christian 2 12 0 7
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Callaway 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 59 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 59 1
M. Callaway 2 59 1 20
C. Tillman 85 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 38 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 38 1
C. Tillman 2 38 1 28
J. Palmer 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 18 0
J. Palmer 1 18 0 18
J. Jennings 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 12 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 12 1
J. Jennings 1 12 1 12
B. Johnson 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 9 0
B. Johnson 1 9 0 9
D. Wood-Anderson 4 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 6 0
D. Wood-Anderson 1 6 0 6
E. Gray 3 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 0
E. Gray 1 4 0 4
C. Omer 42 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
C. Omer 0 0 0 0
F. Orr 40 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
F. Orr 0 0 0 0
J. Warren 87 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
J. Warren 0 0 0 0
R. Keyton 80 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
R. Keyton 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Warrior 18 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
N. Warrior 0-0 0.0 1
J. Banks 33 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 2 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 2 0.0
J. Banks 0-0 0.0 2
K. Solomon 31 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
K. Solomon 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
B. Cimaglia 42 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 6/6
SEASON FG XP
1/1 6/6
B. Cimaglia 1/1 34 6/6 9
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Doyle 47 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 55.0 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
1 55.0 0
J. Doyle 1 55.0 0 55
P. Brooks 37 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
1 59.0 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
1 59.0 0
P. Brooks 1 59.0 0 59
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Chandler 8 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 58.0 58 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 58.0 58 0
T. Chandler 1 58.0 58 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Byrd 10 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 16.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 16.0 0 0
T. Byrd 1 16.0 0 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:16 TNCHAT 35 1:09 3 5 TD
10:52 TNCHAT 25 0:07 3 59 INT
8:36 TNCHAT 25 0:09 3 6 Punt
5:41 TNCHAT 29 4:35 10 65 Fumble
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:01 TNCHAT 25 0:14 3 7 Punt
5:22 TNCHAT 25 1:14 5 4 INT
0:46 TNCHAT 25 0:05 2 4 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:14 TNCHAT 25 0:00 4 0 Downs
12:20 TNCHAT 25 7:05 15 62 Downs
4:14 TNCHAT 26 1:20 4 20 INT
0:27 TNCHAT 31 0:06 10 24 Downs
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:18 TNCHAT 50 5:55 12 0 INT
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 TNCHAT 41 2:36 6 41 TD
10:07 TNCHAT 16 1:27 3 16 TD
7:53 TENN 26 2:12 6 13 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:01 TENN 11 0:00 6 89 TD
10:40 TENN 18 5:10 9 82 TD
3:44 TENN 44 2:54 11 39 FG
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:43 TNCHAT 25 1:16 3 25 TD
5:09 TENN 13 0:44 3 2 Punt
2:15 TENN 46 1:41 5 24 Downs
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:41 TENN 30 1:44 5 21 Downs
3:17 TENN 20 1:43 4 23