Tennessee Vols Outlast Charlotte 14-3 on Homecoming
Tennessee Vols Athletics
Knoxville, TN – Tennessee opened the month of November with a win, topping the Charlotte 49ers 14-3 Saturday evening at Neyland Stadium. It was the fifth-straight Homecoming win for the Volunteers, improving to 73-19-3 on Homecoming since 1916.
Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano paced the Tennessee passing game with 172 yards on 16-of-21 attempts and a touchdown. Sophomore wideout Josh Palmer and junior tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson led the receiving corps with 71 and 53 yards through the air, respectively.
Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Josh Palmer (84) runs with the ball against Charlotte 49ers linebacker Juwan Foggie (21) at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 14 to 3. (Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)
Junior receiver Marquez Callaway opened the scoring with a flash, housing a Charlotte punt 82 yards down the right sideline to put the Vols ahead 7-0 with 7:42 remaining in the first quarter.
It was the first punt return touchdown for UT since Callaway accomplished the feat with a 62-yard dash against Tennessee Tech on November 5th, 2016.
Tennessee (4-5, 1-3 SEC) doubled its advantage on a 16-yard scoring connection from Guarantano to Palmer, taking a 14-0 lead with 0:17 left in the opening frame. Guarantano totaled 61 passing yards on the drive, including a 33-yard completion to Wood-Anderson that set the Vols up in the red zone.
Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (2) hands the ball off to running back Ty Chandler (8) during the first half against the Charlotte 49ers at Neyland Stadium. (Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)
Freshman defensive back Bryce Thompson forced the lone turnover of the game, intercepting Evan Shireffs and downing the ball with 59 seconds left in the fourth quarter to seal the Tennessee victory.
Charlotte (4-5, 3-2 C-USA) broke up the shutout late in the first half with a 20-yard field goal off the foot of rookie placekicker Jonathan Cruz. The kick capped off a 12-play, 87-yard drive for the 49ers to make the score 14-3 with 0:17 on the clock in the second quarter.
Neither team added points in the second half, as both sides were unable to eclipse 100 yards over the last 30 minutes of action. The Vols outgained the 49ers 99-87 in the third and fourth quarters.
Junior linebacker Daniel Bituli racked up 13 tackles to lead all players, while senior defensive lineman Kyle Phillips added a pair of tackles for loss and a couple of pass breakups.
Up Next for Tennessee Vols
Tennessee welcomes SEC East rival Kentucky to Neyland Stadium for the 114th meeting between the programs next week. Kickoff time/TV network will be determined later this evening.