Dylan Sampson rushed for three touchdowns and caught another as the No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers ran away from Virginia 49-13 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.
Sampson had 52 yards on 13 carries, and his 9-yard reception opened the scoring three minutes into the game. Tennessee that piled up 287 yards on 52 carries for an average of 5.5 yards. Jaylen Wright had 115 yards on 12 carries.
Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton III completed 21 of 30 passes for 201 yards and two scores. He also rushed for 33 yards and two touchdowns. The Cavaliers' Tony Muskett completed 9-of-17 passes for 94 yards
Tennessee began the game by marching down the field in just under three minutes with an eight-play, 62-yard drive that ended with Milton finding Sampson on a fourth-and-five play.
The Volunteers widened their early lead on a pair of 1-yard rushes by Milton on either side of halftime, and on Sampson's 2-yard score midway through the third quarter.
After falling behind 35-3, Virginia finally found the end zone near the end of the third quarter when Perris Jones took a handoff, cut to his left, broke three tackles and scored on a 17-yard run. Jones carried the ball seven times for 39 yards.
Jacob Warren caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Milton early in the fourth, and Sampson added a 3-yard rush with 11 minutes to go.
Virginia struggled mightily on third downs, converting just 5 of 18.
Tennessee held Virginia to just 201 yards of total offense while tallying four sacks and five pass breakups.
The Cavaliers welcomed back running back Mike Hollins, who was one of two Virginia students wounded in a shooting last November that killed three other football players. Hollins finished with four carries and a catch for minus-5 yards.
Tennessee will host Austin Peay on Sept. 9, and Virginia will host in-state opponent James Madison that day.
—Field Level Media