KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Vols had a record-breaking year, and photographers caught moments throughout the season that showcase how well the season went.
By the end of October, Tennessee had broken 8 records, and they did not stop there. By the end of the regular season, they had made the CFB Playoff rankings for the first time and broken the school record for points scored in the season at 568, topping the previous record of 511 which was set in 2021. The Vols finished out the regular season at No. 7 on the AP top 25.
Finishing the season out 10-2, the Vols sold out six home games, with the only home game not sold out being the September 1 game against Ball State. In total, 1,077,969 fans attended games that the Vols played this season, according to the UT Sports website.
By far this season, two of the most talked about players on the team were Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt. Hyatt had 1267 yards receiving, followed closest by Bru McCoy with 619 yards. Hooker completed 118 passes for 3135 yards and 27 touchdowns and added 430 yards and five scores on the ground.
The 2022 season also marked the final season of beloved mascot Smokey X. His son, Smokey XI, is set to take over mascot duties in 2023.
Impossible to forget, Tennessee beat Alabama 52-49 in what Sports Illustrated, among many, referred to as the “Game of the Year.” This game was by far one that takes up much of the superlatives space for the season, with it having the most yards passing, touchdown passes, the longest pass, the most yards receiving, touchdowns receiving, and the longest reception, per the UT Sports website. After the last minute win, snagged by a final field goal kicked by Chase McGrath, fans stormed the field, tore down the goalposts and threw them in the river.
Even in the hard times of the season, the Vols and their fans pressed on.
Plus, who could forget the special moments of the season? Like the dancing security guard.
While the regular season is over, Vols fans are still waiting to see which bowl they will play in this year. The announcement will be made in the selection show on Dec. 4.