KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tauren Poole had touchdown runs of 24 yards and 14 yards as Tennessee beat Tennessee-Martin 50-0 on Saturday night for Derek Dooley's first victory as the Volunteers' coach.
It was Tennessee's first shutout since a 48-0 win over Vanderbilt in 2003 and first time facing an FCS opponent since a win over The Citadel in 1983.
Tauren Poole had been waiting all year to prove he'd been unfairly stuck behind Bryce Brown and David Oku on the Vols' depth chart last season. He delivered, darting through holes, running around coverage and picking up 110 yards on 17 carries before sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Oku had his share of carries too and found some large holes for a 44-yard touchdown run with 5:00 left in the first quarter to give the Vols a 10-0 lead in the season opener for both teams.
Denarius Moore ran 58 yards for a touchdown and caught a 42-yard scoring pass from Matt Simms. Moore finished with 66 yards on four catches, and Gerald Jones had 86 yards on six catches before injuring his left hand.
Tennessee scored nearly every way it could. Austin Johnson tackled D.J. McNeil in the end zone for a safety. Prentiss Wagner intercepted Derek Carr and ran 54 yards for a touchdown. Daniel Lincoln kicked field goals of 21 and 35 yards.
UT Martin's young, inexperienced offense couldn't find any rhythm. The Skyhawks neither completed a pass nor picked up a first down in the first quarter but were flagged for delay of game four times.
By the end of the game, they had 142 yards on offense compared to Tennessee's 537.
Carr finished 9-for-22 for 66 yards and threw two interceptions. The Skyhawks were penalized 11 times for 83 yards.
Tennessee, which had its own share of young players, wasn't without its share of mistakes either.
Gerald Jones fumbled his first punt return of the game, and UT Martin's Kendal Harper recovered on the Tennessee 36. The Skyhawks couldn't capitalize, punting four plays later after going only three yards.
Matt Simms, who completed 14 of 24 for 181 yards, overthrew Luke Stocker and Denarius Moore several times. The Vols picked up several penalties for false starts and one for delay of game, and an illegal formation penalty forced Lincoln to redo a field goal attempt.