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Despite a disappointing end to the season, Vols rewrite records at Music City Bowl

The program set new program and Music City Bowl records, quarterback Hendon Hooker did the same and wide receiver Cedric Tillman did so too.
Credit: AP
Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker plays against Purdue in the first half of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It wasn't the ideal ending to Tennessee football's season as they lost 48-45 in overtime at the Music City Bowl to Purdue on Thursday.

A drama-filled fourth quarter and overtime put a sour taste on the end of the Vols' season.

However, there were some bright spots to close out the season that involved rewriting some previous program and Music City Bowl records.


Tennessee topped its previous single-season program record for total points in a season.

The Vols finished the season with 511 points, and the previous record of 484 points set back in 1993 was broken when running back Jabari Small scored a rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

Tennessee also broke a record for touchdowns in a season with 67 in 2021.

Tennessee set a program bowl record for total offense with 663 total yards against Purdue.


For the 12th consecutive game, Hooker threw a passing touchdown, which tied Heath Shuler back in 1993 for most such consecutive games in a season.

The record was tied on a 41 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cedric Tillman to open the scoring in the Music City Bowl.

He also tied the Music City Bowl passing touchdowns in a game record with five. He tied with Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell who also threw for five in the game.

The quarterback also set a Tennessee record for most individual total yards in a bowl game with 434.


That 41 yard touchdown also helped Tillman set a record.

For the seventh straight game, he caught a touchdown, which is the most consecutive games doing that in program history. The previous record of six was set in 1993 and then tied in 1995.

On his second receiving touchdown of the game, Tillman topped 1,00 receiving yards on the season. He's the first player to amount that total since former Vols wide receiver Justin Hunter did so in 2012.

Tillman caught a third touchdown, which set a Music City Bowl record for most receiving touchdowns in a game.


Jones Jr. set the Tennessee bowl record for most kickoff return yards with 140.


Banks tied the program record for most tackles in the Music City Bowl with 20. He tied former linebacker Carl Zander who did so in the 1984 Sun Bowl.

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