BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference announced Monday that Tennessee football picked up a pair of weekly honors from the league office after a wire-to-wire victory over Virginia to open the 2023 campaign. Redshirt senior quarterback Joe Milton III was named SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, while senior defensive end Tyler Baron was selected as the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
In his first start of the season, Milton accounted for 234 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as Tennessee beat Virginia 49-13 in front of a sold-out, record breaking crowd at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium. He completed 21-of-30 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, extending his active streak to 206 consecutive attempts without a pick which is the second-longest in the FBS.
He has not thrown a pick during his entire time as Vol, a streak that is at 174 attempts, which is the second-longest in program history behind Hooker.
Milton added 33 yards rushing, including this lethal stiff arm, to go along with a career-high-tying two rushing touchdowns. It was the first time in Milton’s career that he has produced at least two rushing touchdowns and two passing scores in the same game. He became the first Vol player to achieve that same feat vs. a Power Five opponent since Joshua Dobbs registered two rushing touchdowns and three passing touchdowns vs. Missouri on Nov. 19, 2016.
Baron led the Vols’ physical defensive attack with a game-high 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks for a loss of nine yards as UT dominated Virginia in the season opener. He finished with three total tackles as the Vols controlled the line of scrimmage and limited the Cavaliers to 201 total yards and only 95 yards on the ground. UVA averaged just 2.4 yards per rush, and UT racked up 11 TFLs in the victory.
Both Vols are first-time SEC Player of the Week honorees. During the Josh Heupel era (2021-present), Tennessee has compiled 24 SEC weekly awards — including six Offensive Player of the Week and four Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades.
The Vols (1-0) return to Neyland Stadium this weekend for the 2023 home opener against Austin Peay. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET Saturday, and the game will be broadcast digitally on SEC Network+/ESPN+.
SEC Weekly Awards – Week 1
SEC Co-Offensive Players of the Week
Jalen Milroe, QB, Alabama
Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee
SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week
Trevin Wallace, LB, Kentucky
SEC Co-Special Teams Players of the Week
Barion Brown, KOR, Kentucky
Jordan Watkins, PR/WR, Ole Miss
SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week
Gunner Britton, OL, Auburn
SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week
Tyler Baron, DE, Tennessee
SEC Co-Freshmen of the Week
Caleb Downs, DB, Alabama
Kyle Ferrie, PK, Mississippi State