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Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee Attendance: 99,015
Correction: T25-Indiana State-Tennessee story
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) In a story Sept. 9 about Tennessee's 42-7 victory over Indiana State, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the touchdowns scored by Tennessee's Carlin Fils-aime were the first of his career. He scored two touchdowns last season.
A corrected version of the story is below:
No. 25 Vols use fast start to trounce Indiana State 42-7
No. 25 Tennessee capitalizes on fast start to breeze to 42-7 victory over FCS program Indiana State
By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - For at least a few hours, Tennessee's Carlin Fils-aime and Brandon Johnson could take their minds off the weather while Hurricane Irma bears down on their home state.
The two Florida residents simply focused on football and helping the 25th-ranked Volunteers win their home opener.
Fils-aime and Johnson combined for three first-half touchdowns Saturday as Tennessee capitalized on a fast start and rolled to a 42-7 victory over Football Championship Subdivision program Indiana State.
"Whenever I'm on the field, all my worries just go away," said Fils-aime, who reached the end zone on two of his three carries. "It's all about now, living in the moment."
After Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff for a 91-yard touchdown, Fils-aime scored on a 4-yard burst up the middle and 30-yard sprint around the left end to put Tennessee ahead 21-0. Johnson made it 28-0 late in the second quarter by catching a 19-yard touchdown pass from Quinten Dormady.
"I've been working for a long time," said Johnson, the son of former major league catcher Charles Johnson. "For something like this to happen, it's a dream come true. I can't wait to just get out there and try to do it again, keep working."
Johnson, who is from the Fort Lauderdale area, had his immediate family at the game. Fils-aime, who lives in Naples, said his relatives were riding out the storm.
"Coach pulled me aside and spoke to as many people as he could that had people, that had families from Florida," Fils-aime said. "He told me there's not much that I can do personally. All I can do is worry about now, what's going on, and we'll pray and hope for the best. They've tried contacting our families to try and help in any way they can."
After erasing a two-touchdown, second-half deficit Monday to win its season opener 42-41 over Georgia Tech in double overtime, Tennessee (2-0) removed the suspense from this one early.
Chandler took the opening kickoff just to the right of the right hash, easily shed an attempted arm tackle as he approached his own 35 and ran untouched the rest of the way. Chandler is the first Tennessee true freshman to score on a kickoff return since Leonard Scott did it against Georgia in 1999.
"It was a great way to start," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. "We talked about starting fast, and obviously we were able to start fast."
That fast start lasted all the way through halftime. Indiana State (0-2) trailed 28-0 at the intermission.
"I don't know if we'll play in a louder venue than we played in tonight," Indiana State coach Curt Mallory said. "Just playing in there and being able to go against some of the speed, we're certainly going to be able to grow from the experience."
Indiana State: The Sycamores (0-2) have a quality running back in LeMonte Booker, who followed up his 154-yard performance against Eastern Illinois by rushing for 76 yards on 15 carries. Now they need to find some balance on offense. Quarterbacks Cade Sparks and Isaac Harker are a combined 16 of 38 this season.
Tennessee: The competition was much less imposing, but this still represented a step forward for Tennessee's defense as it heads into Southeastern Conference competition. Indiana State went 0 of 11 on third-down attempts and scored its only touchdown after recovering a fumble at Tennessee's 33. The Vols had given up 535 yards rushing against Georgia Tech, the highest single-game total Tennessee has ever allowed.
Dormady had played the entire Georgia Tech game after winning a preseason competition with redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano. Both quarterbacks played Saturday, with Guarantano making his college debut on Tennessee's third possession of the game.
Dormady was 13 of 18 for 194 yards with two touchdown passes to go along with two turnovers - one fumble and an interception. Guarantano went 4 of 12 for 41 yards with a touchdown pass.
KELLY COMES THROUGH
Although Tennessee's backup running backs scored the game's first three touchdowns, John Kelly remained the clear leader of the Vols' ground attack. He ran for 80 yards and had five catches for 60 yards to lead Tennessee in rushing and receiving.
The one-sided victory assures Tennessee will likely remain in the Top 25 as it begins SEC play.
Indiana State: At Liberty on Sept. 16.
Tennessee: The Vols are scheduled to play at No. 22 Florida on Sept. 16, if the storm doesn't change those plans.
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Updated September 10, 2017