Tennessee ended a four-game losing streak last week in dominating fashion against in-state rival Memphis.

The Volunteers (4-6, 1-5 SEC) earned their first SEC win Saturday in dominating fashion once again.

UT raced out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and capitalized on Mississippi (4-6, 1-5 SEC) turnovers to defeat the Rebels 52-14 in front of a crowd of 96,044 in Neyland Stadium on Homecoming weekend.

“It was just a phenomenal effort by our players,” coach Derek Dooley said. “I’m really proud of them (and) how they’ve come out these past two weeks. The preparation all week has been great. We were focused. We had our best week of practice. It just showed.

“They’re gaining a little confidence, I feel like. They played aggressively. They played fast. It was just a phenomenal team win.”

There was little doubt in the game’s outcome early on.

After forcing a Rebels punt on the game’s opening possession, true freshman wide receiver Justin Hunter caught a tipped pass and took it 80 yards for a touchdown on the Vols’ first offensive play.

“It wasn’t intended for me, but I saw all the defenders coming my way for the ball,” Hunter said. “I am just thankful that it came to me.”

Hunter added another touchdown reception in the second quarter and finished with 114 receiving yards on three catches and two touchdowns.

True freshman quarterback Tyler Bray was 18-of-34 for 323 yards and three touchdowns in his first home start.

Bray and the passing game was clicking in the first half, despite struggles in the Vols’ ground attack. UT had just seven net rushing yards at the half.

The 272 passing yards in the game’s first 30 minutes opened up lanes for running back Tauren Poole in the second half.

Poole rushed for 107 yards on just 12 carries and has touchdown runs of 36 and 35 yards, both in the second half. It was Poole’s sixth 100-yard rushing performance this year, tied for the most in the SEC with Auburn’s Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Cameron Newton.

As much success as the offense had against the Rebels, the defense was equally impressive.

The Vols forced five Ole Miss turnovers, including four interceptions.

“I’ll say it every week, the key is the turnovers,” Dooley said. “It always is. Anytime we’re plus-five in the turnovers, you’re probably going to win the game.”

Freshman cornerback Eric Gordon picked off a Jeremiah Masoli pass and returned it 46 yards for a UT touchdown to give the Vols a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter. It was Gordon’s first career interception. He would later leave the game in the second half after sustaining a concussion.

Trailing 31-14 early in the third quarter, Masoli was intercepted by cornerback Prentiss Waggner, who returned the interception 10 yards for another UT touchdown.

The touchdown was Waggner’s third interception returned for a score this year, setting a UT single-season record.

“It’s a big honor,” Waggner said of the record. “I think it’s all because of the grace of God that I got that interception and got it into the end zone.”

Masoli finished just 7-of-18 for 80 yards and three interceptions.

“When you get that many, and especially to score on them on takeaways that’s really hard for a team to come back from that,” middle linebacker Nick Reveiz said of the interceptions. “I think it’s really deflating so when you have things like that happen, obviously, to have score off turnovers, it’s big.”

The Rebels found success in their running game, which entered the contest as the second-best in the SEC, averaging more than 220 yards on the ground per game, in the second quarter.

Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden ran for 113 yards and both Rebels’ touchdowns.

The Vols played well on offense and defense but struggled on special teams, despite the return of senior kicker Daniel Lincoln. Lincoln had missed the previous five games with a groin injury.

“It was a real struggle,” Dooley said. “Our specialists struggled. Then of course, it was the same old deal since the first day I took the job with punt returning. We got to a point where I didn’t even put one (player) back there. It was the only way we were going to lose the game: Go fumble a punt.

“I know that’s kind of ridiculous for a major college football team, but that’s where we are. I don’t have one guy that I have confidence in.”

Sophomore free safety Janzen Jackson muffed two punts, injuring his left ankle on the second punt and leaving the game.

Even with back-to-back blowout wins to put the Vols in position to make a bowl game, senior wide receiver Gerald Jones said he believed the team has the same mindset it did during its four-game losing streak in October.

“I think everybody’s still the same, everybody is positive, you know,” Jones said. “I don’t think we have changed as far as our mentality when we were losing, and now that we are winning, you know, we’re still going to be happy with this win, and we’re going to celebrate for 24 hours and get over it, and then it’s off to Vanderbilt, and that’s how we’ve always been all year, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do and try to continue to get better.”