As a freshman, Manning began the season as the third-string quarterback. In the season opener against UCLA, Manning was one of three quarterbacks to come off the bench after starter Jerry Colquitt suffered a season-ending injury on the seventh play of the game. However, Manning was not able to generate any offense, only handing the ball off three times, and was pulled from the game. Two weeks later, in a 31–0 loss to the #1 Florida Gators, Manning completed his first collegiate pass. During the season's fourth game, against Mississippi State, starter Todd Helton got injured and Manning took over. The Vols lost 24–21, but Manning threw his first touchdown in the game. He was named the team's starter and remained so for the rest of his college career. In his first start, the following week against Washington State, the Vols won 10–9. They won all but one of their remaining games, finishing the season 8–4 with a 45–23 victory over Virginia Tech in the 1994 Gator Bowl. He finished his first collegiate season 89 of 144 for 1,141 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and six interceptions.