While the Vols perhaps got some fortunate bounces, with at least one player crediting a touch of divine intervention, Coach Butch Jones and company saw plenty of heroics en route to earning the Dodd Trophy and a major lift for a Top 25 program. "We need to get better", Mallory said.
But Tennessee came up with two crucial turnovers, most notably J.J. Green's fumble when the Yellow Jackets appeared to be driving for a clinching score. John Kelly was gold with a touchdown. He corralled Marshall, who passed the ball in desperation as he was going to the ground. When it became 21-7 and then 28-14, you figured it was over.
"In the second half, obviously, Marquez Callaway, what can I say about that individual?" "The coaches told us that would have to execute the plays and that's what we went out and did".
"I'm grinding horse feed essentially", said Bain. "It was kind of like a scramble drill".
"My sophomore and junior years in high school, we actually lost to a team that ran that same offense". Kicker Aaron Medley kept the Vols' hopes alive as they went to the second overtime.
His other was a 50-yard score, where he caught a comeback route and then curled to the sideline and sped past defenders. "We have to get a lot better and make tremendous progress, but just really proud of our players". "They scored twice in three plays in the two overtimes".
"John Kelly sparked us, as well, and he played with passion, played with energy". It would win or lose the game on one play from the three-yard line.
Davis badly missed a 47-yard field goal midway in the third quarter that would have given Georgia Tech a 17-point lead.
"Paul is a walk-on who is paying his way through school and has two jobs to make ends meet", he said. "I've got great respect for him".
And given the problems the Jackets had kicking the ball, as well as on defense, in the second half, it made Johnson's decision after the second of two touchdowns the two teams exchanged the extra frames easier. We spoke all week about a will to win.
Obviously this is very bad news for Jennings and the Volunteers, but I don't think it will hurt Tennessee's offense almost as much as you think it will. A sixth of his touches went to the end zone for scores, two of which came in overtime.
"But we just rebuild", linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. They overran us and I thought I could get up under it. Nine of the carries picked up first downs or scored a touchdown. Following a Trevor Daniel 70-yard punt, Tech took over at their own 14 for their second possession. The Jackets led 14-7 at halftime, accepted the ball to open the second half and promptly took complete control of the game with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that consumed almost six minutes - almost 20 percent of the available game time to that point.
The big play on the drive was a 44-yard catch and run from Marshall to Ricky Jeune, who eluded Tennessee's Justin Martin after the reception.
He is tied for fourth most tackles in the country after demonstrating his will against Yellow Jacket ballcarriers. The computer is taking Tennessee to cover the spread, and the over on the point total.
The deficit seemed insurmountable, given the Vols' struggles to that point, but Callaway erased half of it in one blur. In all, the Jackets rushed 86 times for 535 yards as a team, but a key fumble late in the game cost Georgia Tech dearly. In his nine passing attempts, he completed five passes for 120-yards. Kelly had five receptions for 35 yards and Ethan Wolf four for 33 ...
Tech's quarterback TaQuan Marshall ate up 115 yards in the first half. Bituli finished with 23 tackles in the game with Jumper logging 18.
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