Tennessee survived a tough loss Monday night thanks to an unexpected comeback in the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Despite facing several double digit deficits in the game, the Vols prevailed by a score of 42-41 in double overtime after stuffing the Yellow Jackets on a failed two-point conversion attempt.
The Vols’ will was tested more than once in the game, however, as UT’s special teams unit had to block a field goal in the closing seconds just to force overtime.
Outside of Kevin Sumlin, no SEC coach may have needed a win more during the opening weekend than Butch Jones. Immediately after the game, the Tennessee coach credited his team’s resilience in the epic comeback.
“We spoke about the will to win with this football team. Every single day this week, we said we would define our will to win and tonight, we found our will to win,” Jones said.
“When everything and anything could go wrong, we found a way to show resolve and perseverance and we are 1-0 right now.”
On how his team prepared to face the triple option offense.
“You can practice it all you want but you can never match the speed of the game until you get to game time,” Jones answered.
“I thought we obviously slow in the first half, which is unacceptable. We had way too many dropped footballs,” Jones said. “And the other thing was we weren’t ahead of the chains, we were getting negative yardage plays on first and 10 and you can’t do that.
“In the second half, Marquez Callaway found a way to make some plays for us. I thought Quinten did a good job of hanging in the pocket but really, we were sparked by John Kelly and Marquez Callaway and our offensive line really settled in.”