Rapid Reaction: Penalties prove costly as Tennessee falls to Pitt in Johnny Majors Classic
Tennessee and Pitt met up on Rocky Top on Saturday afternoon for the first Johnny Majors Classic, honoring the legendary coach who led both programs to success.
It was a good start for the Vols, who led 10-0 after the first quarter. However, the Tennessee defense gave up 27 points in the second quarter to enter halftime trailing 27-20. From there, it continued to be a back-and-forth affair.
Tennessee starting QB Joe Milton III dealt with some early issues with overthrowing receivers. Then, just before halftime, he appeared to be injured on a sack and went to the locker room early. From there, backup Hendon Hooker came in and led the Vol offense.
Pitt scored a touchdown on a trick play, using a double-pass to fool the Tennessee defense:
Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.
That made it 14-13 Pitt, and the Panthers were in the driver’s seat for most of the rest of the game.
Midway through the fourth quarter, trailing by a touchdown, the Vols had a chance to pick up a first down inside the 5-yard line. Instead, Pitt got the stop:
PITT STOP TENNESSEE ON 4TH & 1!! pic.twitter.com/2QflkszvE5
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) September 11, 2021
From there, Pitt had to punt, but then picked off a Tennessee pass to preserve a 41-34 victory. The Vols fall to 1-1 with the loss, while the Panthers improve to 2-0.
The Vols struggled with penalties, committing 13 infractions that cost them 134 yards in the loss.
Hooker threw for 189 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception after coming on following Milton’s injury. We’ll see who gets the start next weekend when the Vols take on Tennessee Tech in Neyland Stadium.