KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — All that offseason hype became a thing of the past in a hurry, but at least the Tennessee football team can celebrate an ugly, lucky win with a massive sigh of relief.
As Micah Abernathy broke up a Taylor Lamb overtime pass in the end zone, the Volunteers survived a scare from little neighbor Appalachian State, storming the field and gathering with the band after a 20-13 overtime win over the Mountaineers.
If this doesn't wake up a stagnant UT team, nothing will.
On the nine-year anniversary of Appalachian State upsetting Michigan in the "Big House," the Mountaineers nearly made another big stadium theirs for the night. But they couldn't finish the deal.
After App State took a 13-3 lead deep into the second half, the Vols kicked a field goal and then tied it up with a 67-yard pass from Joshua Dobbs to Josh Malone. But even after that frenetic comeback, they still should have lost.
Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield's inexplicable clock management at the end of the game led to App State not even getting a field-goal attempt after he elected not to call one. Lamb couldn't get out of bounds before the clock ran out.
Then, Dobbs fumbled into the end zone in overtime, but running back Jalen Hurd got on it for what wound up being the game-winning touchdown.