No. 25 Tennessee vs Georgia Tech

No. 25 Tennessee vs Georgia Tech

Javier Howell
September 5, 2017

No. 25 Tennessee twice rallied from 14-point deficits in the second half and stopped a two-point conversion in the second overtime, staving off Georgia Tech 42-41.

Green's fumble occurred with Tech leading 28-21 and driving deep into Tennessee territory, but Rashaan Gaulden made the strip and Michah Abernathy the recovery at the 7-yard line of the Vols to keep the game in doubt.

Kelly scored on a 2-yard run in the second overtime to make it 42-35, but Marshall answered with a 13-yard touchdown run.

There also was that counter play, which should have been an easy two-pointer for a Georgia Tech victory, especially since its offensive line kept blowing Tennessee defenders from here to Knoxville.

Junior running back John Kelly dashed for four touchdowns and racked up 128 rushing yards to help lead No. 25/24 Tennessee to a double-overtime victory against Georgia Tech in the Vols' season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Monday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"Well, what can I say?" We knew that this was going to be a game that you had to show some resolve and some grit, and you had to play complementary football. It was capped off by a TaQuon Marshall 1-yard touchdown run.

Marshall scored again for Tech in the third quarter on a... you guessed it. one yard touchdown run, giving the Yellow Jackets a 21-7 advantage.

Georgia Tech marched right down the field and set up Sean Davis for a 36-yard field goal with three seconds to go.

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Johnson: "We pitched the ball late".

Johnson: "If they wore down in this game, they better get their butts home". UT head coach Butch Jones declared his status would be revealed later in the week. If you figure out why, please tell Johnson along with the rest of us. They showed that in spades Monday night in an improbable comeback win that will be remembered for some time.

They got the gutsiest, record-setting performance by a first-time starter at quarterback in school history.

For most of the game Tennessee's defenders were struggling against the Jacket's vaunted ground-oriented offense that chews up clock time like a competitor in a holiday hot-dog eating contest. I really like how much natural light is let in, not just on the view to downtown, but circling the stadium. Then after Tennessee tied things at 7-7 in the second quarter, they reached the end zone with a 75-yard drive on 16 plays that took seven minutes. Three plays later, they converted a third-and-12 on Marshall's 44-yard pass to Ricky Jeune to the Tennessee 21. For Tennessee, Quinten Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano have been fighting for the starting position.

Given eight months to prepare for Johnson's stylized offense, the favored Volunteers had forced one Tech punt since 7 ½ minutes remained in the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets went back down the field but had a game-winning try at the buzzer blocked. Though they nearly got in, that's just a tough way to lose a game.

Tennessee's home opener is slated for September 9 against Indiana State with kickoff set for 4 p.m. ET.

But you cannot doubt Tennessee's will to win.