Vols Don't Quit, Rally Past Georgia Tech In 2 OTs

Geneva Matthews
September 6, 2017

How in the heck did the Yellow Jackets lose Monday night to Tennessee? The Vols won a thriller in which they did not take their first lead until the second overtime. Tennessee totaled 369 yards on 59 plays, compared to 96 by the Yellow Jackets. More impressive, Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall finished his first collegiate start rushing for 249 of those yards and a school-record five touchdowns. "We knew this was going to be a game that you had to show some resolve and some grit".

As tough as it will be for the Jackets to swallow that their offensive dominance left them 0-1 with only five days before they face Jacksonville State, there was one thing that should lift their spirits.

Georgia Tech dominated time of possession 56:27 to 18:33 and still lost. All fans are encouraged to wear gold to support the Yellow Jackets as they take on the nation's No. 5-ranked team in NCAA Division I FCS. The strategy worked as walk-on Paul Bain got his big mitt on the ball for the block as time expired, sending the Tennessee sideline into a frenzy. The ball kissed the ground before reaching the B-back's hands.

Watching the Georgia Tech season opener was a popular way to end Labor Day weekend.

"It will be an honor to see Bobby Dodd's legacy live on throughout the game", said Chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation Jim Terry, during announcements leading up to the game.

With Georgia Tech's triple option offense, opportunities for Tennessee's offense would be limited and as the first half played on, Dormady and the Vols had a hard time finding an offensive rhythm. The scoring drives chewed up 12, 16 and 11 plays covering 86, 75 and 80 yards respectively.

Better late than never, Marquez Callaway's first catch was a 10-yard touchdown Randy Moss-esque leaping catch over defenders on a perfectly placed ball by Dormandy to the back right of the end zone with 0:42 left in the third quarter. The effort was aided by (among others), Nathan Cottrell (six carries for 79 yards), as well as a 36-yard run from J.J. Green. Last week, Johnson said that he was "worried a lot more about a zillion positions than I am quarterback". "We've got the game under control down there".

Deciding to go for the two-point conversion instead of sending it to triple overtime with an extra point, TaQuon Marshall's unbelievable night came to a sudden halt. But the Vols finally stuffed the option when it mattered and stole away with an undeserved victory. "We have a pretty good idea who the quarterback will be for us, and we have a pretty good idea who the quarterback will be for them as well", Jones told reporters this week. "Even though we gave up the amount of yards rushing, we still managed to force two takeaways and offensively we didn't turn the ball over, which was paramount to win the game".

That's not to say that this loss won't sting for a while.

I'll join the chorus of glowing reviews of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

(1:11 - 2nd) KirVonte Benson 1 yard touchdown run. Poor defense allowed the YellowJackets to fly down the field to set up a potential game winning Field Goal.That was blocked.

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