Vols Avoid the Upset and Win ‘Battle at Neyland’ Over App State
Knoxville, TN-(WDEF) Before the Battle at Bristol, we got the Battle at Neyland.
Tennessee’s season of promise nearly ended before it got started last night.
The ninth ranked Vols had to go to overtime in their season opener to beat upset-minded App State, 20-13.
Call Tennessee’s win over App State what you will, just don’t call it frustrating.
Said Jones-“I’ve never been apart of a frustrating win. A win is a win. Again in this profession, you have twelve opportunities to win.”
Said quarterback Josh Dobbs-“Winning is not easy no matter who you play in college football. We understand that. There are a lot of great players out there across every conference. We’re just thankful to have this win.”
Nothing looked easy for the Vols. Cam Sutton fumbled away the opening punt that led to the Mountaineers first touchdown.
Then Preston Williams dropped a touchdown pass on third down.
Said Jones-“I thought we did some things that were very, very uncharacteristic of us that we are going to have to get corrected in a hurry, particularly taking care of the football. We have to take care of the football.”
To top off Tennessee’s misery, star linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin was ejected in the first quarter for targeting during a punt return.
Said Jones-“Here’s a young man trying to make a play. He’s trying to play hard. I’m all for player safety, but also this is a senior, who is trying to give his all and play hard. I hope there was discretion and it’s reviewable. I trust they’ll get it right. They better of.”
The Vols offense didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter when Josh Dobbs hit Josh Malona on a 67-yard pass play. Dobbs kind of had the right touch in overtime as well, fumbling the ball to Jalen Hurd for the winning touchdown.
Said Dobbs-“I saw it was a touchdown. I didn’t care whose touchdown it was. I just knew it was a touchdown to put us ahead in the ballgame.”
Said Jones-“At the end of the day, we found a way to win the football game.”