Suffice to say, Tennessee got all it could handle from Appalachian State on Thursday night in the season opener for both clubs.
However, it was the Volunteers who eventually won in overtime, 20-13, when quarterback Joshua Dobbs scrambled for a run and while attempting to stretch for the goal line, fumbled the ball which then resulted in Volunteers’ running back Jalen Hurd securing the fumble in the end zone for the win.
Josh Dobbs dives for the end zone, fumbles and Jalen Hurd dives in from the top to recover the ball for the Vols TD. pic.twitter.com/JdoZsjb1QJ
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 2, 2016
For a while there it looked like Appalachian State would pull off the impossible again, as it did nine years ago when it went into the “Big House”and shocked the Michigan Wolverines.
Alas, it was not meant to be.
After sleepwalking for much of the game, the Vols came alive in the fourth quarter and overtime. It was clearly the Vols’ defense that was the MVP Thursday, though, as they held Appalachian State scoreless for the last two and half quarters.
In the end, Dobbs passed for 192 yards on 16-29 passing to go with a touchdown and an interception.
Meanwhile. Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb threw for just 108 yards and a touchdown on 15-23 attempts to go with an interception. His last pass in overtime was eventually broken up which allowed the Volunteer faithful to breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Hurd had himself a heck of a game, as he finished with 110 rushing yards on 28 carries to go with the fortuitous touchdown. Meanwhile, Mountaineers’ running back Marcus Cox also had a solid game, as he rushed for 115 yards on 24 carries. Cox also scored on a 33-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
Tennessee will now gear up for its showdown against Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway next Saturday.
Meanwhile, Appalachian State will host Old Dominion next Saturday.