Jags Rally Falls Short Against Tennessee 31-24
South Alabama rode into Knoxville and proved that they belong in FBS football as they fell to the mighty Volunteers 31-24. They proved that in front of a crowd of 87,266 at Neyland Stadium and on the SEC Network television broadcast. Several college football pundits posted about the game on twitter throughout the game.
South Alabama took the opening kickoff and drove for the first points of the game, but a 31-point run by the Volunteers put them ahead 31-7 before the Jaguars began their rally.
Whatever adjustments were made and whatever was said in the locker room at halftime really got the Jaguars in gear. After Tennessee took the opening kickoff of the second half down the field for a touchdown, the Jags settled in and did not allow any more points for the rest of the game.
South Alabama’s third interception of Tennessee quarterback Worley got the Jaguar rally going. UT’s Brent Brewer intercepted Metheny at the Jaguar 35 yard line, but the first pass play by Tennessee would be deflected by Clifton Crews and Maleki Harris would intercept it and return it 58 yards to the Vol 10 yard line. A personal foul by Tennessee would move it to the 5 yard line. Cris Dinham would get the touchdown to cut the UT lead to 7 points with 8:55 left in the game.
The Jags, trailing 31-24, had the ball first and goal at the UT 7 yard line in the waning moments of the game. Unfortunately that was also the time that the University of Teneessee’s defense finally was able to get pressure on Metheny and kept the Jags from punching it in the end zone late in the game.
“They (Tennessee) ran through us in the first half, and we didn’t have anything offensively other than that first drive,” Jaguar head coach Joey Jones said in his post-game remarks. “We came in at halftime and I challenged them to come out and fight. And they did that. We were eight yards from making unbelievable history, but we didn’t do it. I am proud of the way we fought. We did some great things in the second half. My hat’s off to my team.”
“Tennessee has a really good football team. They did a good job against us. But I’m just real proud of the way our kids fought.”
Also in his post-game remarks, Coach Joey Jones said that they were going to go for the two-point conversion if they had scored. “It was going to be do-or-die. We were a couple of plays away from beating a SEC team.”
South Alabama will return to Sun Belt play when they travel to Troy for a noon kickoff with TV broadcast on the Sun Belt Network.
This is video that shows the botched field goal that got the Jaguars going in the second half.