Fourth-quarter comeback sparks Tennessee win in TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
JACKSONVILLE, FL (WBIR) – When Tennessee trailed Indiana by 13 points with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, most of the country probably reached for the remote. The game was over. If you've paid attention to this Tennessee football season, you know the game was just getting started.
Tennessee scored once with 4:51 remaining in the game, a jumbo set with linebacker Quavaris Crouch banging it in from 1-yard out. Then in one of the gutsier decisions of UT's season, Paxton Brooks kicked the onside kick. Eric Gray recovered the ball and then three plays later, ran the ball into the checkerboards for a 16-yard score. Two touchdowns in 30 seconds. The Vols beat Indiana, 23-22.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, FBS teams trailing by at least 13 points in the final 5 minutes of the fourth quarter this season were 0-471: now those teams are 1-471.
Gray made a name for himself in this game, running for 86 yards and a touchdown plus hauling in two receptions for 34 yards. Gray took home the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl MVP.
Of course, Tennessee was in this position for a reason, an inability to score touchdowns in the red zone in the first half and two turnovers put the Vols in the hole to begin with. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Guarantano was replaced by quarterback Brian Maurer for a drive. The freshman led the Vols down the field for a field goal, but nearly threw another interception along the way. What comes next for Tennessee at the quarterback position will be hard to say, but that's a worry for another day.
For the seniors, it's quite a way to end their time on Rocky Top. Jauan Jennings, who was suspended for the first half, was emotional after the game.
Jennings added two catches for 27 yards in this contest. Here's where he finishes in the Tennessee receiving record book:
-Touchdown catches: No. 5 (18)
-Receptions: No. 5 (146)
-Receiving Yards: No. 4 (2,153)
Tennessee will start the 2020 season with a home game against Charlotte on Sep. 5.
Raed more at WBIR's website.