KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee is 0-2 for the first time since 1988 after a 29-26 double overtime loss to BYU at Neyland Stadium Saturday night.
After Tennessee was held to a field goal in double overtime, the Cougars used three plays to seal the game. Ty’Son Williams scored on a 5 yard rush where he was assisted by several of his offensive linemen.
The fact tat the Cougars forced overtime was a story in itself. Facing 3rd and 6 on his own 20 yard line with six seconds left in the game, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson found a wide open Micah Simon for a 64 yard momentum swing. Jake Oldroyd went on to sink a 33 yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
After giving up over 200 rushing yards to Georgia State, Tennessee’s defense held BYU to -4 rushing yard through halftime. The Cougars ended with 107 compared to 242 for Tennessee. Ty Chandler led the Vols rushing attack with 154 yards on 26 carries. Eric Gray added 77 yards on 17 carries.
Tennessee got off to a hot start when Jarrett Guarantano capped off a 15 play, 80 yard drive with a 5 yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings on 4th and 3. The redshirt senior receiver, who now has a touchdown reception in Tennessee’s first two games, initially bobbled the ill-advised pass before reeling it in to put the Vols on the scoreboard first.
After BYU responded with a 19 yard field goal, Tennessee drove 60 yards in four plays before Eric Gray got stuffed for no gain on 4th and 1 at the Cougars’ 19 yard line. Tennessee’s ensuing drive also stalled out but this time, Jeremy Pruitt opted for a field goal and Brent Cimaglia delivered. Cimaglia connected from 51 yards, tying a career long and giving the Vols a 10-3 lead in the second quarter.
Cimaglia chipped in a 39 yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the first half, pushing Tennessee’s lead to 13-3 at the break.
Tennessee got the ball first to start the third quarter but Jarrett Guarantano gave it back to BYU three plays into the drive. Guarantano was intercepted by Cougars linebacker Kavika Fonua, who returned it 20 yards to the Tennessee 20 yard line. Three plays later, BYU running back Ty’Son Williams cruised in from 16 yards out to cut the Vols’ lead to 13-10 in the third quarter.
Following the score, the next four drives ended with punts, two from Tennessee and the other two from BYU. Tennessee made its way back into the red zone in the fourth quarter, driving 77 yards in 14 plays before Cimaglia hit a 22 yard field goal with under 12 minutes left in the game.
In overtime, Wilson and the Cougars scored quickly as Talon Shumway caught a 14 yard touchdown pass to give BYU the lead.
Tennessee responded on 3rd and 10 as Guarantano found Jennings in the end zone for a 13 yard touchdown to tie the game. In double overtime, Tennessee started with the ball and could only manage a field goal before BYU responded with the game-winning touchdown.
Tennessee will wrap up its three-game homestand on Sept. 14 against UT Chattanooga at Noon.