That players-only meeting didn’t work, and it seems the problem wasn’t the receiver who enjoyed a meme at his own team’s expense. The Tennessee Volunteers dropped their home opener to Georgia State—yes, State—but had the opportunity to rebound Saturday in Knoxville, this time against BYU. They were not up to the task. The Vols’ 13-3 lead at halftime turned into a 29-26 double-overtime loss. The program is now 0-2 for the first time since 1988.
Watch Ty’Son Williams’s game-winning touchdown run, and focus on the defense. Take note of how the crowd’s energy disintegrates once the BYU running back has clearly earned a first down and is definitely churning for more. Do those players in orange look like they want to be there?
The reason BYU even got to OT was because of Tennessee’s critical screwup in the last minute of regulation. The Vols punted as they clutched a 16-13 lead, and the Cougars received the ball with 54 seconds remaining. Their last-chance drive actually started going backwards after a false start penalty on the offense, putting BYU on its own eight-yard line, but then quarterback Zach Wilson ran for 12 yards on a second-and-18, and on a third-and-six, he found receiver Micah Wilson behind the coverage for a 64-yard gain to set up Jake Oldroyd’s field goal to tie the game with one second left.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the first round of overtime, but Tennessee settled for a field goal in double OT. BYU didn’t. After the defeat, Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt was left listing all the missed opportunities that could’ve put the game out of reach:
“You know really, that was a great football game,” Pruitt said. “We obviously came out on the wrong end of it. It’s a tough one to swallow. It’s hard to figure out how do you lose that game. Then you start thinking about it. There are two fourth-and-ones in the game that we don’t get. We have two guys running open right before the half, for touchdowns, that we don’t hit. We end up settling for a field goal. We turned the ball over in the red area. We don’t get a turnover. We got one turnover in two weeks. And then give up a 70-yard play with 17 seconds left on the clock. So it’s hard to figure that one out.”
The Vols’ next game is at home, against the Chattanooga Mocs. Tennessee shouldn’t have any trouble against that opponent; the question is whether Pruitt will still be coaching the team by then.