For the second straight week, Tennessee came up short.
The Vols saw BYU force overtime in the closing seconds and fell 29-26 in double-overtime to the Cougars despite never trailing in regulation.
“It was a great football game,” Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “We obviously came out on the wrong end of it. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, BYU drove 68 yards in five plays before Jake Oldroyd nailed the game-tying field goal with one second left on the clock. The play was set-up by a lengthy pass
“There’s 17 seconds left on the clock,” Pruitt said. “They have to go 60 yards to kick a field goal or at least 40. They can play three plays, so you play on top of them. The same defense we called on the previous play when they lost 12 yards is what we called.”
In the first overtime, the teams traded touchdowns, with BYU scoring first and the Vols responding with a 13-yard strike from Jarrett Guarantano to Juan Jennings to knot the score at 23-23.
In double-overtime, the Vols settled for a field goal following a three-and-out. On BYU’s drive, Ty’Son Williams pushed his way into the endzone to clinch the 29-26 victory for the Cougars.
The Vols fall to 0-2 and will host Chattanooga next Saturday for a noon ET kickoff on SEC Network.
Tennessee kicker Brent Cimaglia tied a career-high with four made field goals, upping his season total to seven made tries on seven attempts.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Vols held BYU less than 300 yards of total offense in regulation, while tallying four sacks and six tackles for loss on the night.
Junior LaTrell Bumphus, had a stand out performance with two sacks, while junior Theo Jackson led UT with nine total tackles.
The Vols got things started in the scoring department Saturday with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate 7:15 off the clock. The drive was capped off by a five-yard deflected pass from quarterback Jarrett Guarantano to Jennings on fourth down.
The drive was UT’s second scoring drive of 15 plays or more on the season.
BYU responded with a drive of its own into the red zone. The Cougars were forced to settle for a field goal, following an impressive stand that included a sack from freshman Greg Emerson.
Tennessee regained its seven-point advantage at 10-3, when Cimaglia nailed a 51-yard field goal, tying his career long.
Following a third punt in four drives for BYU, UT closed the first half with a second Cimaglia field goal – this time from 39 yards – to give the Orange and White a 13-3 lead at the break.
Out of the locker room, BYU forced an interception on Tennessee’s first drive of the half.
On the ensuing possession, Williams took a carry on third down and scampered 16 yards to the end zone to cut the UT advantage to 13-10.
Following four consecutive punts between the teams, UT finished off a 14-play, 77-yard drive with Cimaglia’s third field goal of the contest to increase the Big Orange lead to 16-10.
The Cougars responded with a 10-plus play drive of their own to cut the UT lead back to three following Oldroyd’s second field goal of the evening.
On the ensuing possession, Tennessee was forced to punt with a minute remaining, setting up BYU’s game-tying drive.
“First of all, we had a lot of guys at fault,” Pruitt said. “A lot of guys at fault. They played really, really hard. But the bottom line is that there are a couple of errors that we made in the game that you can’t do. Things you just don’t do. We made a couple of those errors in the game, and it’s tough to win against anybody when you make errors like that. It’s a tough pill for everybody to swallow. Everybody worked hard this week and responded the right way. We have to go back and do the same thing this next week.”