It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win.
Tennessee overcame a slow offensive attack to take a 30-13 victory over FCS foe Austin Peay on Saturday inside Neyland Stadium.
“A win? Absolutely,” Volunteer Head Coach Josh Heupel said. “Do we need to be a whole lot better? Yes, absolutely, in particular offensively. There are some things that we control. Give credit to them, too; they played well, they played hard, and they forced us into turnovers or created negative plays. At the end of the day, there are a lot of things that we can look at in the mirror, watch the video, and we have to take another step on the offensive side of the football.”
The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes due to lightning in the area.
“The fans did a great job,” Heupel said. “How did we handle it? There’s nothing that you can do other than, here’s the situation, here’s when the expected moment of when we feel like we’re going to have an opportunity to go out.
“Here’s what you need to do in the meantime because of an extended break coming off the field. That’s rolling out, its hydration, it’s fueling. Then, here’s the plan as we go out. At the end of the day, it’s nothing that you’ve practiced. Your players have to handle it in a good way, your coaches do too. I thought we communicated what we were going to do in a good way. There are some things that we did well early in the football game. Offensively, I don’t think that’s the reason we didn’t function as well as we’re capable of early in the football game.”
Joe Milton III ended the night 21-of-33 for 228 yards and a touchdown while adding a touchdown on the ground.
Ramel Keyton and Bru McCoy finished with 52 yards and 51 yards, respectively.
The teams swapped field goals over the first quarter and changed as the game was tied at 3-3 after a quarter of play.
Tennessee scored the game’s first offensive touchdown late in the second on a seven-yard run to send Tennessee to the locker room with a 13-6 lead at the break.
The Tennessee offense saw Remal Keyton catch a Milton pass on the opening drive of the third for staff, while Charles Campbell added a 22-yard field goal – his third of the night – to extend the lead. After AP pulled within 10 with 9:01 to play, Milton found McCallan Castles for a touchdown to secure the win for Orange and White.
Keyton and Bru McCoy ended the game with 52 and 51 receiving yards, respectively.
Mike DiLiello was 20-of-39 for the Govs as he threw for 260 yards.
Tennessee is set to travel to Florida next week.