Vols stumble in 31-24 2OT loss to Oklahoma

Tennessee fell to Oklahoma, 31-24, after dropping a 14-point second half lead.

Just when it looked like No. 23 Tennessee was poised to put No. 19 Oklahoma away for an enormous non-conference win, the Sooners — much like their starting quarterback — simply refused to go down.

Oklahoma scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to storm back into the game, eventually besting the Vols (1-1) in double overtime, 34-21.

Despite holding the Sooners’ Air Raid offense to just 187 yards in the air, Tennessee’s defense was simply too gassed to keep up with constant sputtering from the offense.

The Vols struck first in the first quarter with a 19-yard Aaron Medley field goal after driving down to the 1-yard line. On fourth-and-one, Butch Jones elected to take the points in a decision he called necessary at the time of the game.

The Vols struck once more with an eight play, 51-yard drive that ended in a nine-yard strike to Josh Malone with 1:56 left in the first quarter. At that point it looked like Tennessee would find its rhythm, and those feelings were codified with another Dobbs touchdown on a 4-yard run with 12:14 remaining in the first half.

But in its next 10 possessions, Tennessee punted seven times, missed a field goal and ended the half with the ball twice. The Vols ended with 254 total yards and 6-of-18 on third down in the loss.

Tennessee's defense was able to keep its team in the game for a majority of the contest. Todd Kelly Jr. picked off Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield twice and the defense held the Sooners' offense to 348 yards in the double overtime defeat.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin ended the game with 22 tackles, 13 solo, and one sack, but it would not be enough.

Oklahoma roared back from 14 down to score twice, the second of which with just 40 seconds left as Mayfield hit Sterling Shepard for a 5-yard touchdown to tie the game. In the ensuing first overtime period, Jalen Hurd rumbled for an 8-yard touchdown to put the Vols ahead 24-17. Hurd ended the game with 106 yards and a score.

The Sooners, however, knotted things up once more with a 1-yard Mayfield rush and, taking the ball to start the second overtime, Mayfield's arm put them on top for good. The former Texas Tech walk-on hit Shepard for an 18-yard touchdown that would ultimately win the game.

Tennessee had a chance to tie things up, but Dobbs threw a pick on third down to cement the loss.


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