It was more of the same in Game 2 against Florida. When Jonathan Hefney muffed a punt, giving the Gators possession at the Vol 28-yard line, Tennessee's defense forced Florida to settle for a field goal that produced a 10-7 lead.
Moments later, when a foiled fake punt gave Florida possession on the Vol 31-yard line, Tennessee's stop unit again came to the rescue. By forcing the Gators to settle for another field goal, UT's defense kept the game within reach at 13-7.
Though proud of these stands, Vol linebacker Jason Mitchell isn't satisfied.
"It felt good to stop ‘em," he said, "but our goal is to hold ‘em to ZERO points … get a turnover or something."
Asked why the Vols seem to play better in such back-to-the-wall situations, Mitchell paused thoughtfully before replying:
"There's a bigger sense of urgency because, percentage-wise, we're supposed to lose that battle. When a team gets a turnover that deep, there's an 85-percent chance they're going to score, so you have more of a sense of urgency when those situations happen."