Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs had a rough season debut, but when he needed to make a play the most, he seemed to have luck on his side. A dive for the end zone saw Dobbs lose the football. Fortunately for the Vols, Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd dove in to land on the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Appalachian State gave the top-10 Tennessee Volunteers all they could handle. The Mountaineers could have escaped Knoxville with a win on the anniversary of their upset in Ann Arbor, but a missed extra-point attempt in the second quarter would come back to haunt them. The Vols battled back and took advantage of missed opportunities by the Sun Belt program and managed to get to overtime thanks to some poor clock management by their visitors at the end of the fourth quarter.
Tennessee got the first offensive possession of the overtime and worked their way close to the end zone. On third and goal, Dobbs rolled off to the right side and took to the air to try and stretch for the goal line. As replays would show, Dobbs would take a solid hit to the chest as he went air born, and he dropped the football before breaking the goal line. The ball fell into the end zone with a pair of Appalachian State defenders right beside it, but neither was able to land on it cleanly. A good six yards away from the fumble, Hurd came diving in from behind to get his hands on the ball, securing an overtime touchdown for Tennessee for the first and only lead of the night for the Vols. It was worth the wait in this case, as Appalachian State would be unable to match with a touchdown of their own in the ensuing possession of overtime.
It was a tough pill to swallow for Appalachian State, who return home having to wonder about a good handful of missed opportunities. It was a sigh of relief for Tennessee, and perhaps a bit of an eye-opener for them as well. Virginia Tech in Bristol looms, and they may not make as many mistakes.