Knoxville, TN – The Tennessee Vols held on to defeat South Alabama at Neyland Stadium, after enjoying a comfortable lead for the first half of the game, 31-24.
Head coach Butch Jones said he’ll take the win, but his Vols have work to do.
“We’re going to go back to work tomorrow and work to get better. As we continue to move forward, obviously we can’t make mistakes. I wanted a clean game and it was far from that. It’s been a grind for these kids. I think that’s what people don’t realize, it’s been a grind for these young men. Back to back opponents on the road, and then coming in here. They gutted it out. We take a lot from this. We have to learn from it and move forward.”
Tennessee moved to 3-2, as Rajion Neal ran for a career best 169 yard, including a 53 yard run that set up a touchdown by Marlin Lane.
Tennessee Volunteers running back Rajion Neal (20) runs the ball against the South Alabama Jaguars during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 31 to 24.(Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee gained 278 yards on the ground, while Justin Worley threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns. His three interceptions are something that Jones said was going to have to change.
“Well it is the small things and it starts with taking care of the football. I think that’s a learning process when you’re learning how to win, it’s also learning how do you handle success. It’s a sixty-minute game.”
Tennessee took a 24-7 lead into halftime and promptly marched into the end-zone to start the second half.
Neal scored from 11 yards after Tennessee drove 76 yards on 7 plays, using just over two minutes on the play clock. UT lead 31-7.
After trading turnovers, South Alabama picked up some momentum, scoring from inside the Tennessee 10 yard line, for their second score, making it 31-14.
South Alabama would score ten more points, keeping the Vols on their heels, and were driving for the tying score with just over one minute to play, when Brian Randolph intercepted a South Alabama pass in the end-zone, to seal the victory for Tennessee.
The Vols return to action next Saturday as the Georgia Bulldogs visit Neyland Stadium.
SectionsAnnouncements, Featured Story, Football, NCAA, Schools, Southeastern Conference, Sports, University of Tennessee
TopicsBrian Randolph, Butch Jones, football, Georgia, Georgia Bulldogs, Interception, Justin Worley, knoxville tennessee, Maralin Lane, Neyland Stadium, Rajion Neal, Rocky Top, South Alabama, Tennessee, Tennessee Vols, Touchdowns, University of Tennessee, UT, Vols, Volunteers