KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The season opener for Tennessee wasn’t pretty and the team showed a number of flaws.
Ultimately, however, the Vols pulled out the 42-41 double overtime victory against Georgia Tech on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The comeback win highlighted the team’s “resolve and resiliency,” according to coach Butch Jones.
Tennessee (1-0) might not have looked like a well-oiled team, but the voters with SEC Country weren’t too harsh with their voting.
The 26 voters in the SEC Country Power Poll placed Tennessee in the No. 6 spot in the Week 1 poll released Tuesday.
The offense had question marks at every position heading into the game, and the lack of continuity showed in the first half. Junior quarterback Quinten Dormady went 8 of 20 for 54 yards in the first 30 minutes, throwing under constant pressure before halftime.
The wide receivers didn’t do much to help the cause, either, with 5 drops before halftime.
“In the first half obviously, offensively I did not think we played to our standard and our expectations,” Jones said. “We had way too many negative yardage football plays. We had a 3rd-and-long way too many times and we had way too many dropped passes on the perimeter.”
Dormady finished 20 of 37 for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns without an interception.
The Vols settled down as the game wore on and scored 28 points after the third quarter.
Junior running back John Kelly played a big role in the second half turnaround. He finished the game with 19 carries for 128 yards and 4 touchdowns — including the Vols’ last 3 touchdowns.
“We talked about just staying composed,” Kelly said after the game about the offense struggling early. “That’s what I was focused on the most.”
Sophomore wide receiver Marquez Callaway recorded only 4 catches, but each catch came at a critical point in the second half. Two of his grabs were touchdowns — from 10 and 50 yards out.
Tennessee now has a short week as it turns its attention to Indiana State for the home opener Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Your Week 1 Power Poll rankings
|1||Alabama (1 - 0)||338||26||1||1|
|2||Auburn (1 - 0)||297||0||2||4|
|3||LSU (1 - 0)||292||0||2||5|
|4||Georgia (1 - 0)||260||0||3||6|
|5||South Carolina (1 - 0)||203||0||2||11|
|6||Tennessee (1 - 0)||178||0||4||13|
|7||Arkansas (1 - 0)||165||0||5||13|
|8||Florida (0 - 1)||158||0||5||14|
|9||Mississippi State (1 - 0)||136||0||6||13|
|10||Kentucky (1 - 0)||113||0||6||14|
|11||Texas A&M (0 - 1)||75||0||7||14|
|12||Ole Miss (1 - 0)||60||0||9||14|
|13||Vanderbilt (1 - 0)||52||0||8||14|
|14||Missouri (1 - 0)||39||0||9||14|
This week's voters:
Alex Hickey ( SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith ( SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto ( SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson ( SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson ( SEC Country)
Marq Burnett ( SEC Country)
Mike Griffith ( SEC Country)
Seth Emerson ( Atlanta Journal Constitution)
The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Tennessee is ranked (Week 1) appeared first on SEC Country.
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