Georgia Tech opener draws huge overnight rating on ESPN

Jauan Jennings will be a big part of the 2017 Tennessee offense

It felt like the right call at the time and still does now - in all, Georgia Tech converted 13-of-18 third downs, achieved 33 first downs to Tennessee's 18 and possessed the ball for 41:27 - but Tennessee came up with its only stop of the night, the only one it needed.

ESPN's broadcast of Georgia Tech's heartbreaking 42-41, double-overtime defeat drew a 3.3 overnight rating nationwide.

Johnson wasn't second-guessing his decision after the game. Dormady's first career start was on a big stage for a signal caller who threw for almost 6,000 yards over his career and was considered one of the top-rated pro style quarterbacks in the country. But with the departures of Justin Thomas, Dedrick Mills, and Marcus Marshall, some questioned how well the Jackets would move the ball this season. TaQuon Marshall rushed 44 times for a whopping 249 yards and five touchdowns, while KirVonte Benson added 26 carries for 124 yards and a TD of his own.

As for Tennessee, one thing that can be derived from its game against Georgia Tech was an ability to not get rattled.

Georgia Tech still had a chance to win in regulation, driving into position for walk-on Shawn Davis' 36-yard field goal attempt on the final play. "We may play all four in the first game", Johnson told reporters. Tennessee was held to 369 yards and ran just 59 plays, compared to 96 by the Yellow Jackets.

They fooled us. Actually my spies said they were working on blocking field goals to send games to overtime. Sophomore receiver Marquez Callaway stepped in after Jennings went out and had four catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. The Jackets led 14-7 at halftime, accepted the ball to open the second half and promptly took complete control of the game with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that consumed almost six minutes - almost 20 percent of the available game time to that point.

The deficit seemed insurmountable, given the Vols' struggles to that point, but Callaway erased half of it in one blur.

Although Tennessee won the game, I hope Vols fans do not fall into the same 2015 and 2016 trap, bailing out a poorly coached game by Butch Jones excusing it because they won the football game. I mean, he made nice play, broke a tackle. We spoke all week about a will to win.

"I was like, 'yo, as long as you give God the glory I promise you you're going to have a great game and they're gonna know who you are", Gaulden said. Dormady, in his first start, finished 20 of 37 for 221 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

"But we just rebuild", linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. This game and the one on Sunday night between the Texas A&M Aggies and the UCLA Bruins definitely had us on the edge of our seats.

Not crushed by the thought that Georgia Tech's obvious scheme to infiltrate, then rule, the SEC East like some super virus had run into a real complication. They kept the ball 21:17 compared to 8:43 for the Vols. Tech converted 8 of 11 third down plays.

Tech got the ball to start the second half and tacked together another long scoring drive to go up 21-7.

At the end of the second overtime, the Yellow Jackets had the opportunity to kick the extra point and tie the game or go for the win with a two-point conversion.

Paul Johnson, not so much. But the Yellow Jackets failed to record a sack and rarely got heat on Tennessee quarterback Quinten Dormady, who was making his first start. Tennessee drove almost the length of the field for the tying score.

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