A tough loss for Tech, but an upbeat outlook all the same

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"Really proud of our players", a jubilant Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said after the game.

"The resolve and resiliency of our defense, even though we gave up [535] yards rushing, we still managed to force two takeaways, and offensively, we didn't turn the football over, which was paramount to winning the football game".

The Big Orange will be one of the first teams to play in the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall (16) runs the ball against the Tennessee in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, in Atlanta.

However, for all its troubles, Tennessee's defense had a couple of great plays in it.

In the second overtime, Marshall scored on a 13-yard run, and Georgia Tech made a decision to go for the victory right there rather than a tying PAT and a potential third overtime. At one point, the Yellow Jackets called a running play 33 times in a row before they went to the air, but it was an incomplete pass. Beginning with the second week of last season, the only regular-season games to draw higher overnight ratings on an ESPN network were Ohio State-Michigan State on November 19 of past year (3.7) and Ohio State-Indiana last Thursday (3.6).

The Georgia Tech defense was credited with one negative play, a 2-yard loss on a nice tackle by Desmond Branch.

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"At the end there, I felt like we had a better chance of getting the two-point conversion than we did of stopping them (in a third overtime)", Johnson said. Seconds later, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior was smacked behind the line of scrimmage by Tennessee defensive lineman Darrell Taylor, but Marshall found enough balance while tumbling backward to fling a pass in the flat to KirVonte Benson. His 42-yard fieldgoal to tie the game in the first quarter was the second-longest of his career. The Volunteers scored touchdowns on five of their final six possessions, including the two in overtime.

With incredible anticipation and timing, Callaway high-pointed the ball over Tech defenders with relative ease to the tune of four catches for 115 yards and two scores.

In his first collegiate start, Bituli was all over the field, helping defend a Georgia Tech triple-option running attack that ran 96 plays for a whopping 655 yards.

A fourth-down stop by Tennessee's defense with 3:14 left in the third started the Vol's 70-yard scoring series. Marshall ran 44 times for 249 yards and five touchdowns in his debut as a starter.

Tennessee's offense answered, putting together a 61-yard drive in just over a minute. That play capped a 93-yard drive, after the Yellow Jackets had lost a fumble at the UT 7 on the previous possession. We should be placing this one on the highest shelf of Johnson's many notable victories, but Tennessee somehow wound up with 42 points to Tech's 41. The fumble was recovered by Tennessee's Micah Abernathy at the 7. "I mean, either of those field goals ices the game, too".

(9:19 - 3rd) TaQuon Marshall 1 yard touchdown run. "(We) reversed out and tried to get outside of it. Tennessee hosts Indiana State on Saturday and travels to Florida next week.