Let’s face it. This was a horrible performance by Tennessee Football against the Austin Peay Governors. The Vols were tied with them 6-6 late in the first half and never actually led in the game up to then. As a result, they actually needed a turning point against an FCS program, and it came with 15 seconds to go.
After multiple drives had stalled due to penalties, with 15 seconds to go in the game, the Vols had a 3rd and goal from the 6-yard line. Coming out of a timeout, Josh Heupel dialed up a quarterback draw. Joe Milton III took that draw and ran it into the end zone for a touchdown.
That play gave Tennessee Football its first lead of the game, and the Vols went into halftime up 13-6. They then scored on the opening drive of the second half to take a two-score lead. Although they were still extremely sloppy the rest of the way, that at least put them in control.
Of course, after that touchdown in the second half, Rocky Top suffered a three-and-out, a drive that stalled with a field goal and a Ramel Keyton fumble. Milton had his issues throwing the ball early on, but he certainly didn’t have any help from his receivers or his protection. He also was incomplete on a clear-cut pass interference.
Still, that touchdown run was enough to give the Vols the momentum they needed to make sure they could put the game away on a weird game that started 30 minutes late due to bad weather. If they had to settle for a field goal on that drive, then things would have looked a lot scarier in the second half.
It may not seem like much, and it was still a bad night overall for Tennessee Football, but that particular play was crucial. Give Heupel and Joey Halzle credit for the play-call, and give Milton credit for executing it. That turned out to be crucial.