• 63°

Appalachian State loses heartbreaker at Tennessee

By Steve Megargee

AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jalen Hurd recovered quarterback Joshua Dobbs’ overtime fumble in the end zone and No. 9 Tennessee overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to escape with a 20-13 victory over Appalachian State on Thursday night.

Tennessee faced third-and-goal from the 2 when Dobbs ran to his right and lost control of the ball as he tried to stretch his arms across the goal line. Hurd won the scramble for the loose ball in the end zone to give the Volunteers their only lead of the night.

Micah Abernathy ended the game by breaking up a pass into the end zone on fourth-and-5 from the 20.

Tennessee’s comeback prevented Appalachian State from producing another shocker nine years to the day after the Mountaineers stunned No. 5 Michigan in one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

The Vols tied it on Dobbs’ 67-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone with 10:30 left in regulation. Appalachian State’s Michael Rubino, who earlier missed an extra point, was wide right on a 42-yard field goal attempt with 5:24 remaining.

Rubino’s miss wasted a 57-yard punt return by Jaquil Capel that gave Appalachian State the ball at the 28.

Tennessee entered the season with its highest ranking since 2006 after winning its final six games last year, but the Volunteers looked nothing like a Top 10 team Thursday. The Volunteers committed two turnovers and lost linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a targeting penalty in the first half as Appalachian State built a 13-3 lead.

Cam Sutton fumbled on a punt return and Appalachian State’s Alex Gray recovered at Tennessee’s 36 to set up the first touchdown, a 5-yard keeper from Taylor Lamb barely four minutes into the game. Appalachian State’s other touchdown came in the second quarter on a 33-yard completion from Lamb to Marcus Cox, who also rushed for 115 yards.

The Mountaineers had lost by at least 28 points in each of their six meetings with Power Five teams since that Michigan game, but they showed Thursday that they could compete with college football’s big-name programs. Appalachian State refused to get pushed around and kept Tennessee’s offense out of the end zone for the first 49 1/2 minutes.

The Vols vowed they weren’t overlooking Appalachian State and weren’t distracted by sky-high preseason expectations, but something was clearly missing Thursday. Tennessee didn’t bear any resemblance to the team that ended the 2015 season on a six-game winning streak.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras