September 11, 2016
No. 17 Tennessee rallies past Tech
Travon McMillian paced the Hokies with 127 yards rushing in a 45-24 loss
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Virginia Tech (1-1) 1403724
(17) Tennessee (2-0) 02471445
  • Bristol, Tenn. - 156,990
  • Passing: Jerod Evans 208 yds
  • Rushing: Travon McMillian 127 yds
  • Receiving: Cam Phillips 77 yds
Battle at Bristol Notes and Quotes

Postgame notes

Coach Fuente quotes

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Virginia Tech got off to a great start in its game against the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers, but turnovers and penalties turned out to be its undoing, as the Hokies fell to the Volunteers 45-24 on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The long-anticipated event drew a crowd of 156,990 fans and broke college football’s single-game attendance record, surpassing the 115,109 fans who witnessed Michigan and Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium in 2013.

Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two more, as the Volunteers rallied from a 14-0 deficit to knock off the Hokies in the first regular-season meeting between the two teams since 1937.

Virginia Tech (1-1) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jerod Evans to Sam Rogers and a 69-yard touchdown run by tailback Travon McMillian. But an Evans fumble led to a 5-yard touchdown pass from Dobbs to Jauan Jennings early in the second quarter and that started a Volunteers’ string of 31 unanswered points.

Dobbs completed 10 of 19 for 91 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 106 yards.

McMillian paced the Hokies with 127 yards rushing and the score. Evans completed 20 of 28 for 214 yards and a touchdown.

OF NOTE

• Virginia Tech out-gained Tennessee (400-330), ran more plays (73-65) and had the time of possession advantage (31:44-28:16).

• Tech turned the ball over five times in the game and Tennessee scored 21 points off those turnovers. All five were fumbles. The Hokies have now lost nine fumbles on the season.

• The momentum of the game changed when a poor snap from center Kyle Chung threw off the timing of a handoff between Evans and C.J. Carroll early in the second quarter. Tennessee recovered at the Tech 5 and scored on the next play.

• The Hokies cut the Tennessee lead to 31-17 on a field goal by Joey Slye late in the third quarter, but three of their next four possessions ended in fumbles.

• The Hokies were penalized eight times for 101 yards.

• McMillian’s touchdown run marked the longest run of his career. His 100-yard performance marked the fourth of his career.

Shai McKenzie’s 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter marked the fourth of his career and his first since Sept. 27, 2014 against Western Michigan.

PROMINENT QUOTES

Tech coach Justin Fuente on the turnovers: “Well, obviously it's reared its head in huge ways the first two ball games. We've got to do a better job. We've obviously got to do a better job either teaching or understanding or emphasizing ball security. We're inadequate to say the least right now. We'll look at it and come up with a plan, but what we're doing, what we've done in the past, hasn't been an issue. Obviously, we need to change or modify it in order to give ourselves a chance.”

Fuente on the penalties: “At times, we lacked discipline out there, which is very disappointing. That falls on me.”

UP NEXT

The Hokies return to Lane Stadium next Saturday and open ACC play with a game against Boston College. The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter and on Instagram @vthokiefootball Instagram

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