South Alabama Vs. Tennessee Final Score: Volunteers hang on for 31-24 victory

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

South Alabama rallies for 17 straight points and reaches the Tennessee 6 on its last drive, but the Vols prevail.

Tennessee needed a late defensive stand to preserve a 31-24 victory against the unexpectedly feisty South Alabama Jaguars, one of the newest members of the FBS subdivision.

Tennessee held a 31-7 lead in the third quarter, but an interception and long return sparked the Jaguar comeback, and after 17 straight South Alabama points, the Jaguars had a first-and-goal with under three minutes left but couldn't get into the end zone, sealing the Vol victory.

Box Score Hero: Tennessee tailback Rajion Neal rushed for a career-high 169 yards on 25 carries, and his 11-yard score early in the third quarter turned out to be not only Tennessee's last touchdown of the game but also the final margin of victory.

Rankings Ramifications: Tennessee will continue to be unranked after this victory. Very, very unranked.

But Did They Cover? Tennessee was only a 17-point favorite.

For More On This Game: For more on Vols football, visit Tennessee community Rocky Top Talk, plus SEC community Team Speed Kills.

Next Week's Schedule: Tennessee's schedule ramps up with a home date against No. 9 Georgia next week, and South Alabama faces Troy.

More from SB Nation:

Your Week 4 college football TV schedule guide

Picking Week 4’s biggest games, eating pretty sandwiches

Spencer Hall’s Alphabetical | Bill Connelly’s Numerical | This Week in Schadenfreude

Mack Brown’s apology for losing to Oklahoma, a month early!

What we learned from the Alabama-Texas A&M classic

Today’s college football news headlines

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