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