COLLEGE STATION — Tennessee’s seven turnovers and yet another slow start cost the Vols their chance for a perfect season Saturday afternoon.
Texas A&M scored a 45-38 win over Tennessee in double overtime, sealing the victory when safety Armani Watts intercepted Josh Dobbs on the Vols’ first play of the second OT period.
The No. 8-ranked Aggies (6-0, 4-0 SEC) built a 28-7 lead before No. 9-ranked Tennessee (5-1, 2-1) staged yet another dramatic comeback, tying the game at 35-35 on Alvin Kamara’s 18-yard TD catch with 40 seconds left in regulation.
The Vols, who had trailed by double digits in four of their five wins this season, have now lost 12 straight to SEC West Division opponents dating back to 2010.
The Aggies had the last chance to win in regulation, but kicker Daniel LaCamera missed a 37-yard field goal with four seconds left after Coach Butch Jones called two timeouts to ice him.
The teams swapped 34-yard field goals in the first overtime, LaCamera having settled down, and then QB Trevor Knight scored on a 1-yard plunge to put Texas A&M up 45-38 in the second OT period.
Dobbs was pressured throughout the day, sacked a season-high four times while completing 28-of-47 passes for a career-high 398 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Kamara starred in place of Jalen Hurd at tailback, rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, and catching eight passes for 161 yards and a touchdown.
Trayveon Williams led Texas A&M with 217 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries.
The teams combined for more than 1,000 yards of offense, the Vols out-gaining the Aggies 684-592, only to be undone by their turnovers.
Four things learned
• The Vols need new drills in practice to improve their ball control. Tennessee fumbled six times and lost five of them. The Aggies converted three of the fumbles into touchdowns.
• Who needs a goal-line package? Tennessee scored its first TD on a trick play, direct-snapping to Kamara, who flipped to Jauan Jennings, who passed to a wide-open Dobbs.
• The Vols need a bye week. Tennessee began the game missing four defensive starters along with tailback Jalen Hurd, and starters got banged up Saturday, including center Dylan Wiesman, guard Jashon Robertson linebacker Cortez McDowell and Danny O’Brien, all of whom didn’t return to action.
• Resiliency. Tennessee continues to show that it’s a staple of the team.
• Christian Kirk caught a 24-yard pass from Trevor Knight to the UT 1, setting up what proved to be the game-winning TD.
• Alvin Kamara and John Kelly proved themselves a capable duo in the absence of Jalen Hurd.
• Can a banged-up Tennessee team collect itself and be ready for what Alabama will bring next Saturday?
• Tennessee ran 99 plays and won the time of possession battle, controlling the ball for 32 minutes, 23 seconds.
What it means
• The Vols have the same number of losses as SEC East Division rival Florida (1) with defending national champ Alabama coming to Knoxville next Saturday. Jones has made it known he feels the LSU-Florida game has to be made up, for obvious reasons.