KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s win over Appalachian State certainly was no thing of beauty, but there were pretty of things worth noting in looking back on the 20-13 overtime victory.
The No. 9-ranked Vols (1-0) next play Virginia Tech (1-0) at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the “Battle of Bristol” at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Hokies opened their season with a 36-13 win over FCS Liberty.
Tennessee’s winning streak stands at seven dating to last season, the longest for the program since 2001, when Casey Clausen was at quarterback and Outland Trophy winner John Henderson anchored the defensive line.
Only two teams at the FBS level have longer active winning streaks: Alabama (13) and San Diego State (11).
The Vols played four true freshmen in the opener: Marquill Osborne, Nigel Warrior, Tyler Byrd and Baylen Buchanan.
Tennessee had two first-time starters, safety Micah Abernathy and left tackle Drew Richmond. Richmond and Eli Wolf were the only two redshirt freshmen to play.
Charting Jalen Hurd
Thursday marked Jalen Hurd’s 11th career 100-yard rushing game and his fourth in a row. Against App State he had 28 carries for 110 yards.
Hurd has 2,297 career rushing yards, which ranks No. 12 on the program’s all-time list. Travis Stephens (1997-2001) is No. 11 with 2,336 yards, Reggie Cobb (1987-89) is No. 10 with 2,360, Curt Watson (1969-71) is No. 9 with 2,364 and Montario Hardesty (2005-09) is No. 8 with 2,391. Travis Henry (1997-2000) holds the career mark with 3,078 yards.
Hurd ranks ninth in carrier carries (495), passing Jamal Lewis (1997-99) and Travis Stephens (1997-2001). Cedric Houston (2001-04) ranks No. 8 on the list with 501, and Johnnie Jones (1981-84) is No. 7 with 517. Arian Foster (2005-8) holds the career mark with 650 carries.
Charting Josh Dobbs
Dobbs moved past Jeff Francis (1985-88) and into sixth on Tennessee’s total yardage list with 6,085 yards.
Andy Kelly (1989-91) is No. 5 with 6,427 total yards, Tyler Bray (2010-12) is No. 4 with 7,444, Erik Ainge (2004-07) is No. 3 with 8,700, Casey Clausen (2000-03) is No. 2 (9,577) and Peyton Manning (1994-97) is No. 1 with 11,020.
Micah Abernathy not only had the game-sealing play, knocking down an Appalachian State fourth-down pass in the end zone in overtime, but he also posted a career-high eight tackles.
Cortez McDowell, who came in when Jalen Reeves-Maybin was ejected for targeting in punt coverage, had a career-high 9 tackles.
— Jesse Re Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) September 2, 2016
Tennessee is 12-6 all-time in overtime games, the Vols’ 12 victories more than any other team in the NCAA. UT was previously tied with Missouri (11-5).
Tennessee’s overtime win also snapped a 3-game losing streak in overtime games by the Vols.
Did you know?
Tennessee trailed at halftime of a home opener for the first time since 1984, when the Vols were behind Washington State 16-14.
Tennessee won that game, too, 34-27.
Here’s a look at how the teams on the Vols’ schedule fared the first week:
Virginia Tech Won, 36-13 over Liberty
Ohio Lost, 56-54 OT over Texas State
Florida Won, 24-7 over UMass
Georgia Won, 33-24 over North Carolina
Texas A&M Won, 31-24 OT over UCLA
Alabama Won, 52-6 over Southern Cal
South Carolina Won, 13-10 over Vanderbilt
Tennessee Tech Lost, 21-7 to Wofford
Kentucky Lost, 44-35 to Southern Miss
Missouri Lost, 26-11 to West Virginia
Vanderbilt Lost, 13-10 to South Carolina
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee football for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s SEC Country and lives in Knoxville.