ATLANTA — Calm, cool and collected, Quinten Dormady never wavered under the bright lights of Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a national television audience looking on.
Dormady, making his first career start, rallied the No. 25-ranked Vols to a 42-41 double-overtime victory over Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets dominated play most of the night, leading 21-7 after opening the second half with a scoring drive, and then 28-14 early in the fourth quarter.
“My blood pressure never went up,” said Dormady, a junior from Boerne, Texas, who finished 20-of-37 passing for 221 yards and a pair of touchdown throws. “We knew we would get our shots. We just needed to start executing.”
No doubt. Dormady was 12-of-17 passing for 169 yards in the second half and overtime. Both touchdowns came late, too.
The Vols’ offense started slow, and Dormady was the victim of five dropped passes in the first half.
“I think our timing was a little bit off to start the game,” Dormady said. “We came in at halftime, we didn’t even really make any adjustments, it was just going out and executing and settling down.”
Tennessee coach Butch Jones said going into the game he was considering playing two quarterbacks. But under the circumstances Monday, Jones felt he had to stick with the experienced Dormady over redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano.
“We knew our possessions were going to be minimal. … We needed consistency and we needed continuity,” Jones said. “It’s just the ebbs and flows of the game.
“Jarrett will get his opportunity, but each game is different in and of itself.”
Dormady said he never looked over his shoulder to see if Gurantano was warming up. He was too focused on the game.
“It goes back to trusting each other, and we’ve worked really hard since the end of last season going through spring ball and doing some 7-on-7 this summer,” Dormady said. “So it’s just falling back on the training you had.
“I believed in those guys, and I knew they would step up.”