Tennessee tops No. 11 South Carolina on final play - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tennessee tops No. 11 South Carolina on final play

Posted: Updated:
Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (20) is congratulated by teammates offensive linesman Ja'Wuan James (70) and offensive linesman Antonio Richardson (74) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the Vols win over Georgia. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (20) is congratulated by teammates offensive linesman Ja'Wuan James (70) and offensive linesman Antonio Richardson (74) after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the Vols win over Georgia. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Michael Palardy made a 19-yard field goal as time expired Saturday to give Tennessee a 23-21 victory over No. 11 South Carolina that ended the Volunteers' 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents.

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw left the game after being sacked by Marlon Walls and Daniel McCullers with less than five minutes remaining. Coach Steve Spurrier said Shaw had a sprained knee.

Tennessee got into field-goal range on a spectacular 39-yard catch by freshman Marquez North, who snared the ball with his left hand at the South Carolina 26 while being closely covered by cornerback Ahmad Christian down the left sideline. Four consecutive runs by Marlin Lane got the Vols to the South Carolina 2 and set up the field goal.

Palardy celebrated his game-winning kick by racing to join his teammates on the sideline closest to the Tennessee locker room, where they gathered to celebrate at about the 15-yard line. Tennessee coach Butch Jones chest-bumped athletic director Dave Hart on his way off the field.

Mike Davis rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown for South Carolina (5-2, 3-2), which erased a 17-7 halftime deficit before having its four-game winning streak snapped. Shaw had a touchdown run and a touchdown pass, though he also was 7 of 21 and threw his first interception of the season.

Tennessee (4-3, 1-2 SEC) hadn't beaten a ranked foe since a 31-13 victory over No. 21 South Carolina on Oct. 31, 2009. The Vols also had lost 16 of their last 18 SEC games.

But on a day when hundreds of former Volunteers joined the team Saturday in running onto Neyland Stadium, Tennessee finally started playing like the Vols of old.

About 250 former Tennessee players, including All-Pro selections Al Wilson and Jamal Lewis, joined the team in going through the "T'' and onto the playing field before the game.

That seemed to inspire the Vols early.

Tennessee took a 3-0 lead on a 37-yard field goal that was set up by a targeting penalty on South Carolina safety Kadetrix Marcus that resulted in his ejection. Marcus had hit Alton "Pig" Howard at the end of a 12-yard reception on a third-and-5 play.

On the first play of the second quarter, Shaw hit a wide-open Damiere Byrd in stride for a 76-yard touchdown that put South Carolina ahead 7-3.

Tennessee answered by reaching the end zone on its next two series. Justin Worley's 6-yard touchdown pass to Howard put the Vols ahead, then Rajion Neal added a 5-yard touchdown run.

South Carolina regained the momentum and the lead after a gutsy fourth-down call.

Facing fourth-and-8 from the Tennessee 45, Spurrier decided to go for it rather than punting. The gamble paid off when Shaw scrambled 9 yards for the first down.

Shaw capped the drive by pitching right to Mike Davis on third-and-6 for a 21-yard touchdown. After Palardy's 46-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide left on Tennessee's next possession, South Carolina drove down the field again and scored on Shaw's 1-yard touchdown run with 2:50 left in the third quarter.

Tennessee cut the lead to 21-20 with 10:11 remaining on Palardy's 33-yard field goal, which was set up by North's leaping 48-yard reception. But the Vols stalled after reaching South Carolina territory on their next two possessions.

That merely set the stage for a more dramatic rally later.

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list

    Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 3:33 AM EDT2014-09-17 07:33:00 GMT
    Adrian Peterson was back at Minnesota Vikings headquarters on Monday, and the first thing fullback Jerome Felton did when he saw his star running back was give him a high-five.More >>
    After a day of public pressure from angry fans and concerned sponsors, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that...More >>
  • Braves' new stadium has a name _ SunTrust Park

    Braves' new stadium has a name _ SunTrust Park

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 12:12 AM EDT2014-09-17 04:12:17 GMT
    The Atlanta Braves new suburban stadium already has a name - SunTrust Park.More >>
    The Braves are still more than two years away from moving into their new suburban ballpark.More >>
  • Birmingham City School leaders respond to allegations of unqualified administrators

    Birmingham City School leaders respond to allegations of unqualified administrators

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-17 03:18:16 GMT
    Birmingham City School leaders are responding to concerns Tuesday involving allegations that two administrators did not hold proper certification for the jobs.More >>
    Birmingham City School leaders are responding to concerns Tuesday involving allegations that two administrators did not hold proper certification for the jobs.More >>
  • State lawmaker watching judge's domestic abuse case

    State lawmaker watching judge's domestic abuse case

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:52:22 GMT
    An Alabama congresswoman is speaking out about domestic abuse and says she's closely monitoring a case involving a federal judge from Montgomery.More >>
    An Alabama congresswoman is speaking out about domestic abuse and says she's closely monitoring a case involving a federal judge from Montgomery.More >>
  • Alabama hoping to fully utilize offensive arsenal against Florida

    Alabama hoping to fully utilize offensive arsenal against Florida

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:50:23 GMT
    Alabama has experienced receivers, a deep and talented backfield and a preseason All-Southeastern Conference tight end.More >>
    Alabama has experienced receivers, a deep and talented backfield and a preseason All-Southeastern Conference tight end.
    More >>
  • Small Treasurers coming to Birmingham Museum of Art

    Small Treasurers coming to Birmingham Museum of Art

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:29:42 GMT
    Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries is coming to the Birmingham Museum of Art early next year. The exhibition, from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015, features small 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. During the period, artists demonstrated precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, their technical skills were highly revered, and these paintings had an impact on the work of many artists.The exhibition brings toget...More >>
    Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries is coming to the Birmingham Museum of Art early next year. The exhibition, from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015, features small 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. During the period, artists demonstrated precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, their technical skills were highly revered, and these paintings had an impact on the work of many artists.The exhibition brings toget...More >>
  • Gadsden police officers receive Life Saver Award

    Gadsden police officers receive Life Saver Award

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:09:23 GMT
    After 35 years on the job, August 25 could have been a Gadsden man's last shift for AT&T if it weren't for some Gadsden police officers. Danny Day collapsed while retrieving cable. His hard hat came off as he fell to the ground, and Day hit his head and began to bleed profusely. Two police officers, Josh Russell and Jason Coffman, were on patrol on Forrest Avenue. They drove past Day at the right time. "It happened so quickly, as we were approaching, I just saw a hard hat fall."More >>
    After 35 years on the job, August 25 could have been a Gadsden man's last shift for AT&T if it weren't for some Gadsden police officers. Danny Day collapsed while retrieving cable. His hard hat came off as he fell to the ground, and Day hit his head and began to bleed profusely. Two police officers, Josh Russell and Jason Coffman, were on patrol on Forrest Avenue. They drove past Day at the right time. "It happened so quickly, as we were approaching, I just saw a hard hat fall."More >>
  • Small aircraft makes emergency landing at Chilton County airport

    Small aircraft makes emergency landing at Chilton County airport

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:02:36 GMT
    The pilot of a small aircraft en route to Atlanta on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing at the Chilton County airport after the plane lost all power to its engine.More >>
    The pilot of a small aircraft en route to Atlanta on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing at the Chilton County airport after the plane lost all power to its engine.More >>