Tennessee vs South Carolina video highlights
The Butch Jones Era has a marquee win.
Michael Palardy’s 20-yard field goal as time expired lifted Tennessee to a 23-21 upset of No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday, unleashing a celebration like Neyland Stadium hasn’t seen in at least four years.
Butch Jones comments UT's 23-21 win over South Carolina
The Vols hadn’t beaten a ranked team since Halloween 2009 and a crowd of 95,736 and an ESPN audience watched UT rally in the final minutes as freshman Marquez North made his third big catch of the afternoon.
North hauled in a Justin Worley pass for a 39-yard gain to the South Carolina 26 with 2:32 left in the game.
Marlin Lane carried four consecutive times, the final one a 14-yard run to the 2. The Vols let the clock tick down to three seconds then spiked the ball to bring out Palardy.
His kick was perfect and the celebration began.
With a group of 200 former Vols in the house, Tennessee improved to 4-3, 1-2 SEC, giving Jones his first SEC win.
South Carolina (5-2, 3-2 SEC) trailed 17-7 at the half but rallied behind quarterback Connor Shaw to take a 21-17 lead.
Hood, Palardy talk after UT's 23-21 win over South Carolina
Palardy’s second field goal of the game, from 33 yards, left the Vols down 21-20 with 10:11 to play.
UT’s defense dug in, forcing three Gamecock punts to set up the game-winning drive.
Tennessee takes on No. 1 Alabama next week.
The third quarter was all South Carolina as the Gamecocks dominated both lines of scrimmage and Shaw hurt the Vols with his feet. He gained 9 yards on a fourth-and-8 keeper, which turned momentum in South Carolina’s favor. Shortly after, the Gamecocks cut UT’s lead to 17-14 when Mike Davis scored on a 21-yard option pitch.
After Palardy missed wide on a 46-yard field-goal try, South Carolina drove 70 yards to go up 21-17 on Shaw’s 1-yard keeper.
Palardy would get his revenge, though.
Defense ruled the first quarter.
Marlon Walls talks about win over South Carolina
South Carolina’s only threat was nixed by a fumble that Dontavis Sapp recovered. Tennessee had terrific field position throughout the period but managed only a 37-yard Palardy field goal.
The tone changed on the first play of the second quarter when Shaw found Damiere Byrd running free for a 76-yard touchdown and a 7-3 Gamecock lead.
The Vols responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive, capped by Worley hitting Pig Howard with a 6-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead.
After a South Carolina three-and-out, Tennessee marched 61 yards. Rajion Neal got the score on a 5-yard run and it was 17-7.
The Gamecocks missed a 45-yard field goal with 54 seconds left in the half.