KNOXVILLE — Lyle Allen Jones Jr. can put his name on this one.
Yes, it is a signature victory.
Tennessee’s 23-21 conquest of No. 9 South Carolina on Saturday is validation that Vol Ball indeed is headed in the right direction on Butch Jones’ watch. His step-by-step, brick-by-brick approach is paying dividends.
Up to this point, those who chart all things Vol have used recruiting rankings and the occasional close loss to a superior program as verification that things are on an upswing. But this is different. A last-second victory over a ranked opponent is reason to believe that better days are ahead.
“I do think we took a major step forward,” Jones said.
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