The Tennessee Volunteers officially have their first victory in a Top 25 ranked matchup under Josh Heupel. After narrowing losing to Pittsburgh by a touchdown last season, Tennessee flipped the script on No. 17 Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon by a score of 34 to 27.
It wasn’t the prettiest game for Tennessee by any stretch of the imagination, especially on offense. The Vols struggled to find rhythm and balance throughout the game. Still, though, Tennessee’s offense was able to put up points behind the combination of Hendon Hooker and Cedric Tillman. The two were tremendous for Tennessee on Saturday, but the offense still has work to be done.
On the defensive side of the ball, it was a “bend but don’t break” type of game for Tennessee in the first half. Tennessee’s defense was able to force field goals in the red zone which proved to be critical near the end of the game. The Vols’ defense really came together in the second half and held down the fort during Pittsburgh’s last stand in overtime.
Come to think of it, in Josh Heupel’s two ranked wins of his Tennessee career, both have been won thanks to massive defensive stops in the fourth quarter or overtime. Tennessee held Kentucky late in the 2021 meeting and held Pittsburgh on the road in 2022.
Tennessee defensive coordinator Tim Banks also was great dialing up a variety of blitz packages on Saturday.
Following the contest in Pittsburgh, RTI hosts Ryan Schumpert and Ric Butler hit the record button on the RTI Press Pass to discuss their thoughts after the game. Check out the RTI Press Pass postgame show below. Download the show using the link below and make sure to subscribe to the RTI Press Pass on Apple Podcasts today!
More from RTI: WATCH: Josh Heupel Busts a Move In Postgame Celebration