Tennessee football knocked off Clemson, 31-14, Friday night in Miami to win the Capital One Orange Bowl. The Vols outplayed the Tigers start-to-finish as Josh Heupel led the Vols to the program’s first 11-win season since 2001.
Heupel discussed his program’s ascension from SEC bottom feeder to Orange Bowl champions in just two seasons following the postgame celebration.
“It continues to put our brand, the style of football and it’s a legacy moment for the guys that are here and graduating but it’s a springboard for us moving forward,” Heupel said. “Again, our brand is out in front of everybody. I think we’ve beaten three of the last four national champions during the course of this season. 11-win season which hasn’t been done since 2001. There’s so many positive things, so much momentum inside of our program that the entire country, our players, our fanbase, recruits can see the trajectory of where Tennessee is and where it’s going.”
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The former Orange Bowl winning quarterback had plenty of good things to say about his starting quarterback Joe Milton III and defense for its performance in the win.
Making his second start of the season, Milton earned Orange Bowl MVP honors by completing 19-of-28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers. Tennessee’s defense held Clemson to just 14 points while tallying four sacks and seven tackles for loss.
“An unbelievable defensive performance,” Heupel said. “Special teams were rock solid and Joe and the offense found a way to make a bunch of big plays and find the end zone. Great night for Tennessee.”
Tennessee’s head coach also discussed Aaron Beasley’s massive performance, the positive trajectory of his program and much more.
See everything Heupel and players Joe Milton, Squirrel White and Aaron Beasley had to say below.