Tennessee soccer falls to Purdue in time beyond regulation in controversial ending in Music Metropolis Bowl

NASHVILLE — The best-scoring Tennessee soccer workforce in historical past misplaced 48-45 in time beyond regulation to Purdue in a controversial ending within the TransPerfect Music Metropolis Bowl on Thursday.

It ended coach Josh Heupel’s in any other case robust debut season on a bitter word.

In time beyond regulation, it was dominated that UT working again Jaylen Wright was stopped a foot shy of a go-ahead landing. Video replay appeared to indicate that Wright broke the aircraft of the purpose line, and his knees by no means touched the bottom.

However the name was upheld as a result of the officers decided his ahead progress had been stopped. Purdue gained it on Mitchell Fineran’s 39-yard subject purpose in entrance of a largely orange-clad sellout crowd of 69,489 at Nissan Stadium, the most important in Music Metropolis Bowl historical past.

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UT (7-6) broke its single-season scoring document with 511 factors. The earlier document of 484 factors was held by the 1993 workforce in Phillip Fulmer’s first season as coach.

But it surely wasn’t sufficient to take down Purdue (9-4) within the first of 4 SEC vs. Large Ten bowls this postseason. Listed here are seven observations from UT’s bowl loss.

Tennessee running back Jabari Small (2) is congratulated after scoring a touchdown at the 2021 Music City Bowl NCAA college football game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Tennessee working again Jabari Small (2) is congratulated after scoring a landing on the 2021 Music Metropolis Bowl NCAA school soccer recreation at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Loopy fourth-quarter led to time beyond regulation

It was a wild fourth quarter, because the groups scored two TDs every within the closing 5 minutes.

Purdue’s Payne Durham scored a go-ahead TD on a 62-yard cross when he spun away from UT defenders who tried to strip the ball fairly than deal with him.

UT answered with Hendon Hooker’s 13-yard TD cross to Cedric Tillman on fourth-and-goal to tie it at 38.

Purdue got here again with Aidan O’Connell’s 70-yard TD cross to Broc Thompson. O’Connell handed for a Music Metropolis Bowl document 534 yards and 5 TDs.

UT countered with Hooker’s 2-yard TD cross to Jalin Hyatt to tie it at 45 with 1:35 remaining. The Vols made a cease on protection and acquired the ball again for a closing drive, however Chase McGrath’s 56-yard subject purpose was brief as time expired.

Hendon Hooker had record-setting bowl efficiency

Hooker, a Virginia Tech graduate switch, completed a memorable debut season with highlight-filled efficiency, particularly within the fourth quarter. He was 26-of-41 for 378 yards and 5 TDs, a UT bowl document. He additionally rushed for 56 yards.

Hooker tossed a TD cross for a twelfth consecutive recreation, matching Casey Clausen (2001-02) for the third longest at school historical past. He may cross Tony Robinson (13 in 1984-85) and Heath Shuler (18 in 1992-94) for the document subsequent season.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) runs the ball while defended by Purdue linebacker Kieren Douglas (43)  during the 2021 TransPerfect Music City Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) runs the ball whereas defended by Purdue linebacker Kieren Douglas (43) throughout the 2021 TransPerfect Music Metropolis Bowl between Tennessee and Purdue at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Regardless of beginning solely 11 video games, Hooker completed tied for second with Erik Ainge (2007) on UT’s single-season checklist with 31 TD passes. He trails solely Peyton Manning (36 in 1997).

And Joshua Dobbs is the one quarterback in UT historical past to hurry for extra yards than Hooker in a season. Dobbs ran for 831 yards in 2016 and 671 yards in 2015. Hooker completed with 617 dashing yards.

Cedric Tillman prolonged TD streak, after which some

Tillman turned the primary participant in UT historical past to catch a TD cross in seven consecutive video games. For good measure, he caught three TDs — a 41-yarder and 61-yarder within the first quarter and a 13-yarder within the fourth.

Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman (4) reacts after scoring a touchdown at the 2021 Music City Bowl NCAA college football game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Tennessee broad receiver Cedric Tillman (4) reacts after scoring a landing on the 2021 Music Metropolis Bowl NCAA school soccer recreation at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Tillman additionally turned the ninth 1,000-yard receiver in UT single-season historical past and the primary since Justin Hunter in 2012. He completed with seven receptions for 150 yards and three TDs.

Tillman’s 12 TD receptions place him second on UT’s single-season checklist in TD catches. Marcus Nash holds the document with 13 TD catches in 1997.

Jeremy Banks, protection made performs when offense sputtered

UT’s offense had hits and misses. In the course of the latter, its protection got here up with huge performs to maintain Purdue at bay.

Kamal Hadden, Byron Younger and Trevon Flowers intercepted O’Connell. And linebacker Jeremy Banks broke the Music Metropolis Bowl document with a career-high 20 tackles, together with two for loss.

Bowl win streak snapped simply shy of document

UT’s streak of consecutive bowls wins was snapped at 4, which included the 2014 Gator Bowl, 2015 Outback Bowl, 2016 Music Metropolis Bowl and 2019 Gator Bowl.

The Vols completed one victory shy of their longest bowl profitable streak of 5, which spanned from 1986-91. UT’s all-time bowl document dropped to 29-24, which ranks seventh amongst school soccer packages. Solely Alabama (43) and Georgia (33) have extra bowl wins amongst SEC groups.

Vols got here out robust to start out, once more

UT’s season-long onslaught within the first quarter held up. The Vols outscored opponents 190-51 within the first quarter. They led 11 of 13 opponents by means of one quarter, even Georgia and Alabama.

UT jumped forward of Purdue, 21-7, within the first quarter on Hooker’s two TD passes to Tillman and Jabari Small’s 2-yard TD run.

And Hadden stopped Purdue with an interception in the long run zone. Hadden made his second begin by filling in for Alontae Taylor, who opted out of the sport to recuperate from a foot harm and put together for the Senior Bowl.

The primary quarter was the one quarter during which Purdue was outscored this season. However the Boilermakers rallied within the second quarter, outscoring UT 16-0 for a 23-21 halftime lead.

UT misplaced lead in lower than a minute

The sport briefly flipped on a disastrous sequence for UT simply earlier than halftime. The Vols led 21-13 with simply over a minute remaining.

Fineran made a 29-yard subject purpose. And on the second play of UT’s ensuing possession, Hooker was hit whereas making an attempt to aim a cross. His arm wasn’t transferring ahead, so it was dominated a fumble and Purdue recovered with 29 seconds left.

Two performs later, O’Connell hit Durham on a 2-yard TD cross with 19 seconds remaining to place Purdue forward 23-21. In lower than a minute of recreation clock, Purdue turned an 8-point deficit right into a 2-point lead at halftime.

Attain Adam Sparks at [email protected] and on Twitter @AdamSparks.

This text initially appeared on Knoxville Information Sentinel: Tennessee falls to Purdue in OT with controversial Music Metropolis Bowl ending

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