Vols Pluck Gamecocks in Overtime Thriller

By: Wes Boling Email
By: Wes Boling Email
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KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Freshman kicker Daniel Lincoln played like a veteran Saturday at Neyland Stadium, knocking two late field goals through the uprights to carry the Vols to victory, 27-24, in overtime against South Carolina.

Tennessee surged to a 21-0 halftime lead, but Steve Spurrier's offense stormed back, tallying 24 unanswered points and forcing a late Tennessee game-tying drive.

But the Vols delivered. After Lamarcus Coker returned the kickoff to the Tennessee 47, Erik Ainge passed the Big Orange into field goal range. Daniel Lincoln badly missed a 43-yard field goal try, but the play was blown dead due to a false start penalty on the Vols. Given new life, Lincoln wrapped his 48-yard attempt around the left goalpost, sending the game into overtime.

The freshman kicker hit a 27-yard field goal to give the Vols a 27-24 lead, then South Carolina's Ryan Succop missed a 40-yard try, giving Tennessee the victory.

A detailed game summary follows.

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South Carolina kicker Ryan Soccop hit a 49-yard field goal with 1:24 remaining in the game to put the Gamecocks ahead, 24-21, completing a run of 24 unanswered points after Tennessee led 21-0 at halftime.

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Blake Mitchell found a wide-open Kenny McKinley in the end zone to tie the score at 21 with 11:11 left in the game. South Carolina has reeled off 21 unanswered points, overcoming a 21-0 halftime deficit thanks to sterling defensive play and efficient passing from quarterback Blake Mitchell, who replaced struggling youngster Chris Smelley.

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Corey Boyd ran 29 yards for a South Carolina score, getting the Gamecocks within one possession with two minutes left in the third quarter.

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South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell lunged into the end zone on a quarterback sneak to get South Carolina on the board, 21-7, with 5:41 left in the third quarter.

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Erik Ainge hit Josh Briscoe on third-and-goal for a five-yard TD pass, vaulting the Vols to a 21-0 lead with 4:39 left in the first half. The score wrapped up a 7-play, 72-yard drive.

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Montario Hardesty's three-yard touchdown run on second-and-goal put Tennessee ahead, 14-0, ending a five-minute drive which started thanks to an Eric Berry interception.

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Eric Berry picked up a South Carolina fumble and returned it 40 yards to the Gamecocks 4-yard line, and Arian Foster plunged into the end zone on third and goal to put Tennessee ahead 7-0 with 1:14 left in the first quarter.


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