Time winding down, the Tennessee defense stiffened on what most thought you be a game solidifying fourth down with 1:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. T.J. Yates pass to Dwight Jones hit the turf and most thought the game was over, fans, players and even coaches.
Three plays later Tennessee was forced to punt the ball away following three straight running plays. The Vols would hand the ball back to the Tarheels with only 31 seconds on the clock. Five snaps and one controversial spike later Tennessee had a win snatched from their hands by a controversial penalty or lack their of.
Read along as the Tennessee players sound off following the gut-wrenching loss to the North Carolina Tarheels.
Senior Linebacker - Nick Reveiz
“It was like déjà vu again of LSU. Just kind of the uncertainty of when it went down to zero – is the game really over? I heard whistles, and I heard people talking, it’s like a bad nightmare, so it is just something you have to deal with.”
Sophomore Safety - Janzen Jackson
“It was pretty hard, especially when you already had it happen to you once, but it is a learning experience. As a team you have to grow from this. I am proud of our seniors for leading us all this way. I am sorry it had to happen like this, but that was part of a great season.”
Senior Defensive End - Chris Walker
“It is really hard. Most teams don’t ever have that happen to them and we have had it happen to us twice this year. It’s really difficult, especially to feel the pain of defeat after we work so hard this offseason and this bowl preparation. To get this far and have it all taken away from us – it’s really disappointing.”
“I felt it was over – celebrating with my teammates and it happened again to us.”
Freshman Quarterback - Tyler Bray
“Almost the same feeling as LSU – we have a victory and come to find out they review the play and you don’t.”
“It’s not the ending we wanted, not the ending we thought we would have, but it’s over, there is nothing you can do about it now – just try and move forward for next year.”
Senior Receiver - Denarius Moore
“It’s really tough. Just to have the victory right there in your hands and have it taken away from you. You just can’t embrace it like you wanted to.”
“It was ten times worse than LSU. We actually had the game won, but there is nothing you can do about it.”
“Everybody was saying on the sideline ‘this can’t happen to us again,’ but it did.”