Hargis: Vols' Trevon Flowers blooms late in game but right on time

AP photo by Keith Srakocic / Tennessee defensive back Trevon Flowers sacks Pittsburgh quarterback Nick Patti during overtime Saturday.

PITTSBURGH — The all-too-familiar feeling of disaster hung in the air surrounding Acrisure Stadium as the second half of Saturday's showdown of nationally ranked teams wore on. With each freshly blown chance of putting away a wounded and reeling Pittsburgh, the mood of impending collapse gained life, the after-effects brought on by so many previous failures from the University of Tennessee football team to close out a building-block win over a quality opponent.

But an odd thing happened on the way to another gut-wrenching defeat.

Perhaps the player who had breathed the most life into the frustration suddenly became responsible for putting out the flickering doubt.

Senior defensive back Trevon Flowers, whose on-field ups and downs highlighted those of the entire team Saturday, had opened the door for Pitt's unlikely comeback when he muffed a fourth-quarter punt that the Panthers turned into a tying touchdown as backup quarterback Nick Patti found Jared Wayne in the back of the end zone for a late fourth-down score.