KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee blew a 17-point lead in Saturday night's loss to Oklahoma in double overtime.
The Volunteers hadn't coughed up a lead that large in a loss since the 1984 Sun Bowl loss to Maryland, which turned a 21-0 third-quarter deficit into a 28-27 win.
In fact, it was the largest lead Tennessee's relinquished in a home loss.
The Vols begin picking up the pieces today, but first, a look back at the first loss of the season.
Running back Jalen Hurd was a bright spot for what otherwise was a poor night for Tennessee's offense. The sophomore picked up 106 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown in overtime. It's his third 100-yard game in a row, and Hurd is the first player to run for 100 yards against Oklahoma since Alabama's Derrick Henry did it in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 2013 season.
Oklahoma made sure Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs remained uncomfortable all night. The Sooners constantly brought pressure off the edge and found ways to get to him while slowing him down in the running game. As a result, Dobbs totaled just 137 yards of total offense, his lowest output of total offense since he had 183 yards at Vanderbilt last season.
Oklahoma won the game on Zack Sanchez's double-overtime interception, but the Sooners arguably won the game when Baker Mayfield and Sterling Shepard hooked up on a picture-perfect fade pattern to tie the game with 40 seconds left. Tennessee's gassed defense wasn't going to stop Oklahoma in overtime, and it was only a matter of time before its offense failed to match.
The night began pretty well for Tennessee, which jumped out to a 17-0 lead. The first touchdown was one of Dobbs's prettiest passes of the young season, as he fit a 9-yard touchdown pass through a tight window to Josh Malone. Oklahoma's Steven Parker had excellent coverage of the play. For Dobbs and the offense, it was mostly downhill after the quick start, though.
WHAT IT MEANS
All isn't lost for Tennessee, but this one will sting for a bit, at least until the Vols open SEC play at Florida in two weeks. Tennessee had multiple chances to close out a marquee home win and reward a crowd that did its part, but the Vols were unable to do it. The program's struggles against ranked teams -- the Vols are now 2-34 dating back to 2007 -- won't go away until Tennessee wins one of these games.
BY THE NUMBERS
11:19: Oklahoma's time of possession in the fourth quarter. The Sooners scored on drives of 14 and 13 plays in the fourth quarter as Tennessee's tired defense missed numerous tackles. Two holding penalties on linebacker Colton Jumper kept one drive alive, and a pass interference on Malik Foreman wiped out what would have been a third-and-14 for Oklahoma.
72: So much for the supposed shootout this game was going to be. Tennessee and Oklahoma combined for 72 yards and zero points in the third quarter as both defenses controlled the game. The Vols had 58 and the Sooners only 14.
110: Tennessee got off to a quick start and totaled 117 yards in the first quarter of Saturday night's game. The Vols finished regulation with only 227, however, so they were able to muster just 110 yards in the final three quarters. Tennessee ran six plays for 8 yards in the fourth quarter.
50.0: Tennessee punter Trevor Daniel, a sophomore walk-on who won the job in the preseason, averaged 50.0 yards per punt on nine punts on Saturday. Five of his punts went 50 or more yards, including boots of 54, 55, 58 and 61 yards in the first half. He was key in the field position battle throughout regulation.
53-3: Butch Jones's teams were 53-3 when leading at halftime in his eight-plus seasons as a head coach, and his Tennessee teams were 13-1 when leading at halftime. The Vols led 17-3 at halftime on Saturday night. Tennessee's other loss when leading at halftime under Jones? The Florida game last season.
Contact Patrick Brown at email@example.com.