KNOXVILLE, TN – On
Saturday afternoon, Tyler Bray
threw for more yards in a single game than anyone who's ever worn a Tennessee
The Vols needed almost every single one to escape with a
55-48 victory over Troy on homecoming.
Bray set the record - eclipsing Peyton Manning's mark of 523
yards - with a 24-yard completion to Justin Hunter
on third down, one play before Marlin Lane's 9-yard touchdown run gave the Vols
the lead for good with 1:25 remaining.
Bray finished with 530 yards on 29-of-47 passing with five
touchdowns and no interceptions.
After falling behind 40-34 in the third quarter after 10
unanswered points by Troy, Tennessee took a 41-40 lead on a 23-yard touchdown
pass from Bray to Rajion Neal
with 13:38 to go, ending a 90-yard drive.
The Vols (4-5) had a chance to take an even bigger lead, but
Dallas dropped what would have been a 42-yard touchdown in the end
with a little less than five minutes to go.
Troy (4-5) took possession at the UT 6-yard line with 4:40
remaining and needed just three plays to reach the end zone. Eric Thomas pulled
down Cory Robinson's pass with one hand and never broke stride in a 67yard race
to the end zone to give Troy a 46-41 lead with 3:14 to go.
Thomas caught a two-point conversion to give the Trojans a
The Vols needed just 16 seconds to tie the game, when Bray
hit Justin Hunter
on a crossing route with 2:54 remaining.
Tennessee's defense made a key stop, forcing the Trojans to
go three-and-out on their ensuing possession and paving the way for the Vols'
game-winning touchdown drive.
While Bray set one of UT's most prestigious records, the
Vols' defense hit an all-time low in yards allowed.
Troy gained 721 yards of offense, nearly 100 more than its
previous high of 634 yards against Kentucky in 1997.
Troy was well on its way during the first half, gaining 358
yards of offense on its way to a one-point deficit after the first two
After Troy scored on its first two possessions of the game,
the Vols forced a pair of three-and-outs and opened a 28-10 lead.
But the Trojans came right back, thanks to a few big plays.
Shawn Southward scored a 1-yard touchdown to end a 12-play,
72-yard drive. The Vols went three-and-out on their ensuing possession and Troy
needed just two plays to close the gap to 28-23 after a missed extra point.
Tennessee's next drive ended with a missed field goal from
39 yards out. Troy, though, kept right on moving the football.
After a substitution penalty on third-and-11 from the
Troy 20, Southward took a draw play 39 yards on third-and-16.
Four plays later, quarterback Deon Anthony went 28 yards on
a designed run and bulled his way across the goal line to give Troy a 30-28
lead with 1:12 remaining in the first half.
Tennessee drove 73 yards in just six plays and took a 31-30
lead into the locker room after Michael
Palardy's 21-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
Bray had 313 yards passing in the first half, breaking his
own record, set against Memphis in 2010, for most yards passing a half.
Cordarrelle Patterson had 150 yards and a touchdown, while
Hunter had 102 yards and two touchdowns.
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