Tennessee survives embarrassing near-upset after botched App. State playcall

Tennessee barely hangs on in their season-opener.

Appalachian State had a real chance to upset Tennessee on Thursday.

On the nine-year anniversary of beating No. 5 Michigan in the Big House, Appalachian State was driving in the last minute of the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 13, and they had a chance to set up a game-winning score.

And then they botched it.

After a loss of four on a 2nd & 1 from Tennessee's 33-yard line, Appalachian State had 21 seconds left and a timeout to work with. In essence, they had time to call a time out, run a third-down play to get a first down, which would allow them to then spike the ball with some time left. Appalachian State's kicker had missed an extra-point and a field goal already, but they would have had a chance to win the game.

Instead, they let the clock run... and run... and run. Finally, they snapped the ball and got a first down on a quarterback scramble, but it was too late; time had run out and the game went to overtime.

Tennessee went on to win 20-13, which is huge considering that Appalachian State was up 13-3 at overtime. The No. 9 Vols will take the win, but you can count on one thing: they certainly won't be ranked No. 9 next week when they play Virginia Tech in the Battle at Bristol.