1. Clemson miscues helped the Vols.
At the end of the day, Clemson lost 31-14 but outgained Tennessee football 484 to 375 in total offense. How does that happen? Well, they made a series of miscues throughout the game. Yes, the Vols played bend but don’t break defense, but they needed help from Cade Klubnik throwing two interceptions on the night.
Rocky Top also had two fourth down stops. One was a fake field goal that Clemson attempted and the Vols were ready for. The other was in the second half, as they got stopped on a 4th and 2 run. The latter play was mainly part of the bend but don’t break defense, though.
What about other big special teams plays? Well, Clemson missed two field goals. Most notably, though, with time running out at the end of the first half and Clemson in the red zone but out of timeouts, Klubnik decided to scramble for a play. That resulted in time running out.
Miscues like that are the biggest thing that helped Tennessee football. The Vols still outplayed Clemson despite the numbers when it comes to yards, but Dabo Swinney’s team certainly helped them along in the process. It was clear which team was more focused on this game and who was more excited to be there.