KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Patton Robinette ran for a 5-yard touchdown with 16 seconds remaining Saturday as Vanderbilt rallied for a 14-10 victory over Tennessee.
Vanderbilt's winning drive was kept alive when after Tennessee's fourth-and-inches stop of quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels in the final minute was overturned on replay, giving Vanderbilt a first down at the Tennessee 33.
After a 25-yard completion from Carta-Samuels to Jordan Matthews gave Vanderbilt first-and-goal, Carta-Samuels was replaced by the more mobile Robinette on second-and-goal from the 5. Robinette faked a jump pass and ran around the right end for the touchdown.
Vanderbilt (7-4, 4-4 SEC) overcame four turnovers to beat Tennessee for the second straight year, giving the Commodores consecutive victories over their in-state rivals for the first time since winning six straight over the Volunteers from 1920-26. The Vols (4-7, 1-6) fell out of bowl contention and clinched their fourth straight losing season, something that hasn't happened at Tennessee since 1902-06.
The Commodores celebrated wildly after Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs' desperation pass from the Vanderbilt 48 fell incomplete on the game's final play. As the Vols headed into the locker room, the Commodores raced to a corner of Neyland Stadium that featured the majority of Vanderbilt's fans.
Matthews caught 13 passes for 133 yards while setting an SEC record for career receptions. His 13-catch performance Saturday gave him 246 career receptions to break the mark previously held by Earl Bennett, who caught 236 passes for Vanderbilt from 2005-07. Matthews also owns the SEC record for career yards receiving (3,491).
Tennessee had capitalized on Vanderbilt's mistakes to take a 10-7 lead on Michael Palardy's 32-yard field goal early in the third quarter and appeared on the verge of putting the game away early in the fourth quarter, but a block in the back by receiver Alton "Pig" Howard nullified Dobbs' 13-yard touchdown run. The Vols ended up wasting the trip to the red zone when they faked a 39-yard field-goal attempt and Palardy's pass was picked off by Paris Head.
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