“First of all, really proud of our players,” the coach said as he began his postgame press conference. “A night where just about anything and everything went wrong, we found a way to win.”
After months of buildup to the season’s first game, Jones’ Volunteers came out flat against the Mountaineers. Tennessee faced a 13-3 halftime deficit and only managed to tie the game late in the fourth quarter before winning it in overtime.
Following the contest, though, Jones said the unconvincing victory is no less sweet than any other of which he’s been a part, even though Rocky Top nearly went into collective cardiac arrest as the game developed.
“I’m never going to apologize for a win,” he said. “With everything that went wrong, we found a way to win.”
Jones acknowledged his team clearly has lots of work to do, specifically pointing out the lost battle at the line of scrimmage. But in the immediate aftermath of the win, Jones was feeling relief – not frustration.
“I’ve never been part of a frustrating win,” he said. “I thought our team showed a lot of resiliency.”
Jones and the Vols next see action Sept. 10 against Virginia Tech.
– With h/t to SEC Country