Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The Tennessee Volunteers scored two late touchdowns to complete a dramatic comeback, shocking Indiana in the 2020 Gator Bowl.
Tennessee (8-5) trailed 22-9 with less than five minutes remaining, before beginning their comeback and pulling off the 23-22 triumph Thursday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
"What a fantastic ballgame," Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt told reporters. "The players on both teams, the way they competed in the game, I can't say enough about Indiana, coach Allen and his staff and what a great job that they did.
"It took 60 minutes, but our guys continued to scratch and claw and just kept trying to find a way."
Quavaris Crouch capped off a 10-play, 82-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run for the Volunteers, cutting the Hoosiers' lead to 22-16 with 4:22 remaining. The Volunteers went on to recover an onside kick to get the ball back after the scoring drive.
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano completed a 23-yard pass to Josh Palmer on the first play of the drive. The Volunteers moved the ball up to the Indiana 16-yard line after a face mask penalty called on the Hoosiers.
Guarantano threw an incompletion before Eric Gray ran for a game-tying 16-yard touchdown. Volunteers kicker Brent Cimaglia made the extra point attempt after the score to give Tennessee its final advantage with 3:51 remaining.
The Hoosiers (8-5) missed a go-ahead field goal attempt on the next drive, before forcing the Volunteers to go three-and-out offensively. The Hoosiers turned the ball over on downs on the next drive to end the game.
"Our kids kind of kept on fighting," Pruitt said. "Our coaches have done a really nice job, and our fan base -- all the orange were there when the clock struck zero that were there when the game started, and we can't say enough about our fan support and what they mean to everybody associated with this organization."
Tennessee got on the scoreboard first with a Cimaglia field goal at the start of the second quarter. Cimaglia added another field goal with 5:21 remaining in the first half to give the Volunteers a six-point lead. Indiana kicker Logan Justus made a 24-yard field goal at the end of the quarter to make the score 6-3 at the break.
Hoosiers quarterback Peyton Ramsey scored a one-yard rushing touchdown on the first drive of the second half to give Indiana a 10-6 lead. Jamar Jackson intercepted Guarantano on the following possession and had a 63-yard touchdown return to increase Indiana's lead to 16-6.
Cimaglia hit a 43-yard field goal before Justus made two field goals for Indiana, giving the Hoosiers a 22-9 lead, before the Volunteers staged their comeback.
Guarantano completed 18 of 31 passes for 221 yards and had two interceptions in the win. Ramsey completed 20 of 34 passes for 227 yards and had an interception in the loss. Gray had 120 yards from scrimmage and a score for the Volunteers.
Tennessee's defense totalled four sacks in the win. Shawn Shamburger had an interception and a sack in the win. Gray won the Gator Bowl MVP for his performance.
"Being a Tennessee boy and being here at Tennessee, it has been unbelievable," Gray said. "It has been an unbelievable journey. I fell in love with the place early. ... It's something I dreamed about as a kid, playing college football, playing in a bowl game. Being MVP has been amazing. I just want to say all glory to God."