The number 2 play in our countdown to determine the best plays of Tennessee’s 2015 season is Malik Foreman’s game saving forced fumble against South Carolina.Many Vol fans have forgotten (or at least would like to forget) how close Tennessee came to losing to South Carolina. The 3-9 Gamecocks only won one SEC game (Vanderbilt) and even lost to an FCS program, The Citadel. However, the Gamecocks had the Vols on the ropes down the stretch, and the Vols very well might have lost the game if not for an incredible play by nickel back Malik Foreman.
With 44 seconds remaining and the Vols up 27-24, the Gamecocks faced a third-and-ten from the Vols’ 43 yard line. Quarterback Perry Orth dropped back and hit a wide open Jerell Adams over the middle on a deep in route. Adams caught the ball at the 32 yard line and ran out of an attempted tackle by cornerback Cameron Sutton. Adams then spun out of a tackle attempt by safety Todd Kelly Jr.
By this point, Adams was still on his feet at the 20 yard line and the Gamecocks were well within field goal range. A tie looked likely, and with 35 seconds left, the Gamecock had a great chance to score a touchdown and win the game.
That is, until Malik Foreman had other ideas. The nickel back chased the ball down from the opposite side of the field, hit Adams from behind at the 20, and knocked the ball out. Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin was quick to fall on the ball to secure a Tennessee victory.
This play is not one you hear Vol fans talking about often, but it was one of the most important of the entire season. The perception of Tennessee football going into 2016 would be vastly different had they blown this game. If not for Foreman’s game-saving play, the entire season may have been shaped very differently.
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