Vols coaches DeBord, Azzanni relive Hail Mary

Vols assistants Mike DeBord and Zach Azzanni explain what happened on Tennessee's Hail Mary.

Tennessee’s Hail Mary to beat Georgia will be talked about for years to come.

We got some insight on the play from two assistant coaches today.

Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord was upstairs in the press box while wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni was on the field and actually switched the lineup during a timeout before the play.

Here are their thoughts on the Hail Mary:

Azzanni: "You practice that so many times. We do it every Thursday, we draw it up, they get tired of me talking about it. We show clips to them the entire summer of other teams, it's one of those things they're just sitting there saying 'okay, this is never going to happen,' you know what I mean? And then you show 'em, it was neat, it was neat.

DeBord: "We have two plays we can do in that situation, and obviously I won't go into the other play because we may use it someday, but we talked about two plays, and Coach Jones says, 'No, I want to go with the Hail Mary.’”

Azzanni: "So, we look at the defense and just saw who they had and where they had them and decided to move some guys around, get some speed on the backside with Malone and more of a jumper in Jennings at the point. Croom's actually the jumper, but when guys' paths cross they just kind of flip responsibilities. And that's kind of how it went down. I don't think it mattered, Jauan was going to go try and get that ball, regardless of how it was drawn on paper and how we talk about it, he was going to go get that thing.”

DeBord: "The first thing my eyes went to right away was the protection. They rushed three and our guys up front, plus Alvin did an exceptional job, we ended up with three double teams. And all of a sudden I see Jauan go up and they were going up as well and I heard somebody up in our press box, I can't tell you who it was, say 'he caught it, he caught it.' I was obviously very excited, coach Scott was tackling me from the back as I stood up, so I didn’t know who was tackling me or whatever, I just was hoping he didn't take me to the ground, so I survived that as well.”

(© 2016 WBIR)


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