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The Math Behind Vols Perfect Play

Pierce Anderson, a freshman in the college, ran the math behind Josh Dobbs’ improbable last-second game-winning touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings. 

“I decided to calculate the optimal velocity for the pass for a few reasons,” Anderson said. “Primarily, we were learning about projectile motion in EF 151 at the time of the game, so it was fresh on my mind. Due to a football pass exemplifying this concept, I came up with the idea soon after the game. I decided to write out and solve the problem as a sort of fun joke so I could tweet it.”

After he checked his math to make sure everything was correct, he posted his findings on Twitter where Josh Dobbs retweeted his work. 

“I definitely did not expect the massive response I received,” said Anderson. “I was hoping for some sort of interaction from Dobbs, but I thought it was very unlikely.”

After Dobbs responded to him on Twitter, local NBC affiliate WBIR picked up his story and featured him on their evening news broadcast. 

“The WBIR interview was even more surprising, but I was thrilled to do it,” Anderson commented. “I was very excited that my fun equation was enjoyed by so many, including Dobbs himself.”

Watch an interview with Anderson.

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