(WBIR) Butch Jones in January took the Tennessee Volunteers to their first bowl since 2010, raising high hopes among jubilant fans for this season with a win over Iowa.
UT has played some great - and historic - bowl games over the last 80 or so years. Here are some standouts.
1939 Orange Bowl
It's hard to get any more memorable than where it all began. Head coach Robert Neyland took the Vols down to Miami to take on the Oklahoma Sooners. The Tennessee defense only gave up 16 points all year and proved to be too much for the Sooners as Tennessee won their first bowl game with a shutout 17-0.
1951 Cotton Bowl
The Texas Longhorns came into the game with a perfect record as champions of the Southwest Conference. Tennessee found themselves behind most of the game, but a Longhorn fumble on their own 43 yard line and a hard-running touchdown drive by Vols running back Andy Kozar gave Tennessee the lead with just over 3 minutes left. The Vols would go on to win their first Cotton Bowl 20-14.
1966 Gator Bowl
This game pitted the Vols against Syracuse and was another example of the Big Orange's tough defense. Tennessee All-American linebacker Paul Naumoff stood up and drove back the Syracuse attack at the goal line in the most memorable play of the game. The fourth quarter defense led the Vols to a 18-12 victory.
1983 Florida Citrus Bowl
This was the first of two straight bowl games where the Vols faced off with the University of Maryland. It was a tough outing for the first three quarters for the Vols trailing 20-16, but the team scored two touchdowns in the final quarter to beat the Terrapins 30-23
1986 Sugar Bowl
The eighth-ranked Volunteers came into the game as overwhelming underdogs against the second-ranked Miami Hurricanes. The game started as expected with Hurricanes Heisman Trophy quarterback Vinny Testaverde throwing a touchdown pass to Michael Irvin. But that would be it for the potent Miami team. The Vols scored 35 straight points to finish in dominant style with what is considered one of the biggest upsets in Sugar Bowl history.
1988 Peach Bowl
After finishing third in the SEC, the Volunteers took on the Indiana Hoosiers in a rollercoaster of a game. Tennessee jumped out to a 21-3 lead before the Hoosiers scored 19 straight to put themselves up by one. In the final two minutes of the fourth Reggie Cobb scored on a 9-yard run to launch the Vols to victory 27-22.
1994 Gator Bowl
A young quarterback from New Orleans stepped onto the field for the first of what would be four bowl games in his legendary career. Freshman Peyton Manning played brilliantly, giving the Vols a 35-10 lead at halftime against Virginia Tech. They never looked back. The victory set the standard for what Manning would accomplish in his career, and made for one of the most exciting stretches in UT football history.
1996 Citrus Bowl
Another bowl game during the Manning Era, but the biggest name in this game was Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George of Ohio State. George scored in the first quarter, but was not able to find the end zone again as the Vols' defense bottled him up, including a giant stand in which he was stuffed on the 2-yard line. Tennessee kicked two field goals in the fourth to win 20-14, giving Manning his third bowl game victory in three years.
1999 Fiesta Bowl
No Manning. No Problem. After losing 42-17 in the previous year's Orange Bowl, the Vols rebounded under new quarterback Tee Martin, turning in one of the best seasons in Volunteer history. They went undefeated. In the premier of the BCS National Championship game, coach Phillip Fulmer and the Vols took on the second-ranked Florida State Seminoles. The Vols would be the first on the board, and would never relinquish the lead. Tennessee went on to win their sixth national championship and be the first championship winners of the BCS Era.
2008 Outback Bowl
It was the end to one of the most successful eras in Tennessee football. Head coach Phillip Fulmer led the Vols against the Wisconsin Badgers. The game came all the way down to the last minute, where Antonio Wardlaw intercepted Badgers quarterback Tyler Donovan from the 1-yard line to finish the game. The Volunteers celebrated what would be their final bowl victory under Fulmer 21-17.