468 pages cover-to-cover

By Tom Mattingly

The “2023 University of Tennessee Record Book,” another in a line of documents once historically referenced as a “Football Media Guide” or a “Football Brochure,” covers 468 pages and offers answers to nearly any question the thoughtful Vol football fan might dare to ask.

In its pages, there are enough story ideas to keep the team’s historians busy day after day, week after week.

Here are several questions and answers that Vol fans should have in their memory banks at nearly a moment’s notice from that first game in November 1891 in Chattanooga against Sewanee through today.

Q; When did nearly 110,000 fans find their way into Neyland Stadium and what was the score?

A: Sept. 10, 2004, in a 30-28 win over Florida.

Q: Who kicked a 50-yard field goal in the final seconds to give the Vols the win?

A; Hendersonville’s James Wilhoit.

Q: What is the official capacity of Neyland Stadium and where does it rank nationally?

A: The official capacity is 101,915. Only Tiger Stadium (LSU, 102,3210), Kyle Field (Texas A&M, 102,733), Ohio Stadium, 102,780), Beaver Stadium (Penn State 106,572) and Michigan Stadium (Michigan) 107,601) have a larger capacity.

Q: How many fans have seen the Vols play on Shields-Watkins Field and at Neyland Stadium from 1946 on?

A: 37,804,055

Q: How many teams have the Vols played over the years?

A: The answer is 153, from Air Force to Wyoming and all points in between.

Q: How many states and cities have the Vols played in?

A: The Vols have played in 26 states and 63 cities.

Q: What was the last game on grass on Shields-Watkins Field, dating to the mid-1960s?

A: Dec. 2, 1967, with a 41-14 win over Vanderbilt in an SEC Championship season.

Q: What two Vols, each wearing No. 27, led the way for national championships in 1951 and 1998?

A: Tailback Hank Lauricella (1951) and linebacker Al Wilson (1998).

Q: When did artificial turf first adorn the greensward known historically as Shields-Watkins Field?

A: That would be Sept. 14, 1968, the day quarterback Bubba Wyche led a last-second Tennessee drive to the north end, capped by a 21-yard TD pass to wide receiver Gary Kreis and a two-point conversion toss to tight end Ken DeLong. Both plays came after time had expired.

Q: When did grass (Tifway 419, Bermuda Hybrid) return to the floor of Neyland Stadium?

A: Sept. 17, 1994, Florida 31, Tennessee 0.

Q: Name the baseball stadiums the Vols have played in.

A: The Polo Grounds (New York), Yankee Stadium (New York), Griffith Stadium (Washington, D.C.), Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim, Calif.), Aloha Stadium (Honolulu), Cardinal Stadium (Louisville), the Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans), The Astrodome (Houston), Atlanta Stadium (Atlanta), the Los Angeles Coliseum (Los Angeles), and Fenway Park (Boston).

Q: How many teams have the Vols not defeated over the years? The answer is 10, as listed below.

A: Baylor (0-1-0), Jan. 1, 1957, New Orleans, Baylor 13, Tennessee 7 (Sugar Bowl).

BYU (0-1-0), Sept. 8, 2018, Knoxville, BYU 29, Tennessee 26 (OT).

Colorado (0-0-1), Aug. 26, 1990, Anaheim, Calif., Tennessee 31, Colorado 31 (Disneyland Pigskin Classic).

Dartmouth (0-1-0), Oct. 15, 1921, Hanover, N.H., Dartmouth 14, Tennessee 3, in the first game the Vols had played outside the southeast.

Kansas State (0-1-0), Jan. 1, 2001, Dallas, Kansas State 31, Tennessee 21 (Cotton Bowl).

Oregon (0-2-0), Sept. 11, 2010, Knoxville, Oregon 39, Tennessee 13, Sept. 8, 2017, Eugene, Ore., Oregon 59, Tennessee 14.

Purdue (0-2-0), Dec. 31, 1979, Purdue 27, Tennessee 22 (Astro-Blue Bonnet Bowl), Jan.1, 2024.

Southern Cal (USC, 0-4-0), Jan. 1, 1940, USC 14, Tennessee 0 (Rose Bowl); Jan. 1, 1944, USC 25, Tennessee 0, Sept. 13, 1980; Sept. 11, 1980; Knoxville, USC 20, Tennessee 17; Sept. 12, 1981, Los Angeles, USC 44, Tennessee 7.

VMI (0-1-0) Nov. 17, 1923, Knoxville, VMI 33, Tennessee 0.

West Virginia (0-1-0), Sept. 1, 2018, Charlotte, N. C., West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14, Jeremy Pruitt’s first game as Vol head coach.

Q: How many Smokey mascots have been on the Vol sideline since the first Smokey was chosen at the Mississippi State game in 1953?

A: There have been 11 precocious pooches on the field since the 1953 Duke game.

Q: Who pioneered the “Vol Navy”?

A: Vol broadcaster George Mooney did so in 1962 in an attempt to circumvent the heavy game day traffic on Kingston Pike from his home in Sequoyah Hills to the stadium and back. Mooney called his mode of transport a “little run-about.”

Q: How many former Vols are enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame?

A; There are 27 so enshrined, with Bowden Wyatt and Bobby Dodd being honored twice, as a player and as a coach.

Q: How many former Tennessee coaches are in the Hall of Fame?

A: Robert R. Neyland, Wyatt, Doug Dickey, and Phillip Fulmer.

Q: How many times has Notre Dame played in Neyland Stadium?

A: 1979, 40-18 loss, 1990, 34-29 win, 1999, a 38-14 loss, and 2004, a 17-13 win.

While the 2023 Tennessee Football Record Book may be short on plot details, it is an indispensable guide to the past and present of the Vol football program.