1971 Tennessee Volunteers football team (variously "Tennessee", "UT" or the "Vols") represented the University of Tennessee in the 1971 NCAA University Division football season. Playing as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the team was led by head coach Bill Battle, in his second year, and played their home games at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. They finished the season with a record of ten wins and two losses (10–2 overall, 4–2 in the SEC) and a victory over Arkansas in the 1971 Liberty Bowl.
TENN – George Hunt 33-yard field goal. Tennessee 3–0. Drive:
TENN – George Hunt 34-yard field goal.
Tennessee 6–0. Drive: TENN – Curt Watson 8-yard run (George Hunt kick).
Tennessee 13–0. Drive: 74 yards. FLA – Willie Jackson 23-yard pass from
John Reaves (kick failed), 2:12. Tennessee 13–6. Drive: FLA – Hank Foldberg 7-yard pass from John Reaves (Richard Franco kick). Tie 13–13. Drive:
TENN – Stan Trott 20-yard pass from Phil Pierce (George Hunt kick). Tennessee 20–13. Drive: 99 yards.
FLA – Mike Rich – 9 rushes, 80 yards
FLA – Willie Jackson – 7 receptions, 93 yards, TD
Third-string quarterback Phil Pierce led Tennessee on a 99-yard drive in the third quarter, capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass to Stan Trott to take the lead for good. The Volunteers lost their first and second-string quarterbacks to knee injuries during the game.
#5 Penn State Nittany Lions (10–0) at #12 Tennessee Volunteers (8–2)
Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee
Date: December 4, 1971 Game attendance: 54,529 TV: ABC Ocala Star-Banner, 1971 Dec 05.
TENN – Conrad Graham 76-yard fumble return ( George Hunt kick). Tennessee 7–0.
PSU – Alberto Vitello 27-yard field goal.
Tennessee 7–3. Drive: TENN – Bill Rudder 1-yard run (George Hunt kick).
Tennessee 14–3. Drive: 5 plays, 15 yards. TENN – Bobby Majors 44-yard punt return (George Hunt kick). Tennessee 21–3.
TENN – George Hunt 21-yard field goal.
Tennessee 24–3. Drive: TENN –
Jackie Walker 43-yard interception return (George Hunt kick). Tennessee 31–3. PSU – Lydell Mitchell 14-yard pass from John Hufnagel (run good). Tennessee 31–11. Drive:
Before the game,
Bobby Majors was honored alongside his brothers, Iowa State head coach Johnny and the late Billy, for the family's overall contribution to the school's football program. Majors finished his final home game with 195 return yards on kicks and punts. With the win, the Volunteers accepted a bid to play in the Liberty Bowl against Arkansas.