1981 Garden State Bowl
1234 Total
Tennessee 13807 28
Wisconsin 70014 21
DateDecember 13, 1981
StadiumGiants Stadium
LocationEast Rutherford, New Jersey
MVPQB Steve Alatorre (Tennessee)[1]
WR Anthony Hancock (Tennessee)[1]
QB Randy Wright (Wisconsin)[1]
United States TV coverage
NetworkMizlou Television Network
AnnouncersRay Scott and Al DeRogatis
Garden State Bowl
 < 1980   

The 1981 Garden State Bowl, part of the 1981–82 bowl game season, took place on December 13, 1981, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The competing teams were the Tennessee Volunteers, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the Wisconsin Badgers, representing the Big Ten Conference (Big 10). In what was the final edition of the game, Tennessee won 28–21.



See also: 1981 Tennessee Volunteers football team

The 1981 Tennessee squad was undefeated at Neyland Stadium but finished 2–4 on the road. The Volunteers lost to Georgia, USC, Alabama and Kentucky. They accepted an invitation to play in the Garden State Bowl against Wisconsin following their loss to Kentucky on November 21.[3] The appearance was the first for Tennessee in the Garden State Bowl and their 23rd overall bowl appearance.


See also: 1981 Wisconsin Badgers football team

The 1981 Wisconsin squad was 5–2 at Camp Randall Stadium, and 2–2 on the road to finish the regular season 7–4.[4] The Badgers lost to UCLA, Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa.[4] The appearance marked the fourth overall bowl appearance for Wisconsin and their first non-Rose Bowl Game.[5]

Game summary

Tennessee drove 74-yards on their opening drive and Fuad Reveiz connected on a 22-yard field goal to give the Volunteers a 3–0 lead.[6] On the following possession Wisconsin took a 7–3 lead after Jess Cole scored on a three-yard touchdown run.[7] The lead was short-lived as Willie Gault returned the ensuing kickoff 87-yards to give Tennessee a 10–7 lead.[6][8] The Volunteers extended their lead to 13–7 at the end of the first quarter after Reveiz connected on a 44-yard field goal.[6][8] Tennessee extended their lead further to 21–7 at halftime after a 43-yard Steve Alatorre touchdown pass to Anthony Hancock and a successful two-point conversion in the second quarter.[6][8] After a scoreless third quarter, the teams traded fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Badgers scored on Randy Wright touchdown passes to Jeff Nault and Thaddus McFadden and the Volunteers on a six-yard Alatorre run.[7][8]

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Tennessee Wisconsin
1 10:17 13 74 4:43 Tennessee 22-yard field goal by Fuad Reveiz 3 0
1 6:14 9 68 3:57 Wisconsin Jess Cole 3-yard touchdown run, Mark Doran kick good 3 7
1 6:03 1 87 0:11 Tennessee 87-yard kickoff return by Willie Gault, Fuad Reveiz kick good 10 7
1 1:44 4 Tennessee 44-yard field goal by Fuad Reveiz 13 7
2 5:34 4 87 Tennessee Anthony Hancock 43-yard touchdown reception from Steve Alatorre, 2-point pass good 21 7
4 13:40 9 80 Wisconsin Jeff Nault 6-yard touchdown reception from Randy Wright, Mark Doran kick good 21 14
4 8:23 Tennessee Steve Alatorre 6-yard touchdown run, Fuad Reveiz kick good 28 14
4 5:29 Wisconsin Thaddus McFadden 11-yard touchdown reception from Randy Wright, Mark Doran kick good 28 21
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 28 21


  1. ^ a b c National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). "Bowl/All-Star Game Records: Most Valuable Players in Former Major Bowls" (PDF). 2011 NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA.org. p. 100. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  2. ^ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). "Bowl/All-Star Game Records" (PDF). 2011 NCAA Division I Football Records. NCAA.org. p. 37. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  3. ^ "Losers become winners as bowls select teams". The Milwaukee Journal. November 22, 1981. p. 6. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  4. ^ a b 1982 Wisconsin Football. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Sports Relations Office. 1982. p. 5. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  5. ^ Wolf, Bob (December 13, 1981). "Now UW has this bowl game to play". The Milwaukee Journal. p. Sports 1. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Van Sickle, Gary (December 14, 1981). "Volunteers' speed leaves UW behind". The Milwaukee Journal. p. C1. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  7. ^ a b University of Wisconsin–Madison (September 30, 2011). "Badgers fall to Tennessee 28–21 in Garden State Bowl". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d University of Tennessee (September 30, 2011). "Garden State Bowl". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.