1997 Tennessee Volunteers football
Tennessee Volunteers logo.svg
SEC champion
SEC Eastern Division champion
Orange Bowl, L 17–42 vs. Nebraska
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
DivisionEastern Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 8
APNo. 7
Record11–2 (7–1 SEC)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorDavid Cutcliffe
Defensive coordinatorJohn Chavis
Captains
Home stadiumNeyland Stadium
(Capacity: 102,854)[1]
Seasons
← 1996
1998 →
1997 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Eastern Division
No. 7 Tennessee x$   7 1     11 2  
No. 10 Georgia   6 2     10 2  
No. 4 Florida   6 2     10 2  
South Carolina   3 5     5 6  
Kentucky   2 6     5 6  
Vanderbilt   0 8     3 8  
Western Division
No. 11 Auburn xy   6 2     10 3  
No. 13 LSU x   6 2     9 3  
No. 22 Ole Miss   4 4     8 4  
Mississippi State   4 4     7 4  
Arkansas   2 6     4 7  
Alabama   2 6     4 7  
Championship: Tennessee 30, Auburn 29
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1997 Tennessee Volunteers football team represented the University of Tennessee during the 1997 NCAA Division I-A football season. Quarterback Peyton Manning had already completed his degree in three years, and had been projected to be the top overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, but returned to Tennessee for his senior year.[2] The Volunteers opened the season with victories against Texas Tech and UCLA, but for the third time in his career, Manning fell to Florida, 33–20.[3][4][5] The Vols won the rest of their regular season games, finishing 10–1, and advanced to the SEC Championship Game against Auburn. Down 20–7, Manning led the Vols to a 30–29 victory. Throwing for four touchdowns, he was named the game's MVP, but injured himself in the process.[6][7] The #3 Vols were matched up with #2 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Had Tennessee won and top-ranked Michigan lost to Washington State in the Rose Bowl, the Vols would have been expected to win the national championship.[8] However, the Vols' defense could not stop Nebraska's rushing attack, giving up more than 400 yards on the ground in a 42–17 loss.[9] As a senior, Manning won numerous awards. He was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Johnny Unitas Award, and the Best College Football Player ESPY Award, among others. However, he did not win the Heisman Trophy, finishing runner-up to Charles Woodson, a CB from Michigan, and the only defensive player ever to win the Heisman Trophy.[10][11][12]

Schedule

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
August 307:45 p.m.Texas Tech*No. 5ESPNW 52–17106,285
September 63:30 p.m.at UCLA*No. 3ABCW 30–2462,619
September 203:30 p.m.at No. 1 FloridaNo. 4CBSL 20–3385,714
October 43:30 p.m.Ole MissNo. 10
  • Neyland Stadium
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
CBSW 31–17106,229
October 113:30 p.m.No. 15 GeorgiaNo. 10
  • Neyland Stadium
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (rivalry)
CBSW 38–13106,656
October 187:00 p.m.at AlabamaNo. 9ESPNW 38–2183,091
November 112:30 p.m.South CarolinaNo. 8
  • Neyland Stadium
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
JPSW 22–7106,301
November 84:00 p.m.No. 25 Southern Miss*No. 7
  • Neyland Stadium
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
PPVW 44–20107,073
November 158:00 p.m.at ArkansasNo. 5ESPN2W 30–2253,235
November 2212:30 p.m.at KentuckyNo. 5ESPN2W 59–3161,076
November 2912:00 p.m.VanderbiltNo. 3
  • Neyland Stadium
  • Knoxville, Tennessee (rivalry)
CBSW 17–10106,683
December 68:00 p.m.vs. No. 11 AuburnNo. 3ABCW 30–2974,896
January 28:00 p.m.vs. No. 2 Nebraska*No. 3CBSL 17–4274,002

Rankings

See also: 1997 NCAA Division I-A football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre12345678910111213141516Final
AP5 (8)5 (7)3 (7)4 (6)4 (6)9999888553337
Coaches Poll5 (8)5 (8)3 (10)4 (5)4 (6)1010109887553338

Roster

1997 Tennessee Volunteers football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 24 Shawn Bryson Jr
OT 67 Chad Clifton So
QB 16 Peyton Manning Sr
QB 17 Tee Martin So
WR 88 Andy McCullough Sr
WR 12 Marcus Nash Sr
WR 37 Peerless Price Jr
WR 81 Benjie Shuler Sr
C 70 Trey Teague Sr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
LB 99 Eric Brown Sr
DE 91 Jonathan Brown Sr
DE 93 Shaun Ellis So
DB 13 Terry Fair Sr
DT 60 Matt Goodin Jr
DB 23 Dwayne Goodrich So
DE 1 Leonard Little Sr
DE 58 Darwin Walker So
DB 30 Cory Gaines Sr
DB 42 Eric Westmoreland So
DB 2 Fred White So
DE 22 Corey Terry Jr
LB 46 Raynoch Thompson So
LB 27 Al Wilson Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 4 Jeff Hall Jr
P 43 David Leaverton Fr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
    Injured
  • Redshirt
    Redshirt

Game summaries

Texas Tech

See also: 1997 Texas Tech Red Raiders football team

Texas Tech at Tennessee
1 234Total
Red Raiders 0 3014 17
No. 5 Volunteers 7 17217 52

at UCLA

See also: 1997 UCLA Bruins football team

Tennessee at UCLA
1 234Total
No. 3 Volunteers 9 1533 30
Bruins 0 3318 24
       

[13]

at Florida

See also: 1997 Florida Gators football team

Tennessee at Florida
1 234Total
No. 4 Volunteers 0 776 20
No. 3 Gators 14 667 33

[14]

Ole Miss

See also: 1997 Ole Miss Rebels football team

Ole Miss at Tennessee
1 234Total
Rebels 0 368 17
No. 9 Volunteers 0 71410 31

Georgia

See also: 1997 Georgia Bulldogs football team

Georgia at Tennessee
1 234Total
No. 13 Bulldogs 3 703 13
No. 9 Volunteers 7 17014 38

at Alabama

See also: 1997 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

Tennessee at Alabama
1 234Total
No. 9 Volunteers 7 14107 38
Crimson Tide 6 087 21

South Carolina

See also: 1997 South Carolina Gamecocks football team

South Carolina at Tennessee
1 234Total
Gamecocks 0 007 7
No. 9 Volunteers 9 0310 22

Southern Miss

See also: 1997 Southern Miss Golden Eagles football team

Southern Miss at Tennessee
1 234Total
No. 24 Golden Eagles 7 670 20
No. 8 Volunteers 6 14213 44

at Arkansas

See also: 1997 Arkansas Razorbacks football team

Tennessee at Arkansas
1 234Total
No. 5 Volunteers 7 7313 30
Razorbacks 0 1066 22

at Kentucky

See also: 1997 Kentucky Wildcats football team

Tennessee at Kentucky
1 234Total
No. 5 Volunteers 17 72114 59
Wildcats 7 1437 31

Peyton Manning threw for a school-record 523 yards and tied the school-record with 5 passing touchdowns in this high-scoring win over Kentucky. The single-game TD record fell in 2007 and the single-game yardage record stood until 2012. In all, Manning and Kentucky QB Tim Couch combined for 999 passing yards (Couch threw for a then-school-record 476 yards).[15]

Vanderbilt

See also: 1997 Vanderbilt Commodores football team

Vanderbilt at Tennessee
1 234Total
Commodores 0 370 10
No. 3 Volunteers 0 1070 17

[16]

vs. Auburn

Main article: 1997 SEC Championship Game

See also: 1997 Auburn Tigers football team

Tennessee vs Auburn
1 234Total
No. 3 Volunteers 7 3137 30
No. 11 Tigers 13 790 29
       

The Vols struck first just over two minutes into the game, but found themselves trailing 20–7 only 48 seconds into the second quarter. Despite six turnovers, Tennessee clawed all the way back. Peyton Manning threw for 373 yards and 4 TD, including a game winning 73-yard touchdown to Marcus Nash.[17]

vs. Nebraska (Orange Bowl)

Main article: 1998 Orange Bowl

See also: 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team

Tennessee vs Nebraska
1 234Total
No. 3 Volunteers 0 368 17
No. 2 Cornhuskers 7 7217 42

Awards and honors

Team players drafted into the NFL

Main article: 1998 NFL Draft

Player Position Round Pick NFL club
Peyton Manning Quarterback 1 1 Indianapolis Colts
Terry Fair Cornerback 1 20 Detroit Lions
Marcus Nash Wide receiver 1 30 Denver Broncos
Leonard Little Defensive end 3 65 St. Louis Rams
Jonathan Brown Defensive end 3 90 Green Bay Packers
Trey Teague Center 7 200 Denver Broncos
Andy McCullough Wide receiver 7 204 New Orleans Saints
Corey Gaines Safety 7 231 Indianapolis Colts

References

  1. ^ "Neyland Stadium". utsports.com. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  2. ^ "Nothing to Prove; Manning Made His Decision to Stay at Tennessee, and the Rest Is History". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. September 3, 1997.
  3. ^ "Tenn. Jumps To No. 3 in Poll". The Washington Post. September 1, 1997.
  4. ^ "UCLA Rallies in Second Half Against Tennessee, but Comes Up Short for Second Week in a Row, 30–24". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. September 7, 1997.
  5. ^ Rhoden, William C. (September 21, 1997). "Manning's Nightmare Continues". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
  6. ^ Sallee, Barrett (August 24, 2012). "Classic SEC Football: Tennessee Tops Auburn in the 1997 SEC Championship Game". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Fulmer, Phillip (1999). A Perfect Season. Rutledge Hill Press. p. 7. ISBN 1-55853-798-8. Peyton had played with a lot of pain in the Orange Bowl because of an injury he had suffered in our SEC Championship victory against Auburn, and his mobility was limited throughout the game against Nebraska
  8. ^ MacCambridge, Michael (2005). ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. ESPN Books. p. 1401. ISBN 1-4013-3703-1.
  9. ^ MacCambridge, Michael (2005). ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. ESPN Books. p. 1462. ISBN 1-4013-3703-1.
  10. ^ MacCambridge, Michael (2005). ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. ESPN Books. p. 1402. ISBN 1-4013-3703-1.
  11. ^ "The 2005 ESPY Awards – ESPY Awards past winners". ESPN. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  12. ^ "1997 Heisman Trophy". Heisman.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2008.
  13. ^ "Tennessee 30, UCLA 24". UPI Archives. September 6, 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2022.
  14. ^ "No. 3 Gators Find Willing Volunteers". Los Angeles Times. September 21, 1997. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  15. ^ "Manning Passes for 523 Yards in Tennessee Win". The Los Angeles Times. November 23, 1997. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  16. ^ "Vols win division crown, want more". The Tampa Bay Times. November 30, 1997. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  17. ^ "Too Close for Comfort". The Los Angeles Times. December 7, 1997. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  18. ^ "AAU Sullivan Award".
  19. ^ 2011 Tennessee Football Record Book Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, p. 102.