This Day In #Vols History (Dec. 31)

The Vols have played in five bowl games on New Year's Eve. 

Tennessee posted an 18-12 win over Syracuse in the 1966 Gator Bowl on Dec. 31. Despite an early fumble that gave Syracuse favorable field position, the Vols got field goals from Gary Wright in the first and second quarters to lead 6-0. Another field goal appeared to be in the offing in the second period at the Syracuse 24, but the Vols caught Syracuse by surprise and quarterback Dewey Warren hit tight end Austin Denney instead for the touchdown and a 12-0 lead.

Bill Young's interception led to the third Vol score, which came on a 2-yard strike from Warren to flanker Richmond Flowers.

Syracuse, led by the running of future pro stars Floyd Little and Larry Csonka, scored on their first possession of the second half. They lost the ball on downs at the Vol 3 later in the period and scored their final touchdown with 46 seconds left.

On Dec. 31, 1979, the Vols lost to Purduse in the Bluebonnet Bowl. Tennessee, making its first bowl appearance in five years, saw a gutty second half comeback fall short in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

Trailing 21-0 in the third quarter, the Vols rallied to take the lead 22-21 late in the fourth quarter. But Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann threw the game-winner, a 17-yard toss to Charley Young, with just 1:30 remaining.

The Vols' comeback was triggered by an 8-yard Jimmy Streater pass to halfback Glenn Ford. The second Vol touchdown came on a pass from wingback Phil Ingram to tailback James Berry. When Hubert Simpson scored the two-pointer, the Vols were back in the game.

The Vols took the lead as Simpson scored and ran the two-point conversion. All-America defensive back Roland James was the Defensive Player of the Game, with eight unassisted tackles and a 19-yard punt return to his credit. Streater finished with 270 yards rushing and passing.

On Dec. 31, 1982, the Vols lost to Iowa, 28-22 in the Peach Bowl. Iowa built a 21-7 first half lead, keyed by three Chuck Long touchdown passes, and weathered a second half Vol rally to win the 1982 Peach Bowl.

Tennessee's second-half comeback was led by quarterback Alan Cockrell and running backs Chuck Coleman and Doug Furnas.

The Vols came off the mat to register two touchdowns and a field goal to close to 28-22 late in the fourth quarter. With the clock winding down, the outcome hinged on two short yardage plays the Hawkeyes stopped at their 7. On third-and-2, Cockrell's pass was deflected. On fourth down, the Vol signal-caller was stopped short on a counter-option.

Cockrell completed 22 of 41 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown and was named Tennessee's Outstanding Player by CBS broadcasters.

Tennessee dropped a 30-3 decision to Maryland in the 2002 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. The Terrapins took advantage of two key UT turnovers and used a balanced attack in defeating the Vols for the third time in five postseason meetings.

Tennessee had eight penalties for 68 yards and Vols quarterback Casey Clausen was sacked six times for minus-36 yards. In addition, UT converted only four of 13 third-down opportunities and rushed 27 times for just 45 net yards -- the school's third lowest figure in 43 bowl appearances.

Tennessee's defense played well enough to jump to No. 5 nationally in total defense by game's end after allowing the Terrapins only 274 yards from scrimmage. But Maryland balanced 154 rushing yards and 120 passing yards with 177 return yards on some timely special teams play.

On Dec. 31, 2009, the Vols lost to #11 Virginia Tech, 37-14 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. After falling behind 14-0 after the first quarter, the Vols made a valient effort to tie the game as Montario Hardesty scored from four yards out and Denarius Moore caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Crompton with 18 seconds in the second stanza.

A deep pass from Tyrod Taylor to Jarrett Boykin with nine seconds left in the half set up a 21-yard field goal by Matt Waldron as the Hokies took a 17-14 lead.

Linebacker Herman Lathers had a career night with a game-high 12 tackles and 1 1/2 tackles for loss to lead UT.

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