The Vols have had great success on Sept. 28 over the course of history posting an 8-3 record. That includes a dramatic 38-20 upset of a No. 1 Auburn in 1985. That was only the second-ever win for the Vols over a top-ranked team and remains the last such win. Check out our Lowe's #DefiningMoments feature on the game.
On this day, Sept. 26 in 1953 Smokey was chosen at halftime of Mississippi State game by student body to become the Vols' mascot.
The Pep Club held a contest to select a coonhound, a native breed of the state, as the school's live mascot. Announcements of the contest in local newspapers read, "This can't be an ordinary hound. He must be a 'Houn' Dog' in the best sense of the word."
The late Rev. Bill Brooks entered his prize-winning blue tick coon hound, "Brooks' Blue Smokey," in the contest. At halftime of the Mississippi State game that season, the dogs were lined up on the old cheerleaders' ramp at Shields-Watkins Field. Each dog was introduced over the loudspeaker and the student body cheered for their favorite, with "Blue Smokey" being the last hound introduced. When his name was called, he barked. The students cheered and Smokey threw his head back and barked again. This kept going until the stadium was in an uproar and UT had found its mascot.
On Sept. 25, 1926, General Robert Neyland coached his first game as head coach of the Volunteers as Tennessee shutout Carson-Newman, 13-0. The General went on to post a 76-7-5 record in his first tenure with the Vols from 1926-34. His career mark over 21 seasons was 173-31-12 for a 82.9 win percentage.
94 years ago on Sept. 24, 1921, the Tennessee Volunteers played their first game a new venue, housing 3,200 seats in 17 rows on the west side of the field. The field known as Shields-Watkins Field, then Shields-Watkins Stadium is now what we call Neyland Stadium.
Don't miss Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones tonight on Vol Calls, live at Calhoun's on the River. Coach Jones will be on-site to answer questions from the live audience and take calls for approximately 30 minutes.
Listen live in Knoxville on WNML (990 AM/99.1 FM) or online here.
Tonight's Vol Calls lineup looks like this:
Coach Butch Jones on-site at Calhoun's on the River
VFL Charles Davis, NFL Analyst for FOX and NFL Network
Interviews with LaDarrell McNeil and Quinten Dormady
Located on the Tennessee River in the shadows of Neyland Stadium, Calhoun's on the River has been the home of "Vol Calls" since 2012. Famous for its award-winning ribs, BBQ and other delicious Southern dishes, Calhoun's is one of Tennessee's most famous landmark restaurants. The restaurant will give away prizes each week during football season through its Facebook and Twitter pages including two game tickets and two corporate hospitality passes for each home UT football game. Weather permitting, some shows during the season will be held out on the restaurant's large deck overlooking the Tennessee River and Neyland Stadium.
"Vol Calls" is the exclusive radio program and event where Tennessee fans can call in and talk with the head coaches of the Volunteers and Lady Vols. Fans can place a "Vol Call" anywhere in the United States by dialing 1 (800) 688-8657 or Tennessee customers of Verizon can dial #TENN. Patrons at Calhoun's On the River may ask a question in person and fans may also submit questions through the IMG-Vol Network Facebook page. The program can be heard on close to 50-plus radio stations across the state of Tennessee and the Southeast on the Vol Radio Network. The weekly program can also be heard online live or archived for free each week through utsports.com.
Tennessee is unbeaten all-time on Sept. 23 with a 6-0-1 record. Most notably, in the first game ever played on this date in 1922, Tennessee debuted their now-famous orange jerseys for their home opener and win over Emory & Henry, 50-0.
September 23 (6-0-1)
1922 - W, 50-0 EMORY & HENRY
1950 - W, 56-0 SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
1972 - W, 45-6 WAKE FOREST
1978 - T, 13-13 OREGON STATE
1995 - W, 52-14 MISSISSIPPI STATE
2000 - W, 70-3 LOUISIANA-MONROE
2006 - W, 33-7 MARSHALL
Here's a look back at the Vols' 2006 win over Marshall, 33-7. A game that had a 55-minute lightning delay. It marked the first time since the tradition started that the Vols did not run through the T. LaMarcus Coker ran for an 89-yard touchdown -- the longest by a Vol since 1977 -- and finished with 146 yards on the ground on just eight carries. Erik Ainge was 18-of-27 for 258 yards including a 47-yard TD to Jayson Swain.