NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 1, 1986) - Tennessee rang in 1986 in grand fashion, taking a 35-7 decision over the highly-touted Miami Hurricanes in the 52nd Sugar Bowl.
A Louisiana Superdome crowd of 77,432 saw the Vols spot the Hurricanes an early 7-0 lead, but, after Daryl Dickey and Jeff Smith hooked up for a 6-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter, the Vols were completely in control. Ken Donahue's defensive troops ruled the Superdome turf, rattling the Hurricanes for six turnovers, seven quarterback sacks and five tackles for lost yardage.
The Vols took the lead late in the first half when wide receiver Tim McGee corralled a Vol fumble in the end zone. They extended their lead in the third quarter as fullback Sam Henderson scored from 1-yard out after Darrin Miller's fumble recovery gave the Vols the ball at the Miami 32. After a Miami punt, Tennessee's Jeff Powell brought Vol fans to their feet, sprinting 60 yards for another Vol touchdown.
All-America defensive back Chris White intercepted Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde in the fourth quarter to set up a 6-yard scoring run by Charles Wilson.
The win evened the Vols' Sugar Bowl mark at 3-3. Dickey, who completed 15 of 25 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown, was named the game's outstanding player.
The Vols' 35 points set a school record for the most points scored in a bowl game, eclipsing the previous mark of 34 set against Air Force in the 1971 Sugar Bowl.