ORLANDO (Jan. 1, 1997) - Tied 21-21 late in the second quarter, Tennessee scored the game's next 20 points and took a 48-28 victory over Big 10 co-champ Northwestern.
Peyton Manning completed 27 of 39 passes for 408 yards to lead the Vol attack.
After the Wildcats had battled back from a 21-0 first quarter deficit to tie the game, Manning threw a 67-yard TD pass to Joey Kent and beat the clock for a Jeff Hall field goal on the final play of the half to give the Vols a 31-21 halftime lead. The Vols stretched the lead to 38-21 when linebacker Tyrone Hines intercepted a Steve Schnur pass and returned the oskie 30 yards for a score. Hall added another field goal and Manning threw a TD pass to tight end Dustin Moore to conclude the Vol scoring.
The Vols had jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter on a 43-yard TD pass from Manning to Peerless Price, a 10-yard run for a score by Manning and another TD toss, this one from Manning to Kent from 11 yards out. Price caught six passes for 110 yards and Kent caught five for 122 yards.
The Vols finished No. 9 overall in both polls.