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Tennessee NotesDecember 02, 2007
TENNESSEE IN 2007: Tennessee returns to the Outback Bowl as SEC East Division Champions with a 9-4 record and No.16 in the AP Poll. The Volunteers won 8 of their last 9 game regular season games and rank in the top three of the SEC in six statistical categories including 1st in Red Zone Offense.
WELCOME BACK: This will be the third appearance by the Volunteers in Tampa’s bowl game. Tennessee defeated Boston College 38-23 in the 1992-93 bowl which at the time was called the Hall of Fame Bowl. It was Phillip Fulmers first game as head coach of the Vols. Tennessee also played in last years bowl game losing to Penn State 20-10 after the game was tied 10-10 into the fourth quarter.
TENNESSEE TRADITION: This is the 111th year of football at Tennessee. The Volunteers have an all-time record of 769-321-53. Along the way the Volunteers have compiled five undefeated, untied regular seasons since 1896 including the 1939 season when they were un-scored upon (regular season). Tennessee has six National Championships and 46 bowl appearances. Twenty-two players and coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
TENNESSEE IN THE BOWLS: This is the 47th bowl appearance for the Volunteers which puts them in a tie for 2nd in all-time bowl appearances. Tennessee’s bowl record is 24-22, and those 24 wins place Tennessee 3rd in all-time bowl wins.
THE SERIES: Tennessee won their only meeting against Wisconsin 28-21 in the Garden State Bowl in East Rutherford on December 13, 1981.
FEATURE PLAYERS: The Tennessee Volunteer offense is lead by QB Erik Ainge, the 3rd leading passer in the SEC with 300 completed passes for 3,157 yards, 29 TDs, only 10 interceptions. His top target is WR Lucas Taylor with 73 catches for 1,000 yards and 5 TDs. TE Chris Brown has 40 catches for 278 yards and 6 TDs. The Vols offensive line only gave up four sacks on the season, tops in the nation. RB Arian Foster is the workhorse in the ground game with 229 carries for 1,162 yards and 12 TDs.
The Tennessee defense is lead by trio of linebackers starting with Jerod Mayo with a team high 127 tackles, 4th best in the SEC, along with 7 tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks and 1 interception. Rico McCoy had 106 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 Int. while Ryan Karl added 82 tackles 5.5 TFL and 1 Int.. DB Jonathan Hefney notched 88 tackles while SS Eric Berry added 83 stops and grabbed 5 interceptions. DE Robert Ayers lived in opponents backfields with 11 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks.
PK Daniel Lincoln who connected on 21 of 28 field goal attempts and 49 of 50 PATs. Freshman Dennis Rogan has come on in the second half of the season to return punts and kicks and is averaging 30.3 yards per kick return.
THE COACH: Head Coach Phil Fulmer is in his 15th year at the helm of the Volunteers and has compiled a winning record of 145-45. Fulmer was the National and SEC Coach of the Year in 1998 and led that Tennessee team to its first 13 victories in a single season, which included an SEC championship and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl win for the national title.