Countdown to Kickoff vs Somebody

peaygolf

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74 days.....

Mark Moore, #74, was the 1986 West Va HS player of the year, but had to sit out the ‘87 season in Knoxville as a Prop. 48 student. His first year playing in ‘88, Moore had 41 tackles and 2 sacks. In ‘89, he had 4.5 sacks which tied for the most on the team. His 4th down stop, with Kentucky ahead late in the 3rd quarter, gave the Vols momentum that allowed UT to rally for the win. Moore was one of the most consistent players on defense during his three years, averaging one “big play” per game, recording 10 career sacks, and registering 139 tackles.


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peaygolf

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73 days.......

Lee North, #73, started out as a Defensive Tackle, but moved to Center in 1979 after Robert Shaw graduated. Lee took the switch and ran with it, making All-SEC in both 1980 and 1981, under the tutelage of OL coach Phillip Fulmer. North is only 1 of 3 UT Centers to make consecutive All-SEC teams. North played two seasons for the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL.
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peaygolf

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72 days........

Bad News......#72. George Cafago is a legend as a player and a coach. Cafego was a 2X All-American, twice finished in the top 7 in the Heisman voting, and was the 1st pick in the 1940 NFL Draft. He was also a great passer, return specialist, and punter. After a brief career in the NFL, due to WWII, Cafego became an assistant coach at a few schools before serving as an assistant at UT for 30 years (under 6 coaches), and was Head Baseball Coach from ‘58-‘62. Cafego was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969.

#72 should be retired in Knoxville!

edit......he HATED Vandy:p
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mad4vols

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72 days........

Bad News......#72. George Cafago is a legend as a player and a coach. Cafego was a 2X All-American, twice finished in the top 7 in the Heisman voting, and was the 1st pick in the 1940 NFL Draft. He was also a great passer, return specialist, and punter. After a brief career in the NFL, due to WWII, Cafego became an assistant coach at a few schools before serving as an assistant at UT for 30 years (under 6 coaches), and was Head Baseball Coach from ‘58-‘62. Cafego was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969.

#72 should be retired in Knoxville!
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He coached me at UTs all sports camp in the early 70’s. Wish I had known the significance of who he was at the time.
 

peaygolf

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71 days........

In 1954,Darris McCord, #71, was a terror at Defensive Tackle and Offensive Tackle under Coach Robinson. McCord was named All-American in 1954 as a DT and played in the Blue-Gray Game, Senior Bowl, and the Chicago All-Star Game. He was the 36th pick in the ‘55 draft by the Lions and played 13 seasons, helping them to the ‘57 NFL Championship. When he retired , McCord’s 168 games played were the most in Lions history.
He graduated from Franklin High School (TN) and spent one year at Prep School at my alma mater, Battle Ground Academy, before playing for UT. His two previous seasons at UT, he wore #60.........
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peaygolf

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70 days........

Charles McRae, #70, came to Knoxville from Clinton, Tn and was a 4-yr letterman from 1987-1990. He started out as a defensive lineman before moving to offensive tackle as a junior. In 1990, McRae was named to the coaches All-SEC team and won the Toyota Leadership Award. The Vols were 20-3-2 during his two years on the Offensive Line and won the Colton and Sugar Bowls. McRae was the 7th pick in the NFL draft by Tampa Bay in 1991.
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peaygolf

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69 days.......

Not a number with a great amount of success at UT, but a play that will live in Tennessee lore, was finished by #69, Carl Witherspoon. Witherspoon played at UT in 1971 and 1972, and played both linebacker and defensive end. In the ‘71 Liberty Bowl, Tennessee trailed Arkansas 13-7 with about 2 and a half minutes left, when controversy erupted. Arkansas fumbled next to the UT bench and a Razorback emerged from the pile and handed the ball to the referee, but Tennessee was given possession. Three plays later, Curt Watson scored, securing a 14-13 Volunteer victory. Carl Witherspoon, #69, is credited with the recovery. Witherspoon would finish his career with 94 tackles in 17 games played.

The “best” photo I can find of Witherspoon and the “recovery.” He’s in the middle
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peaygolf

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68 days.......

An All-State player from Elizabethton, Danny “Pert” Jenkins, #68, was a three time letterman for UT from 1975 to 1977. Listed at 220 lbs, Pert actually weighed less than 210 lbs and played defensive tackle. A fierce competitor with a fiery temper, Jenkins is well known for his part in the ‘77 brawl vs UF. After a successful junior season, Jenkins saved his best for last. In 1978, he recorded 92 tackles, 5 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries.
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OneManGang

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68 days.......

An All-State player from Elizabethton, Danny “Pert” Jenkins, #68, was a three time letterman for UT from 1975 to 1977. Listed at 220 lbs, Pert actually weighed less than 210 lbs and played defensive tackle. A fierce competitor with a fiery temper, Jenkins is well known for his part in the ‘77 brawl vs UF. After a successful junior season, Jenkins saved his best for last. In 1978, he recorded 92 tackles, 5 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries.
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Back in the 60s and early 70s the Vols recruited what would today be considered woefully undersized linemen. I can recall meeting 1968 All American guard Charlie Rosenfelder when he was the speaker at my school's Football banquet in 1970. I was all of 13 at the time and remember being amazed that I was bigger than Rosenfelder.

Tennessee's theory was that since offensive linemen couldn't use their hands to block, a smaller, quicker guy was better. IIRC Charlie was listed at 230 but rosters of the day routinely upped a player's weight by 10-15 lbs. Chip Kell was listed at 250lbs and was a two-time AA.

That same rationale applied to defensive players like Pert Jenkins.

The rule changed in late 70s and the current arms race to field the biggest Titanotheres a team can throw a jersey on began.
 

peaygolf

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67 days.......

Mickey Marvin, #67, was a 3X All-SEC guard in ‘74,’75, and ‘76 and was a 2nd team All-American in ‘76. He was known for his brute strength and quickness, but He was constantly in the “doghouse” due to weight issues, but always managed to get back to around 250. Marvin played in the 1977 East-West Shrine game and was drafted by the Raiders in 1977. He played 11 years and won 2 Super Bowls with them.
Marvin passed away in 2017 due to ALS at the age of 61.
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peaygolf

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66 days.......

Todd Kirk came to UT from the Bristol area in 1983. After a redshirt year, he played sparingly in 1984, but became a mainstay at guard and center his final three years, including the ‘85 Sugar Vols season. After graduating, Kirk became a grad assistant from 88-89. He then served as an assistant at UT Martin. Today, Kirk coaches HS football in North Carolina. B5A0D358-CD95-40F3-9FA4-2DDB28059061.png
 

peaygolf

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65 days.........

Steve DeLong, #65, played defensive tackle for UT from ‘62-‘64. During those three years, he played for three head coaches and the Vols recorded was 13-16-1. That didn’t stop DeLong from being named All-SEC and All-American in ‘63 and ‘64. In the 1964 season, DeLong’s defense surrendered 121 points in 10 games for a 4-5-1 team, but was still named the Outland Trophy winner that season. He was also named the SEC Best Defensive Lineman for all 3 seasons. DeLong was the 6th player drafted in both the AFL (San Diego) and NFL(Chicago) drafts. He played for San Diego from 1965-1971 and retired after playing for Chicago in 1972.
DeLong was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993. His son Keith and his brother Ken were both All-All SEC and he and Keith are UT’s only father-son All-American duo.
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peaygolf

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64 days..........

“Hacksaw” #64.......Some names say it all.

Jack Reynolds came to Knoxville as a rugged fullback, but left as one of the best linebackers in school history. His never quit attitude helped lead the Vols to the ‘67 and ‘69 SEC Championships. After the devastating loss to Ole Miss is ‘69, Jack took his anger out on a car (some say an abandoned Bel Air, his pick-up, or a Porsche) by using 13 hacksaws to saw it in half, earning one the the most colorful nicknames in football history. His dominance in’69 earned him All-SEC and All-American honors. Reynolds was a first round pick by the Rams in 1970 and played 11 seasons with them and 4 with the 49ers. He was a 2X Pro Bowler, 2X Super Bowl Champion, and one of John Madden’s favorite players.

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peaygolf

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63 days.......

Bob Dobelstein played guard for the Vols in ‘42,’44, and ‘45. He was named team captain as a junior in 1944, something that didn’t happen again until the 2000’s. In the ‘44 season, He helped lead the Vols to and undefeated regular season and a Rose Bowl berth. For his efforts, he was named All-SEC and All-American in 1944. He was also named All-SEC in ‘45 and was drafted by Chicago. He was immediately traded to the NY Giants where he played in the NFL Championship Game.
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peaygolf

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62 days........

In 1942, Clyde “Ig” Fuson, #62, was a backup fullback for the Vols. He scored the winning touchdown vs Tulsa in the Sugar Bowl game and then enlisted in the army. He was enlisted in the 84th infantry and was killed in action on December 4, 1944 close to Lindern, Germany. Ig was 21 yrs old. His #62 is now retired.
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peaygolf

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61 days........

Willis Tucker, #61, played for the Vols in 1939-1940. Tucker was a backup guard and center and helped UT win the ‘40 National Championship. The Vols never lost a regular season game in his two seasons. He was also a standout of the track team and was named the top track athlete at Tennessee from 1900-1950. Tucker fought for his country in WWII and was killed in action in Germany just prior to the Battle of the Bulge, on November 28, 1944. The number 61 is now retired in his honor.

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OneManGang

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61 days........

Willis Tucker, #61, played for the Vols in 1939-1940. Tucker was a backup guard and center and helped UT win the ‘40 National Championship. The Vols never lost a regular season game in his two seasons. He was also a standout of the track team and was named the top track athlete at Tennessee from 1900-1950. Tucker fought for his country in WWII and was killed in action in Germany just prior to the Battle of the Bulge, on November 28, 1944. The number 61 is now retired in his honor.

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The ETVMA has a good write up on Willis Tucker along with some supporting documents.
Tucker, Willis N. | East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association
 

peaygolf

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60 days.......

At 5’10 234 lbs, Jim Noonan, #60, was a standout middle guard for the Vols from ‘76-‘80. After standout sophomore and junior seasons, where he had 255 tackles tackles and 9 sacks, Noonan was poised for a breakout season in ‘79. Unfortunately, a foot injury forced him to miss the season. In 1980, Noonan had 67 tackles, 2 sacks, and TFL in 9 games and was named 1st team All-SEC.
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OneManGang

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Vol lore has it that when freshman Lee Otis Burton came to his first defensive team meeting he asked, "Who's the meanest SOB here?" Everybody turned and looked at Noonan. Burton walked over to him and grabbed him by the jacket and said, "I'm gonna play here."

My friend was sports editor of the Beacon and wrote something that got people fired up. There were threats to beat him up and so forth. He and I were driving around campus and I asked him if he was worried. He said, "Hell no!" and pointed to Noonan, who was crossing the street in front of us, "He's on my side!"
 

mad4vols

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60 days.......

At 5’10 234 lbs, Jim Noonan, #60, was a standout middle guard for the Vols from ‘76-‘80. After standout sophomore and junior seasons, where he had 255 tackles tackles and 9 sacks, Noonan was poised for a breakout season in ‘79. Unfortunately, a foot injury forced him to miss the season. In 1980, Noonan had 67 tackles, 2 sacks, and TFL in 9 games and was named 1st team All-SEC.
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Noooooooooooooonaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnn
 
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