Favorite defensive series of all time??


Well-Known Member
Jan 10, 2012
At Bama 2003. Down 7, 2 minutes left, we have three timeouts. Bama has first and 10 in their own territory. Bama breaks long run to midfield on 1st down. But holding penalty after 19 yards. Fulmer takes penalty. 10 yard from spot of foul makes it 1st and 1 for a first down. Defense stuffs Bama for no gain three plays in a row as we burn all our timeouts. Bama punts on 4th and 1 to our 20 and Casey takes them 80 yards to tie in about 90 seconds with no timeouts. The rest is the five overtime history. I was pretty mad at the time for Fulmer taken that penalty because 1st and 10 for Bama at midfield was a whole lot better for us than 1st and 1 further back. But it worked out.
Yep that was a hell of a series. But Fulmer admitted after the game he probably made a mistake accepting the penalty.


Well-Known Member
Jul 7, 2019
My favorite is a little different because it wasn't a game wining series, but in Peyton Manning's senior year South Carolina came to Neyland with the idea that they were going to rough up Peyton to make him uncomfortable, a lot of late hits and shoves early on. They hit him really late on a couple of plays in a row with no flag from the refs. We noticed that Leonard Little and Al Wilson just started losing it (at that time the Vols bench was just in front of us on the East sidelines), having to be restrained by coaches as they went out on the field yelling at refs. They were like rabid dogs. Helmets off. Total fury. South Carolina goes out on offense and two plays later they are carrying the SC quarterback (Anthony Wright, I think) off the field with a broken leg after two consecutive hits by Little and Wilson. There weren't any other late hits on Manning in that game.

The Stoerner fumble wasn't a great series but it was a fantastic play by Billy Ratliff right in front of our seats. (Amazing how you can't find any of the 30,000 Tennessee fans who left the stadium before that play, but you can find 200,000 people who say they were there..)
The goal line stuff of Eddie George was fantastic.
The stop of LSU Heisman trophy winner Billy Cannon (who, by the way, goes on to graduate from UT Dental School after his pro career) on the goal line in an upset with national implications is legendary.

My all time favorite story, way before my time, goes back to the early days when the football field was just bleachers that seated maybe 500 and fans could stand along the sidelines. It's late in a game against Kentucky and they are about to score what would be a winning touchdown, when an old man in a long duster coat just walks out onto to the field and up to the Kentucky huddle. He opens his coat up to show a revolver stuck in his belt and informs the Kentucky players that the first man who crosses the goal line is a dead man. Kentucky fumbles on the next play and Tennessee wins. I read that story several years back in a credible article about the early days of Tennessee football. It says everything about Southern football.

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