Saturday, October 24, 2015

UT vs. Alabama in 1901

On November 28, 1901, the Volunteers were in Birmingham, Alabama.  It was the first time the two teams met.  It was a last contest for UT that season, who were 3-3-1 going into that game.

The teams tied, 6-6.  Not unheard of, but the game was called on count of darkness.

Worcester Daily Spy - November 29, 1901

1902 Volunteer
University of Tennessee Archives
Spalding Foot Ball Guide for 1902
Google Books

Thursday, October 15, 2015

UT's first game of 1892 (and their first-ever win)

Earlier today the Tennessee Football facebook page posted this little gem.

They included a link to This Day in #Vols History (October 15) and this great photo of the 1892 UT football team.

Now, the post can be parsed a few different ways.  The Vols won their first-ever football game on this date in 1892!  On Oct. 15, 1892 Tennessee beat Maryville College, 25-0.

The Vols won their first-ever football game?  No.  They played against Sewanee on Nov. 21, 1891, losing the game in Chattanooga.

The Vols won their first-ever football game on this date?  Yes, that's true, but vague.

Maybe a better way to say it would be: In their second-ever football game the Vols got their first win...  A little clunky.

Bottom line, this is the program's first-ever win.  It was played on Saturday, October 15, 1892.  The team played at Maryville College, giving them a beat down.

Let's see what the Knoxville paper has to say.

Now here's the story from the Maryville paper.

Reading the accounts we see that a TD was worth 4 points.  A kick after the TD (a kick goal) was worth 2.  And a drop kick was worth 5 points.  Okay, I'll go with that.

Knoxville Journal from
The Maryville Times from Chronicling America

Friday, September 25, 2015

UT's first game with Florida

On October 28, 1916, the Volunteers were in Tampa for a game against the Florida 'Gators. That would be the first of many meetings.

 The 1916 season found UT going undefeated with a 8-0-1 record, while getting five shutouts.

2015 UT Football Media Guide

The University was so proud of the team that they were featured at the beginning of the 1917 annual.

1916 UT Football team
from the 1917 Volunteer

The press thought that the fans in Florida were interested in a bit of pregame news.  "The Tennessee team is an aggregation of fine-looking young men and our Florida boys evidently have their work cut out for them."

Ocala Evening Star - October 27, 1916
from Chronicling America

In Tampa, where the game was to be played, had some school spirit, and a welcoming heart.
The Tampa Tribune - October 27, 1916

And then came the game preview.  UT seems a bit light on the front line, but heavier than Florida.

The Tampa Morning Tribune - October 27, 1916
Interesting to see the officiating crew was from other schools.   Arnold from Auburn as referee, Coles from Clemson as umpire, and Ramey from Purdue as head linesman.  Also interesting is to see who is allowed on the field.  "...none but officials and active newspaper men...".  And parking seems to be at premium.  Some things never change.

Tennessee beat Florida with a score of 24-0.  The Tampa sports pages were slathered in the coverage, with the headline of: Florida Is Unable to Halt March of the Victorious Volunteers.

The Tampa Sunday Tribune - October 29, 1916

And finally the box score.

The Tampa Sunday Tribune - October 29, 1916

The season recap in the 1917 annual held this account of the game.
from the 1917 Volunteer

Coach Bender took his young men to the Sunshine State and came back a winner.

1916 UT Football team
from the 1917 Volunteer

Friday, September 4, 2015

First Football Casualty

While doing some research on the 1924 Appalachian League post season games I came across this little nugget.
The Boston Herald - September 13, 1924

John Beaty Chandler, Jr. was born on January 7, 1908 and died on September 11, 1924.  He was the son of John Beaty Chandler and Edith Peel Chandler.  His younger brother, Wilfred, went on to serve, and to die, in World War II.  Both men, as well as their parents, are buried in Lynnhurst Cemetery in Knoxville.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bulldogs vs. Black Knights - 1937

When you think about football in Knoxville your mind almost immediately goes to the Volunteers.  There was another school in town that sported a football team.  Knoxville College, a historically black liberal arts school, offered an educational opportunity for the African-American community.

I don't know much about the athletics at Knoxville College.  I came across this 1938 annual at the Digital Public Library of America and thought that it should be shared.  I'll be showing the images and game summaries from the 1937 season.

The unnamed player images at the bottom line the football pages of the yearbook

Thursday, July 9, 2015

And Nobody Killed

Thanksgiving had passed and there was still football in Knoxville. The University Team took on the YMCA at the Fountain City baseball park.  This game benefited the Associated Charities of Knoxville.  After expenses were deducted the the two teams donated just less than $40.  Times have changed.

Knoxville Journal - November 29, 1894
Interesting to note that the heaviest player from both teams (at 180 lbs.) was UT's Full Back, Spence, who "put up the game of his life."

image from

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1955 Knoxville College Football Schedule

This site isn't all about UT football. Knoxville College will also be represented. For starters here's a look at their schedule for 1955.

Memphis World - July 26, 1955

Thursday, April 2, 2015

UT beats Tulsa - 1974

Earlier this week the University of Tennessee announced the hiring of Rick Barnes as the new Volunteers head basketball coach.

UT Football shared some photos on their facebook page.

"... recalled a game in 1974 when the Artful Dodger (Condredge Holloway) led the Vols to a comeback win over Tulsa."

Hmm.  That would be fun to track down.  A quick search through showed that the game was played in early October.  Helps to narrow it down.  In fact, it was played on October 5, 1974.

Mobile Register - October 6, 1974

Mobile Register - October 6, 1974

It isn't clear in the newspaper article that Holloway led the Vols to a comeback victory.  It was tied at 10 each in the fourth quarter.  It wasn't until Morgan's punt return for a touch down in the final minute of the game that UT regained the lead.

UT's on-line repository of yearbooks had a photo of reserve QB Randy Wallace.

Volunteer - 1975
"Reserve QB Randy Wallace prepares to hand off in action against Tulsa."

Wait.  What would the reserve QB be doing in the game?  The Vols started the season 1-1-1.  They wanted to win.  Why the reserve QB? 

Condredge Holloway was banged up in the first few games.  Knee and shoulder injuries plagued him.

Mobile Register - October 10, 1974
In fact, he sustained bruised ribs in the Tulsa game and spent the night at the hospital.  I guess that's a good enough reason to use the reserve QB.

Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge) - October 7, 1974
All of this still doesn't answer the question, "Did Condredge Holloway lead the Vols to a comeback win over Tulsa?"

Part of sports is the fond memories that we have of them, of the people we were with, of the victories, the spectacular plays.  In the big scheme of things sometimes it doesn't really matter who led which team to what victory.

UT beat Tulsa that day.  And Rick Barnes remembers it his way.

Welcome to Knoxville, Coach.  Please help create some fond memories for us.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A game to add to 'The Lost Years'

The University of Tennessee did not officially sponsor a football team during the 1894 and 1895 seasons. There was a student team lead by W.B. Stokely.  The 2013 UT football media guide lists six games for the 1895 season. Here's one that they haven't included. I assume that they just didn't know about it.

The (current) Tennessee School for the Deaf went toe to toe with the University school boys and ended in a 10-10 tie.  I'm not up on football of the mid 1890s but a few things stood out to me from the article.  There is not a quarterback listed.  Also, each team made two touchdowns and a goal.  How many points was a touchdown worth in 1895?  And what exactly was a goal?  Could the reporter have been wrong and they each made a touchdown (and PAT) plus a field goal?  That would make it 10-10.  More research is needed.

The Knoxville Daily Journal - November 26, 1895

UPDATE: I did a bit more research.  The day before, the notice that a game would be played appeared in The Knoxville Daily Journal.

The Knoxville Daily Journal - November 25, 1895
Both articles mention the University school.  Perhaps this was a college prep school run by the Universty?

The Tennessee School for the Deaf lists three games that they played in 1895.  All three were against the University of Tennessee.  The scores are:

for a 1-0-2 record.

images from Genealogy Bank

Friday, January 2, 2015

1939 Orange Bowl

The Vols participated in their first bowl game on January 2, 1939.  The faced the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.

The press, always wanting to find a headline, spreads the seeds of doubt to the Vol nation.

The Dallas Morning News - January 1, 1939

The Vols overcame their "lack of spirit" and flattened the Sooners, 17-0.

The Dallas Morning News - January 3, 1939

The University celebrated the victory with a two page spread in the 1939 Volunteer.  Game action.  Bathing beauties.  Coach Neyland.

And because you want to see them a bit more clearly, here are the individual pages.

The game presentation did not go off without a hitch, though.  A low flying plane took out the communication lines for a bit.
The Boston Herald - January 3, 1939

It wasn't just pilots that were knocked unconscious.  A UT cheerleader went down for the count during the game.
The Daily Herald (Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi) - January 5, 1939