Tennessee Vols 1998 Season


The Tennessee Vols 1998 Season Was A Special Quest And A Vision As They Became SEC Champions, The National Champions, And The Only Team In School History To Be 13-0







Vols Comeback to Win against Orangemen
Sept. 5, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

Tee Martin
Tee Martin fakes hand off to Jamal Lewis as the Vols drive to beat Syracuse in the closing minutes. (AP Photo)

(SYRACUSE, N.Y.)-- -- What a game! First game gitters showed on both sides of 1st half. Tee Martin showed poise under pressure. There's no doubt it was a team effort by beating a well coached and defending East Champs orangemen.

With our starters dropping out like flies with cramps, it looked like we were using 2nd and 3rd string players. It must have been smothering down there.

It goes to the basic rule, practice!, practice! practice!. I think knowing Phil Fulmer he will have it together before our next opponent, you know who!

Jeff Hall's 27-yard field goal on the game's final play capped a thrilling fourth quarter as 10th-ranked Tennessee handed No. 14 Syracuse its fifth straight home-opening loss in dramatic fashion, 34-33.

Syracuse appeared to take control when Nathan Trout's 19-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, with 2:38 remaining provided a 33-31 lead.

Tennessee's final drive seemed to have stalled with just over 1:30 to play when it had a 4th-and-7 from its own 35. But sophomore cornerback Will Allen, making his first collegiate start, was whistled for pass interference and the drive continued.

Report Card

Offense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hall, Peerless Price

Defense Grade = B+
Most Notable Players: Al Wilson, Raynoch Thompson, Corey Terry




Tennessee (10)         7  7  10 10--34
Syracuse (14)          0  10  3 20--33 Final



No. 6 Tennessee beats No. 2 Florida in overtime 20-17!

UT Fans Storm Field After Missed Field Goal
The Vols defense held Florida to kick a field goal at the UT 15. Collins Cooper #95 kicked the ball wide left and pandemonium broke out, the Tennessee fans stormed the field and with uncontrollable joy embraced the players and began to celebrate. (AP Photo)

Sept. 19, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

KNOXVILLE, TENN. 09-19-1998)-- -- First it started by watching the Vols walking down Peyton Manning Pass two hours before game time, standing room only, fantastic! Then came Pride of the Southland Marching Band down Stadium Dr. one hour before game time, marvelous!

Shawn Bryson is untouched for a TD
Shawn Bryson breaks one, right up the middle for a 57-yard dash TD. (AP Photo

Then you watch Tennessee marching band form the T on the field, you go crazy, awesome! Now you're ready to relax, nope not yet! Tennessee marching band plays the National Athem and from the north end of Neyland Stadium, from the very top a trained bald eagle glides down to the 10-yard line to his trainer, just before kickoff.

That's it!!, I was ready to jump on the field and play football with the Vols!!! That set the tone for what was going to happen to me and every Tennessee fan that was there.

The agony of defeat
The Gators struggle to come to grips with an overtime loss to Tennessee. (AP Photo)

I'm talking about the 12th man, that caused Florida trouble in the game, the noise was so loud they couldn't hear their signals and had to use their time outs!

Yes I just about lost my voice too!, just like everybody else. Enough of the fans", lets talk about the gutsiest performance by the Tennessee Vols. I think every player had a part in the win against the Gator's.

The offense moved the ball at times against the no.1 defense in the country. The best fullback Shawn Bryson broke one right down the middle for a 57-yard TD with Florida Gator's right on his heels, but couldn't catch him.

Both goalpost were taking down within mins
No goalpost was safe in Neyland Stadium on Saturday night. (AP Photo)

Tee Martin didn't make any major mistakes, but tried to force a pass with double coverage. In the third quarter Peerless Price caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Martin between two Florida defenders. What a performance by the defense against the fun and gun of the Florida offense.

Al Wilson caused three fumbles and Deon Grant intercepted a pass for a 27-yard return. At the end with heads knocking together and Tennessee players playing with all their might, it came down to the All-American Jeff Hall with a 41-yard field goal right down the middle in over time.

The Vols defense held Florida to kick a field goal at the UT 15. Collins Cooper #95 kicked the ball wide left and pandemonium broke out, the Tennessee fans stormed the field and with uncontrollable joy embraced the players and began to celebrate.

Both goal posts came down with expensive cameras attached on to them. It was the best game and celebration that I have ever witnessed.

Report Card

Offense Grade = B+
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Shawn Bryson, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hall, Peerless Price

Defense Grade = A
Most Notable Players: Al Wilson, Deon Grant, Fred White & the entire line




Tennessee (6)         7  3  7 0 3--20
Florida (2)           3  7  7 0  --17 Final



Tennessee coast passed
Houston 42-7

Sept. 26, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

(KNOXVILLE, TENN.)-- -- This was a game to run your backup players and to see what you have in reserve. To start: Tee Martin looked real sharp and is becoming more confident in his ability, he threw four touchdowns.

Jamal Lewis The running game is improving by leaps and bounds, we are probably the premier in the NCAA! Jamal Lewis had a 59-yard TD run, Shawn Bryson had a 63-yard TD run and Travis Henry is carrying the ball extremely well.

How about the pass to freshman John Finlayson #96, that turn up field for a touchdown! There was no dening this guy once he got the ball. We still have a lot to improve, but we are starting to jell!

For what I saw and heard on the injuries is: Al Wilson with a bruised shoulder and Shawn Bryson with a sprained ankle.

Tee Martin led the way with four touchdown passes and Jamal Lewis rushed for 135 yards and scored twice. The Volunteers (3-0) had 11 penalties and two turnovers, but the Cougars (0-4) couldn't take full advantage.

"Tennessee is a good, hard-nosed and clean team," said Cougars coach Kim Helton, whose team lost to the Bruins 42-24 last week.

"They're a lot tougher than UCLA. Tennessee was very physical up front," Helton said.

Martin completed 14-of-19 for 234 yards with an interception, surpassing his passing output from the first two games combined. He had touchdown passes of 33, 16, 63 and 22 yards.

Lewis carried 13 times and scored on a 59-yard run and a 16-yard pass reception. The Vols gained 334 yards on the ground against a Cougars defense that came into the game ranked fourth in the nation against the run, giving up an average of just 42 yards.

"We couldn't run with them," Helton said.

Tennessee had 589 yards, an average of 9.3 yards per play, to 239 for the Cougars.

Report Card

Offense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Shawn Bryson, Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hall, Peerless Price, Travis Henry, Phillip Crosby & John Finlayson

Defense Grade = B+
Most Notable Players: Raynoch Thompson, Chris Ramseur, Daren Walker, Shaun Ellis & Fred White




Tennessee (4)        7  14  7  14--42
Houston              0  0   7   0--7 Final



Tennessee hangs on to beat Auburn

Oct. 3, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

(AUBURN, ALA.)-- -- The way I saw it, we looked unbeatable the first half. The defense was unbelieveable, Shaun Ellis intercepted a pass for a 90-yard TD run. Then, holding Auburn on the 6 inch yard line for four downs, it was awesome!

Jamal Lewis scores on a 67-yard run On the first play from scrimmage, Jamal Lewis broke free for a 67-yard TD. Then things began to change in the second half. The Auburn players got the eye of the tiger look and started giving the Vols trouble at every corner.

Tee Martin couldn't connect on third down plays, he was 4-15 for the night. That made us run the ball more often than we wanted to. Auburn knew if they could stop the run they could beat us.

It was working using a freshman quarterback and their 4th center this year because of injuries. Next week we are playing Georgia at Georgia. They beat 6th ranked LSU at their home turf.

To me our offense needs a lot of adjustments before we meet the Georgia Bulldogs. Don't get me wrong I love my Vols, but the coaches have their work cut out.

"From our standpoint, the day belongs to the defense," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said.

Tennessee (4-0, 2-0) jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, then almost squandered it as Auburn shut down the Vols the rest of the game -- holding them to only four first downs in the second half.

"We didn't get a lot done on offense in the second half," Fulmer said. "We got 17 points and we couldn't do much after that."

Robert Bironas kicked two of his three field goals in the second half to bring Auburn (1-3, 1-2) within 17-9, but the Tigers missed two late opportunities to catch the Vols.

Report Card

Offense Grade = C
Most Notable Players: Jamal Lewis, Jeff Hall, Peerless Price, Travis Henry

Defense Grade = A
Most Notable Players: Shaun Ellis, Raynoch Thompson, Chris Ramseur, Daren Walker, Ron Green, Deon Grant, Fred White & the entire defense front line!!!




Tennessee (3)        17  0  0  0--17
Auburn                0  3  3  3--9 Final



Tennessee steps up to beat Georgia Bulldogs 22-3

Oct. 10, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

(ATHENS, GEORGIA)-- -- I wonder what ESPN and the critics are saying now about the Tennessee Volunteers. Tennessee a 3 point underdog, came to Athens, Georgia to play football at it's best.

Tennessee's defense puts pressure on Quincy Carter Tennessee beat a good football team on it's own turf. The Vols defense is no doubt one of the best in the NCAA. The offense is improving every game and Tee Martin is no doubt shining through critical plays.

How about the Travis and company. We have two star backs that are fitting the slots very well, replacing injured Jamal Lewis. Dwayne Goodrich guarding against the no. 1 player for Georgia Champ Bailey, did a fantastic job.

Dwayne Goodrich intercepts a pass and shakes Champ Bailey on a tackle in the air, in which he drops. Deon Grant intercepts a pass from QB Quincy Carter.

"I'm unbelievably proud of our football team," coach Phillip Fulmer said. "We're not supposed to be this good." Then all of a sudden we were a three-point underdog," said Al Wilson, who led the swarming Vols defense. "That really motivated us. It was like people look at us as a one-man team. But Tennessee recruits a lot of great players.

Tee Martin threw two 3-yard touchdown passes in the third quarter and the Volunteers' defense thoroughly shut down the Bulldogs in a 22-3 victory Saturday. Tennessee extended its winning streak over Georgia to eight games and handed the Bulldogs their ninth straight loss at Sanford Stadium against Top 25 opponents.

Travis Stephens, filling in for Jamal Lewis, rushed 20 times for 107 yards as the Vols piled up 253 yards on the ground. Tennessee appears to have a clear path to their second straight SEC title game. Four of their last six games are at home, including the only game against a ranked team, No. 20 Arkansas.

Report Card

Offense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Travis Henry, Travis Stephens, Jeff Hall, Peerless Price, Cedrick Wilson

Defense Grade = A+
Most Notable Players: Al Wilson, Shaun Ellis, Raynoch Thompson, Daren Walker, Ron Green, Deon Grant, Dwayne Goodrich & the entire defensive front line!!!




Tennessee (4)         3  6  13 0--22
Georgia (7)           3  0  0  0--3 Final



Vols beat "rival" Bama 4 years in a row

Oct. 24, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

(KNOXVILLE, TENN.)-- -- What a rivalry between Tennessee and Alabama. Tennessee looks good on first possession and scores 7 points. No doubt that Tennessee was ready to play football against a team that never quits.

Raynoch Thompson sacks quarterback I'm here to say that this Tennessee team is very special, because they are playing as one and there's no super stars shining brightly. They are playing as one bright shining star, that is The Tennessee Volunteers on both sides of the ball.

Everybody contributes to this win with Cedrick Wilson having a great day catching and turning up field as well as Peerless Price. Travis and company had a few great runs of 25 and 15-yards, also Tee Martin with a 17-yard run and two TD's.

Alabama was still in the game with Shaun Alexander's 44-yard TD, that made the score 14-11 Tennessee, with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

Bama kicked to the Volunteer, Peerless Price at the goal line and Price ran a brilliant 100-yard dash kickoff return for a TD to go up 21-11. Tennessee takes control in the 4th quarter and wins 4 in a row in a hard fought rivalry to a 35-18 victory.

''We've maybe not always played our very best, but we've played our very hardest in six ballgames in a row,'' coach Phillip Fulmer said and won their first six games for the first time since 1969.

''Probably the biggest play in the ballgame was Peerless' kickoff return,'' Fulmer said. ''We said all week long we needed a play in the kicking game, and son of a gun if we didn't get a great one.''

''They're an outstanding team,'' Alabama coach Mike DuBose said, adding he thought Tennessee's national championship aspirations were not misplaced. ''They can run the football, have a very athletic quarterback who can make plays and have a lot of speed defensively. They're linebackers are making a lot of plays. None of our three linebackers are making plays.''

Report Card

Offense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Travis Henry, Travis Stephens, Peerless Price, Cedrick Wilson & special team

Defense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Al Wilson, Shaun Ellis, Ron Green, Raynoch Thompson, Deon Grant, Dwayne Goodrich, Steve Johnson




Tennessee (3)         7  7  7 14--35
Alabama               3  0  8  7--18 Final



No. 3 Vols rout South Carolina 49-14

Oct. 31, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

Tee Martin
Tee Martin runs for a big gain. (AP Photo)

(COLUMBIA, SO. CAROLINA)-- -- The offensive line looks real good with Tee Martin having a almost perfect day, he set three NCAA records with consecutive passes (24), consecutive passes in one game (23) and completion percentage (95.8%).

(TNT) Travis and company had a total of 147-yards rushing and the receiving corp had a awesome day with Peerless Price 165-yards, Jermaine Copeland 74-yards, Cedrick Wilson 59-yards and David Martin with 25-yards.

Tennessee placekicker Jeff Hall converted seven point-after kicks Saturday. He moved past John Becksvoort (317 points) as the Vols' all-time leading scorer with 318 points. Hall ranks 4th in the SEC history.

The defense recovered two fumbles and Billy Ratliff blocked a field-goal. The defense is unbelievable as John Chavis rotates his front line and getting the younger players experience from the bench.

As always with class Phil Fulmer could have scored with his second string troops in there, but let the clock run down. I can't say that about Steve Spurrier against Georgia that same night, the game was won 31-7 Fla. with 38 seconds left, put a 5 receiver set, after a timeout and runs an end-around for a rub-it-in touchdown.

Report Card

Offense Grade = A+
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Travis Henry, Travis Stephens, Peerless Price, Cedrick Wilson, Jermaine Copeland, Shawn Bryson, Phillip Crosby, Jeff Hall and the entire front line

Defense Grade = A
Most Notable Players: Al Wilson, Shaun Ellis, Raynoch Thompson, Eric Westmoreland, Billy Ratliff, Deon Grant, Dwayne Goodrich and the entire front line




South Carolina            0   0   0  14--14
Tennessee(3)               7  14  21  7--49 Final



No. 2 Vols run by UAB Blazers 37-13

Nov. 7, 1998

By Gabe Correa - Smokey's Trail

Travis Henry(KNOXVILLE, TENN.)-- -- The offense had a good day scoring at will, but had 3 turnovers. The defense turned on the heat, but gave up 13 points.

This performance in the game can-not-can-do against Arkansas next week. The Razorbacks coming off a win, shutout the Ole Miss. Rebels in the rain.

They have 19 seniors and have a big front line that can open the holes and a running game with two good backs.

They have real good receivers and a quaterback with a strong arm that likes to scramable like Tee Martin. Here's a team we might have to play twice, so buckle your seatbelt, it's another showdown at the OK Corral!!!

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer knows more was at stake Saturday night than beating Alabama-Birmingham. ''I felt we needed to be impressive,'' Fulmer said after a 37-13 victory over the Blazers. Making a bid to become the nation's top-ranked team, the Volunteers pushed their record to 8-0, their best start since 1956, as No. 1 Ohio State fell 28-24 to Michigan State.

It should clear the way for the Vols to ascend to the top of the polls and the Bowl Championship Series computer ranking. ''It's special to be considered among the top teams nationally,'' Fulmer said. ''We have to handle it maturely if we get there.''

Alabama-Birmingham coach Watson Brown said ''Our players, to a man, said that was the hardest they've ever been hit. ''They said Tennessee was the most physical team they've played this year. With their defense and kicking game, I don't know of anybody who could be any better.''

Report Card

Offense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Tee Martin, Travis Henry, Travis Stephens, Peerless Price, Cedrick Wilson, Jermaine Copeland, Shawn Bryson and Jeff Hall

Defense Grade = B
Most Notable Players: Al Wilson, Shaun Ellis, Raynoch Thompson, Eric Westmoreland, Billy Ratliff, Deon Grant and Dwayne Goodrich


UAB                      0   3   3  7--13
Tennessee               10  14  10  3--37 Final





General Robert Neyland | Six Time National Champions | Smokey's Trail | Vols Reporter | Recruiting Class of UT | Recruiting News | Home Page | Sound Spectrum | Tribute to Peyton Manning | Lady Vols | Hall of Fame | SEC Championship | SEC Unbeaten Seasons | Tennessee's Traditions | Vols Desktop Themes | Schedule | 98 Vols Season | Phil Fulmer | Bio Phil Fulmer | Neyland Stadium Seating Chart | UT Best Sites | Quotes | Tennessee Links | Info About Myself | Tennessee Roster | Visions of 98 | Team of Destiny | UT AP National Poll Index | BCS Formula | Vols in the NFL | Past NCAA National Champs | Tornado Warning Online! | Tennessee Merchandise | UT Vols All-Time Bowl Record | To Be No. 1



Smokey's Trail, Copyright 1998-2010 All Rights Reserved
Last Updated: