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(131) 1985 Tennessee - 18
There were no fourth quarter fireworks for Siran Stacy and David Palmer against the Vols this time around.
I'm sure the loss didn't sit well with this Alabama fan.
"[Neyland Stadium] looks like a garbage truck worker convention" - classic..
(259) 1986 Alabama - 15
(3) 1978 USC - 19
Alabama had another team eliminated from the tournament in Bracket 3 when the 1986 edition, led by tailback Bobby Humphrey and linebacker Cornelius Bennett, fell to the '78 Trojans. Head coach Ray Perkins said after the game that he was proud of his team and that he hopes Mike Shula - the quarterback on the '86 team - gets another chance to be a head coach.
(131) 1985 Tennessee - 11
(3) 1978 USC - 14
A fantastic defensive showdown ended with John Robinson's Trojans topping Johnny Majors' Volunteers to secure a spot in the Bracket of Champions.
A Tennessee defense that only gave up 34 points over the final 7 games (an average of less than 5 points per game) held their own against a USC offense that featured two All American offensive linemen and and two future Heisman trophy winners in the backfield.
The SugarVols played remarkably well over the first three quarters. "Mr. Defense" Dale Jones out-quicked tackle Keith Van Horne and made a living in the USC backfield for much of the first half. He sacked Paul McDonald twice and was the key component in holding USC's vaunted rushing attack to 54 yards over the first 30 minutes of action.
Tennessee went into the locker room clinging to a 3-0 lead, but still searching for some offense of their own.
In the second half the Trojans finally got things going on the ground. To counter the speedy Tennessee defense, USC fullback took a couple of quick hitters for 11 and 13 yards on the on the opening drive of the second half. Mix in a couple short completions to Calvin Sweeney and suddenly things were starting to open up for the Trojan offense. Charles White capped the opening drive of the second half with a 6-yard touchdown run. The Trojans botched the extra point, though, so the score was now 6-3.
That score stood through the end of the third quarter as the defenses continued to control the tempo and the line of scrimmage.
Tennessee finally got things going with their first drive of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Tony Robinson got the passing game rolling and suddenly he was hitting receivers all over the field. Robinson was 4-for-5 on the drive for 72 yards, including a spectacular 42-yard touchdown pass to Tim McGee, who had to go up strong over safety Ronnie Lott in the end zone to make the catch.
The Volunteers seemed to botch the extra point as well, but holder and backup quarterback Daryl Dickey took a bad snap and scrambled into the end zone to put an unplanned two points on the board.
With an 11-6 lead and a defense that was seemingly in control of the ball game, Tennessee fans were starting to sense a potential upset to finally get a Vol team into the Bracket of Champions.
But Charles White wouldn't let the Trojans go quietly.
Coach Robinson put the game in the hands of his star tailback and White delivered. Carrying the ball on 10 of the 11 plays on the drive, White courageously drove his team down the field. Following the blocking of his All American offensive guard Pat Howell, White took hits and kept plowing forward until he capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge. He piled up 66 yards on the drive, eclipsing his total from the first three and a half quarters combined.
Quarterback Paul McDonald converted the two-point conversion with a pass to Kevin Williams to give the Trojans a three point lead that they never relinquished.
By the way, is this what life was like in Tennessee back in 1985? You have got to be kidding me with that.
1978 USC (#3 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Trojans will face the winner of Bracket 62 in the first round.