Retro Review: 1986 Sugar Bowl: Tennessee Vs. Miami

Michael ShibleySenior Analyst IMay 30, 2008

One of the great things I was able to get my parents to buy was a DVD dubber so that all our VHS tapes can be moved over to DVD's. Those VHS tapes consist of two movies and Tennessee Volunteers games!!!

Of course since I have not felt like watching Vols games until the summer when I need my fix...I have finally started the process of moving them to DVD. I thought I should break down some of these games and give you fair readers a little history on some of the great games in Vol History.

Now they won't all be in chronological order, but I'll give you all a bit of background on the games and I'll rate them with five stars as the highest.  Today I am starting at the beginning of my dad's collection with one of the best:

1986 Sugar Bowl January 1, 1986
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Miami Hurricanes
ABC Sports - Keith Jackson and Frank Broyles

Background: The Vols went 8-1-2 (yes ties were around back then), beating No. 1 Auburn and Heisman winner Bo Jackson to win their first SEC Title in 16 years. They drew #2 10-1 Miami in the Sugar Bowl and their future Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde.

All the talk leading up to the game was if Miami would be voted National Champion if #1 Penn State lost in the Orange Bowl to #3 Oklahoma (which they did). They really didn't think the Vols had much of a chance against Miami

The Game: Miami scored first using a fake punt to set up a TD pass to future Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and everyone thought that was the beginning of the end for the Big Orange.

However, that was all Miami would score as the Vols brought the pressure of nine-man blitzes and never allowed Vinny to get into the game by sacking him seven times and picking him off three times. The Vols took advantage of those turnovers and good field position to roll over Miami 35-7.

The Big Play: 7:21 in the 3rd Quarter Tennessee RB Jeff Powell blasted through the line and ran 60 yards for a TD that put the Vols up 28-7 and was pretty much the nail in the coffin.

MVP: The UT Defense.  They were just all over Testaverde the whole game, giving him nowhere to run or hide. They had a great defensive stand in the 1st Quarter as Miami started on their 13.  After 11 plays, Miami ended back at their 13 yard line.

Randomness: The Tennessee Secondary was coached by former Florida and current Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook, complete with 80s mustache.  Miami was coached by Jimmy Johnson.  The UT holder for Field Goals and Extra Points was Randy Sanders (yup him.)

Impact: The Volunteers finished #4 in the Nation. This team is a favorite of Volunteer fans and known as the Sugar Vols.

You ask many fans and it is one of their favorite games of all time and people were celebrating all though Tennessee. Fans were packed at the airport for the homecoming and honking horns at the bus as they drove back to the dorms.

Even though I don't remember watching the game (I was almost 2 years old) I love seeing how it impacted the state and the University.  This is one of the greatest games in Tennessee Volunteers' History!

Rating *****

Next game - 1987 Kick-off Classic Vols vs. Iowa