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Best Vol Team Tournament, First Round: 1993 vs 1972

It's Heath Shuler vs Condredge Holloway as round one continues...


The two most dynamic quarterbacks in school history square off in today's round one matchup. Heath Shuler was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1993, leading what is still the highest scoring Vol offense of all time. He had a lot of help from one of the deepest backfields in school history, with three players who went on to start in the NFL. The 93 team didn't win any trophies or titles, so it tends to get celebrated less, but this is the 20th anniversary of these Vols. Meanwhile, Condredge Holloway's best season came in 1972, as the Vols went 10-2 behind his masterful efforts and Holloway began to be written into UT folklore. Because Shuler struggled in the NFL and was immediately followed by Manning, while Holloway's career was followed by one of the worst stretches in program history, it's Condredge who gets remembered more fondly among UT fans. Will that be enough for the 72 Vols to win this round and advance? It's an old school day.

1993 - 9-2-1 - Final AP Rank #12

In Phillip Fulmer's first full season at the helm, the 93 Vols opened SEC play with a 38-6 beatdown of #22 Georgia in Neyland Stadium. The Vols lost a Shuler-Wuerffel shootout 41-34 in The Swamp, then ripped off three straight before playing #2 Alabama to a 17-17 tie in Birmingham. That game ended Alabama's seven year winning streak in the series and was the first blemish in two years for the defending National Champions. The Vols won out from there, including a 45-10 drubbing of #13 Louisville. The Vols were ranked 6th in the final AP poll of the regular season and went to the Citrus Bowl, the first of three trips in four years, where they lost to Penn State. Their 42 points per game are still first in school history; five players were taken in the 1994 NFL Draft, including Shuler third overall and Charlie Garner in the second round, with Little Man Stewart going in the first round the following year. The Vols had four first team All-SEC performers and a pair of All-Americans in Shuler and kicker John Becksvoort.

QB: Heath Shuler

RB: Charlie Garner, James Stewart, Aaron Hayden

WR: Cory Fleming, Craig Faulkner, David Horn

OL: Jason Layman, Kevin Mays, Bubba Miller, Jeff Smith, Leslie Ratliff

DL: James Wilson, Shane Bonham, Paul Yatkowski, Horace Morris

LB: Scott Galyon, Reggie Ingram, Ben Talley

DB: DeRon Jenkins, Ronald Davis, Jason Parker, Victor Brown

1972 - 10-2, Final AP Rank #8

Holloway's most successful team played the first ever night game at Neyland Stadium in September, as the #7 Vols beat #6 Penn State 28-21. The only blemishes on the record came from the state of Alabama: a 10-6 loss to Auburn, and a 17-10 loss to #3 Alabama. While Holloway was emerging as a sophomore star, the defense was outstanding, allowing just nine total points in UT's last four regular season games and 100 total points on the season. Eight total players were drafted from this team, Holloway would earn All-SEC honors the following year and join Emendorfer and Conrad Graham on that list.

QB: Condredge Holloway

RB: Haskel Stanback, Steve Chancey, Jimmy Young

WR: Emmon Love, Sonny Leach

OL: Gene Killian, Gaylon Hill, Tom Johnson, Bill Emendorfer, David Shaffer

DL: Ken Lambert, Robert Pulliam, John Wagster, Carl Johnson

LB: Art Reynolds, Eddie Wilson, Jamie Rotella

DB: Conrad Graham, David Allen, Tim Townes, Eddie Brown