As veteran Vol fans recall, teammates rallied around Dickey in '85. With his supporting cast picking up the slack, Dickey grew into the job. He guided the Big Orange to a 6-0-1 finish capped by an MVP performance in a 35-7 blitz of Miami in the 1986 Sugar Bowl Game.
Dickey was a fifth-year senior in '85. Clausen is a fourth-year junior. Like Dickey, Clausen has limited arm strength and so-so mobility. Like Dickey, Clausen is a coach's son who offsets his lack of physical tools with an abundance of savvy and know-how. And, like Dickey, Clausen is surrounded by enough playmakers that he doesn't have to win games by himself.
Can Clausen do in 2004 what Dickey did in '85?
Maybe. Maybe not. But that's a ray of hope Tennessee fans should be clinging to as the 2004 season enters the homestretch.