Auburn, Irish on '04 grid slate

Two teams who have contributed to some of the greatest moments in Tennessee's storied football history — Auburn and Notre Dame — return to the home schedule in 2004.

Johnny Majors' Vols and Pat Dye's Tigers staged some classic confrontations in the 1980s. Two of the most exciting occurred in 1985 and 1990. The '85 Vols shut down heralded Bo Jackson and stunned top-ranked Auburn 38-20 at Neyland Stadium. The '90 game ended in a 26-26 tie when UT missed a potential game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

The annual Vol-Tiger bloodletting became a casualty of expansion shortly thereafter, however, as the Southeastern Conference grew to 12 teams and split into Eastern and Western Divisions.

Notre Dame also has provided some of the most dramatic moments in Volunteer football history. The top-ranked Irish of 1990 needed a game-saving interception in their own end zone in the final minute to nail down a 34-29 defeat of No. 9 Tennessee at Neyland Stadium. The Vols got revenge a year later, rallying from a 31-7 deficit to prevail 35-34 in the historic ''Miracle at South Bend.''

Tennessee's 2004 schedule also includes a visit from Nevada-Las Vegas and a road trip to Ole Miss.

Like Auburn, Ole Miss was an annual SEC rival at one time. In fact, the Rebels were a real nemesis for the Vols under the legendary Johnny Vaught, beating the Big Orange eight times in succession from 1959 through 1966. Ole Miss also handed Tennessee perhaps the most devastating loss in program history, blasting a Vol team that brought a 7-0 record into the 1969 game by a 38-0 score in the ''Jackson Massacre.''

Oddly enough, Tennessee's 2004 slate features just two games in September, a scheduling oddity which hasn't occurred since 1985. The Vols then play 10 weeks in succession to conclude the regular season.

Tennessee's complete 2004 schedule is as follows:
Sept. 4 Nevada-Las Vegas Knoxville
Sept. 18 Florida Knoxville
Oct. 2 Auburn Auburn
Oct. 9 Georgia Athens
Oct. 16 Ole Miss Oxford
Oct. 23 Alabama Knoxville
Oct. 30 South Carolina Columbia
Nov. 6 Notre Dame Knoxville
Nov. 13 Memphis Memphis
Nov. 20 Vanderbilt Nashville
Nov. 27 Kentucky Knoxville
Dec. 4 SEC title game Atlanta


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