''Obviously, there is a sense of relief to finally get October over with,'' Vol offensive coordinator Randy Sanders said. ''October wasn't a very good month for us. It wasn't quite as bad as one year I remember, when we went 0-for-October ... didn't have a win the whole month.''
That was 1991, when Tennessee sandwiched two open dates around an October 12 loss at Florida (35-18) and an Oct. 19 loss to Alabama in Birmingham (24-19). The Vols also had a disastrous October in '92, beating LSU 20-0 before suffering consecutive losses to Arkansas (25-24), Alabama (17-10) and South Carolina (24-23). That three-game skid cost Johnny Majors his job.
For what it's worth, Phillip Fulmer won 24 of his first 25 October games as UT's head man -- a span that ran from 1993 through the 1999 season. He has struggled a bit since then, going 2-1 in October of 2000, 2-1 in October of 2001 and 1-2 in October of 2002.
As happy as Sanders was to see October pass into history, the coordinator was even happier to see Tennessee get back on the winning track after back-to-back losses.
''I'm happy with the win,'' he said. ''I'm happy for the kids, happy for the program, happy for all the coaches. It was just a good win.''