“Running Out of Bounds”

In the Nov. 7, 1981, game against Wichita State, with the game tied 21-21 in the fourth quarter, one of the strangest plays in Tennessee football history took place.

Shocker tight end Anthony Jones caught a pass over the middle going north to south, and, when two Vols in pursuit collided, he looked to be off to the races.

No orange shirt was in the same Zip Code. Game, set, and match to the Shockers, or so it appeared. That result might not have been pretty across Big Orange Country.

Here’s the catch.

For no apparent reason, he started veering ever so steadily to his right toward the west sideline.

“I was sitting there with former Vol baseball player Robbie Howard,” said grass guru Bob Campbell, the former caretaker of the Shields-Watkins Field turf, then a high school baseball coach. “We saw him heading our way, and Robbie said, ‘He’s going to run out of bounds.’ And he did.”

There might be something to the business of ghosts under the field, even one covered with an artificial surface.

Monday, Aug. 5, 2013