“Destined to Become One of Tennessee’s Best Linebackers Ever”

Tennessee escaped Shields-Watkins Field with a 16-14 win over Boston College 46 years ago today, giving Doug Dickey’s Tennessee Volunteers a 3-1-0 record.

Boston College led at the half by 7-0, Tom Siler wrote, but the Vols earned a TD pass from quarterback Art Galiffa to Hal Wantland, Fred Martin kicked a field goal, and linebacker Tom Fisher, who had a school-record 24 tackles against Auburn two weeks earlier, intercepted a pass and scored from 22 yards out. That was enough to weather a final BC rally that cut the margin to 16-14, and that’s the way it ended.

The experts said that Fisher, a native of Brooksville, Fla., was destined to become one of Tennessee’s best linebackers ever, but his life and career were cut short by the car-truck wreck near Benton, Tenn., in March 1966.

The Vols would finish 4-5-1 in 1964, but the stage was set for Tennessee to return to the elite of college football.

It was 8-1-2, 8-3, 9-2, 8-2-1, and 9-2 over the next five years, with two SEC titles and the 1967 Litkenhous national title, and the Vols were “back.”

And not a moment too soon.

Sunday, May 21, 2017