A look back at Tennessee’s appearances at the Music City Bowl

The Vols lost in a chaotic end to North Carolina in 2010. The 2016 appearance was a much happier time for the Vols fans, as QB Joshua Dobbs was dominant.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Tennessee will make their third Music City Bowl appearance on December 30 when they face Purdue to wrap up the 2021 season.

The Flights are 1-1 of all time in the bowl. They lost in a chaotic end to North Carolina in 2010. The 2016 appearance against Nebraska was a much happier time for Nation Flight as QB Joshua Dobbs was dominant.


The Vols and Tar Heels went all the way with utter chaos at the end of the match.

Tennessee were leading 20-17 with 31 seconds left when they kicked the ball in North Carolina. The Tar Heels’ training started from their own 20-yard line, but with a few big plays aided by penalties from Tennessee, they moved quickly down the field.

The drama really began after North Carolina executed the ball with less than 20 seconds to go and no time outs.

They tried to rush to the line to prick the ball, but the field goal unit also ran onto the field. The kicker and the holder went to their position, the rest of the placement unit ran to the touchline and the offense was trying to hit the ball.

North Carolina slammed the ball and added it, but the refs decided the time was up and the game was over. Tennessee celebrated and the two teams shook hands. Then the referees decided that they would consider whether there was time on the clock.

The famous one there was still a second. Even though North Carolina had too many players on the field, there was no ten-point penalty at the time. North Carolina was given a five-yard penalty and then had the chance to hit the tying basket with a stopped watch and a second left.

The placement was good and tied the game at 20-20 at the end of the time limit.

The game would end up going to double overtime. Flights quarterback Tyler Bray threw an interception in the first game of second overtime. The Tar Heels then kicked a basket to win the game.

The Vols lost in a chaotic and heartbreaking ending, 30-27.


This appearance for The Flights was much less dramatic.

Tennessee opened the scoring against the Cornhuskers with a 28-yard rushing touchdown for John Kelly.

The Vols rose to 17, leading 24-7 with 5:52 left in the third quarter.

Nebraska found a way to get back into the game, however, and with 10:02 left in the fourth quarter, Tennessee only led 31-24.

Flights quarterback Joshua Dobbs had all the answers that day and offered another to seal the game. With 8:45 left in the game, Dobbs hit wide receiver Josh Malone for a 9-yard touchdown that gave them a 38-24 lead. That would be the final score.

Dobbs was named Music City Bowl MVP. He totaled over 400 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Malone had 120 receiving yards.


Tennessee and Purdue will perform at the 2021 Music City Bowl on December 30 at 3 p.m. in Nashville at Nissan Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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