Knoxville, Tennessee (HOUSEOFNEYLAND) Fifty-five years ago today, November 7, 1959, my Dad and I were sitting in the South End Zone at Shields-Watkins Field watching the National Champion and undefeated LSU Bengal Tigers play our unranked Tennessee Volunteers.
No one outside of Knoxville gave the VOLS much of a chance. After all, LSU not only was undefeated, its defense, known as the "Chinese Bandits," had not given up a touchdown in forty consecutive quarters.
That streak came to an end in the third quarter when Tennessee's defenseman Jim Cartwright intercepted an LSU pass and ran it back for a touchdown.
It was quite natural for Dietzel to call on his star running back, All-American Billy Cannon. The play was off-tackle, and Cannon had the goal line in his sights.
Then, miraculously, just six inches from paydirt, Tennessee's Charley Severance #14, Wayne Grubb #61 and Billy Majors #44, brother of former VOL star and future coach, Johnny Majors, made what would be called "THE STOP!"
The Tennessee Volunteers held on for a history-making 14-13 victory. In his book "TENNESSEE: Football's Greatest Dynasty," Tom Siler describes it as "A Day for Giant Killers."
The failed attempt for two came in the North endzone, but even though I was 110+ yards away I could see clearly that Cannon didn't score.
What a win!