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Vols Stop Tide, Lose Robinson

October 20, 1985|From Times Wire Services

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Coach Johnny Majors of 20th-ranked Tennessee called it "a courageous game for us to win" after his Vols edged No. 15 Alabama, 16-14, Saturday.

It was Tennessee's fourth victory in a row over the Tide and lifted the Vols to 3-1-1 overall and 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama fell to 4-2 and 2-1.

The Vols were leading, 16-7, when star quarterback Tony Robinson went to the sideline with a knee injury on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Robinson was injured when he was tackled for a three-yard loss by Cornelius Bennett.

Before the injury, he had hit on 10 of 19 passes for 130 yards.

The preliminary report was that Robinson would be sidelined indefinitely.

"We probably lost one of the greatest quarterbacks I've coached," Majors said.

After Robinson left, the momentum went Alabama's way. Mike Shula, who completed 16 of 29 pass attempts for 216 yards, hit four passes for 57 yards in a 61-yard drive that ended with Shula's 19-yard scoring toss to Bobby Humphrey with 11:26 to play.

Tennessee hammered out one first down, but a clipping penalty later forced a punt. And Shula appeared to have the Tide on the roll again.

He quickly hit on three attempts for 38 yards. But Dale Jones, on a blitz, picked off the next pass just as Shula released it, giving the Vols back the ball at their 47.

Alabama got the ball back again, but Van Tiffin was short on a 61-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the game.

"I felt we could come back in the fourth quarter," Alabama Coach Ray Perkins said. "But we bogged down."

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