Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt: The 10 biggest blowouts in the rivalry
Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt has been a 1-sided affair since the late 1920s.
Vanderbilt has been able to score a few wins here and there, most recently from 2016-2018, but there have been a lot more Tennessee blowouts in the rivalry, too. There’s plenty to go around here.
Of course, Vanderbilt did do their share of damage early on in the series’ history. With No. 5 Tennessee and Vanderbilt set to close the regular season on Nov. 26, let’s run through the biggest blowouts in the history of the series.
We might see an addition to this list by the end of this November.
10. Vanderbilt 28, Tennessee 6 – 1948
Let’s get things straight – there are a few larger margins of victory you can find in this series. You’ll see a couple extreme examples later on this list.
This one stands out and had to be mentioned because of the context. This is one of just 3 times ever General Robert Neyland lost to Vanderbilt – and the Commodores picked up the victory in style.
It’s also Vanderbilt’s only win over Tennessee as a ranked team. The Commodores were No. 15 in the country when they put this beatdown on the Volunteers. Finally, this is the most lopsided loss to Vanderbilt Neyland faced in his 21 years of coaching at UT.
9. Vanderbilt 38, Tennessee 13 – 2018
Here’s the one that Tennessee fans of late would like to forget. For the most part, all of Vanderbilt’s blowouts came in the distant past when a majority of Tennessee fans weren’t even born. This one, however, is still fresh.
Vanderbilt did to Tennessee what the Vols usually do to them in 2018. The final score is not an accurate representation of the beatdown that took place. The Commodores took a 17-0 lead early and never looked back, allowing a few pity touchdowns in the 2nd half.
It also kept Tennessee from bowl eligibility that season.
8. Tennessee 41, Vanderbilt 0 – 1998
Tennessee had a pretty good year in 1998.
The Vols, on their way to 13-0 and a National Title, first had to stop in Nashville to stomp Vanderbilt for the 16th straight time. You read that correctly.
It turned out to be Tennessee’s most 1-sided game of the season, just a few weeks after the Stoerner Stumble allowed their miracle season to continue as it was.
7. Tennessee 45, Vanderbilt 0 – 1991
You’ll come to notice a theme on the rest of this list. Tennessee did unspeakable things to Vanderbilt’s football team in the 1990s. But don’t worry, Vanderbilt fans. The Vols were doing this to most everybody.
This was Tennessee’s biggest blowout of the season in 1991, which happened to be Johnny Majors’ last full year with the Vols and last win over Vanderbilt.
6. Tennessee 46, Vanderbilt 0 – 1952
This is Neyland’s largest blowout of Vanderbilt during his time as head coach. It was also his last year coaching the Volunteers.
Tennessee finished No. 8 in the AP poll following this win and a loss in the Cotton Bowl.
5. Tennessee 62, Vanderbilt 14 – 1993
Phillip Fulmer’s first full season as Tennessee’s head coach went well. The future national champion made quick work of Vanderbilt, launching one of the worst beatdowns in series history, 62-14.
4. Tennessee 48, Vanderbilt 0 – 2003
This was the 3rd straight shutout for Tennessee over Vanderbilt dating back to 2001 and victory No. 21 in what was turning into a streak that seemed like it was never going to end. Of course, it ended just 2 years later when Jay Cutler decided enough was enough.
Tennessee had made quick work of Vanderbilt in year’s past, but this one seemed almost cruel. Senior quarterback Casey Clausen threw 3 touchdown passes in the easy victory – on senior night.
3. Vanderbilt 51, Tennessee 0 – 1909
This is Vanderbilt’s most lopsided win that the Volunteers actually recognize. Vanderbilt had quite a few blowout victories over the Vols in the first 12 years of the rivalry, but none eclipse this 51-0 embarrassment in Nashville on Nov. 6, 1909.
2. Tennessee 65, Vanderbilt 0 – 1994
The 1994 Vols weren’t even in the top 5 of the best Tennessee teams from the 1990s. However, the biggest blowout for Tennessee vs. the Commodores happened at the end of this year.
Tennessee RB James Stewart became the Vols’ all-time rushing leader (at the time) in the game, totaling 121 yards on the ground in a performance that totaled 665 total yards.
At the time it was Tennessee’s most lopsided win since the early 1900s.
1. Vanderbilt 76, Tennessee 0 – 1918
Tennessee claims this game does not count towards the series record of 78-33-5. According to the Vols, even today, Tennessee leads the series 78-32-5 because of this game.
This is because the University of Tennessee suspended varsity football play to focus on the war effort in 1916, extending to 1918. Tennessee sent a “Student Army Training Corps” to take on a full-powered college football team and we see the result in front of us, a 76-0 beatdown that is the most lopsided final score in the series’ history.
Honestly, it’s amazing the final score wasn’t worse.