Posted: 8:00 a.m. Sunday, June 9, 2013
By Will Shelton
If you're a very young reader of this blog, allow me to explain. Peter Warrick did not play for Tennessee. But on the night that mattered most in January 1999, he belonged to the 98 Vol Defense. So he gets a spot on our countdown.
In 1998, when Florida State was F-L-O-R-I-D-A S-T-A-T-E, Warrick had 60 catches for 1,225 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the best offensive player on a team that came to Tempe to face the Vols for the BCS National Championship. This was back in the day when an undefeated SEC Champion like the '98 Vols could still be a six point underdog, because that was Florida State on the other sideline.
In the airport, in Tempe, and in the stadium, Florida State fans had an air of superiority. They'd earned it. It wasn't like they were outright jerks, they had just been here before. And Warrick, to them and to a significant percentage of the experts, was the difference. Two good defenses, but Warrick will make it count.
But instead, Warrick made his one catch count for seven yards. And that's all she wrote.
While Peerless Price was taking home the MVP with 199 receiving yards, Warrick was yelling at his teammates. When Dwayne Goodrich went down with an ankle injury, the Vols rolled Steve Johnson on Warrick and kept right on ticking. Sure, Florida State quarterback Marcus Outzen was making his third start, but hey, the guy beat Florida.
But not Tennessee.
One of my favorite parts of this game is really overlooked, and I had actually forgotten about it until recently. But as you'll see at 1:02:12, while Dwayne Goodrich is running this ball back for a touchdown, Al Wilson tells Warrick hello:
And that's how it's done.