Tennessee Coach Johnny Majors says he doesn't know if the Volunteers would have made it to today's Peach Bowl against Indiana without the emergence of redshirt freshman Reggie Cobb, who rushed for 1,197 yards and tied a Southeastern Conference scoring record.
"It's immeasurable, his impact. His coming to the front early was a tremendous bonus," said Majors, whose team finished 9-2-1 and will be making its seventh straight bowl appearance today at Atlanta.
Indiana (8-3) is making only its fourth bowl appearance in school history but second in a row under Coach Bill Mallory.
The game is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. PST and will be televised on Channel 11.
Cobb, a 5-foot 11-inch, 205-pounder, rushed for 17 touchdowns and caught 13 passes for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns to equal SEC records of 20 touchdowns and 120 points in a season.
The Hoosiers' big-play man is All-American wide receiver Ernie Jones, who caught 59 passes for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns this season and was the Big Ten player of the year.
Throwing to Jones will be sophomore quarterback Dave Schnell, who connected on 103 of 174 passes for 1,489 yards and 12 touchdowns, and backup senior Dave Kramme, who completed 54 of 110 for 823 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kramme started the last two regular-season games when Schnell was felled by appendicitis.
Meanwhile, in the Hall of Fame Bowl at Tampa, Fla., Michigan and Alabama will be meeting for the first time.
The 10 a.m. PST game provides an opportunity for one team to ease the frustration of winding up the regular season with a loss against bitter rivals.
Coach Bo Schembechler, recovering from heart surgery, did not accompany the Wolverines. Gary Moeller, Michigan's offensive coordinator, is the acting head coach for the game.
The nationally televised game (Channel 4) features two of the nation's top running backs in Michigan's Jamie Morris and Alabama's Bobby Humphrey.