The Tennessee Volunteers are no strangers to tough OOC opponents, and in 1998 it was no different. In 1998 the Vols would open the season against the 14th ranked Syracuse Orangemen led by future NFL star Donovan McNabb. The game was close the entire time and many thought the final points had been scored when Syracuse appeared to take control when Nathan Trout's 19-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, with 2:38 remaining to secure a 33-31 lead. From there the Vols had trouble getting going and their drive would stall on the Tennessee 35 yard line with 1:30 left on the clock. Looking at 4th and 7 The Vols opted to go to the air and were bailed out by a defensive pass interference call on the Orangemen’s Will Allen who was making his first collegiate start. From there Tennessee marched down the field and would set up a Jeff Hall 27 yard field goal as time expired. After the thrilling win against the Orangemen, the Vols would go on to their annual rivalry game, where the world would see just how special this team could be.