Tennessee Posted 17 Straight Regular Season Shutouts From 1938-1940

Published on August 21st, 2023 4:39 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

College football history:  Tennessee in 1938-1940. The single most impressive defensive record in the history of college football might belong to Tennessee, which posted 17 straight shutouts from 1938-1940.

Unsurprisingly, this run included a national championship (1938) and three straight SEC titles.


Tennessee's incredible streak started on November 30th, 1938, when they defeated Tennessee-Chattanooga by a score of 45-0.

Tennessee's reign of terror on defense continued until October 19th, 1940, when they defeated Alabama 27-12.

Here are the results of their regular season shutout streak:

1938 Season

45-0 Tennessee-Chattanooga
14-0 Vanderbilt
46-0 Kentucky
47-0 Ole Miss

*note: Tennessee posted three additional shutouts earlier in the 1938 season

1939 Season

13-0 North Carolina State
40-0 Sewanee
28-0 Tennessee-Chattanooga
21-0 Alabama
17-0 Mercer
20-0 LSU
34-0 Citadel
13-0 Vanderbilt
19-0 Kentucky
7-0 Auburn

*note: Tennessee would lost in the Rose Bowl to USC by a score of 14-0

1940 Season

49-0 Mercer
13-0 Duke
53-0 Tennessee-Chattanooga

*note: Tennessee would post FIVE more shutouts in the 1940 season


Tennessee would outscore their opponents by a score of 479-0 during their incredible stretch of shutouts.

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