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Tennessee, Down 21 Points, Rallies to Beat Kentucky, 38-35

November 18, 2001|From Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen was disheartened in victory.

"We, as a team, just can't come out and play like we did today," said Clausen, who rallied the sixth-ranked Volunteers from 21 points down to beat Kentucky, 38-35, Saturday. "I guess a win is a win, but we really need to get back, study the film and work hard to get better."

Clausen threw for 285 yards and four touchdowns as Tennessee (8-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) avoided being beaten by the Wildcats (2-8, 1-7) for the first time since 1984.

Alex Walls kicked a 44-yard field goal to give Tennessee a 38-35 lead with 2:49 to play. But it took a Kentucky fumble deep in Volunteer territory on the ensuing possession to preserve the victory.

"They emotionally and physically outplayed us," Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer said. "We were not as emotionally prepared to play as we should have been, and I take responsibility for that.

"We said coming in that it would take a team effort to win the game, and that's what it was. I just don't know if the kids really believed that Kentucky would play them that tough."

The Wildcats led, 21-0, in the second quarter and were ahead, 28-21, in the fourth quarter before Clausen passed to Donte Stallworth for 23-and 38-yard touchdown plays.

Kentucky tied it, 35-35, on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Jared Lorenzen to Anthony Kelly with 3:53 to play, setting up Walls' kick.

"I trust Alex completely," Fulmer said. "He'll kick 15 balls in practice and make 14, so you've got to like that ratio."

After the kick, the Wildcats had a chance to win, but tight end Chase Harp fumbled after picking up a first down deep in Tennessee territory with 2:08 to play.

"I don't think there was any doubt on our sideline that we were going to go down, score and pull this win out," Kentucky Coach Guy Morriss said. "I talked to [Chase] in the tunnel and told him his fumble did not cost us the game. We had chances to score and pick up points and we just didn't."

Lorenzen completed 34 of 53 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns. The Wildcats outgained the Volunteers 543 yards to 367.

"We really thought we had the game won," said Lorenzen, who has thrown for 857 yards and 10 touchdowns with only one interception in Kentucky's last two games. "But Tennessee fought back and adjusted well to come out with the victory."

Clausen completed 20 of 30 passes, including three for touchdowns of 35 yards or longer. Stallworth caught eight passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Travis Stephens, the SEC's leading rusher, was held to 79 yards.

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