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College Football | CITRUS BOWL

Clausen Leads Tennessee, 45-17

January 02, 2002|From Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Phillip Fulmer, who has coached quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tee Martin, thinks he's got another special one.

Fulmer never really doubted Casey Clausen, but leading the No. 8 Volunteers to a 45-17 victory over No. 17 Michigan in the Citrus Bowl sealed the coach's faith in the sophomore. Clausen threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more Tuesday.

The Volunteers (11-2), who missed a chance to play in the Rose Bowl when they lost to LSU for the Southeastern Conference championship on Dec. 8, had not won a bowl game since beating Florida State for the 1998 national title.

"I'll tell Casey in the off-season that the more he continues to work and be as disciplined as I expect him to be, he'll be one of the all-time greats Tennessee has had," Fulmer said.

Clausen completed 26 of 34 passes for a career-high 393 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Kelley Washington. He also connected on a 64-yarder with Jason Witten. During one stretch in the second half, Clausen completed 10 straight passes.

Tennessee was favored by three points, but the final margin didn't surprise Clausen.

"Anytime we play the way we are capable of playing, we can beat anybody in America," said Clausen, who played at Mission Hills Alemany High

Travis Stephens scored on a three-yard run and Alex Walls had a 32-yard field goal to complete Michigan's worst bowl loss.

The Wolverines chose to stop Tennessee's running game, but Clausen made them pay. Stephens was held to 38 yards rushing, and receiver Donte Stallworth actually outgained him on the ground with 44 yards.

"Michigan has a great defense," Stallworth said, "but you can't stop the run and the pass at the same time."

Tennessee rolled up 503 yards, the most Michigan allowed all season. The Wolverines (8-4) had not given up more than 26 points this year and saw their four-game winning streak in bowls end.


Taking Peyton's Place

After two seasons, Tennessee's Casey Clausen has better passing statistics in two categories (yards and touchdowns) than Peyton Manning, the school's all-time passing leader, whose career was from 1994-97. A comparison of key statistics:


Category Clausen Manning Manning 2000-01 1994-95 Career Comp. 348 333 863 Att. 548 524 1,381 Pct. 63.5% 63.5% 62.5% Int. 15 10 33 Yards 4,442 4,094 11,201 TD 37 33 89 W-L 16-2 17-1 36-5 Bowls 1-1 1-1 3-1




Clausen's passing statistics in last year's Cotton Bowl and Tuesday's Citrus Bowl:


2001 Cotton Bowl Category 2002 Citrus Bowl 7 Comp. 26 25 Att. 34 28% Pct. 76.4% 3 Int. 0 118 Yards 393* 1 TD 3 Lost to Kansas Def. Michigan, St., 35-21 Result 45-17


*career best

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