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Big Plays Lift Vols at Swamp

September 21, 2003|From Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With no time left in the first half and nothing to lose, Casey Clausen stepped up in the pocket and let the ball fly -- a what-the-heck shot into the end zone.

The result: A go-ahead touchdown for No. 12 Tennessee (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference), and the turning point of a 24-10 victory over No. 17 Florida (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday, giving the Vols their second straight win at The Swamp. They also won there two seasons ago.

"That's one of those plays you work on all the time," said James Banks, who caught the ricocheting 48-yarder. "You never think you're going to run it, or that it's going to work."

This time, though, it did.

Clausen also hit on the only other long ball he threw -- a 57-yard pass to Bret Smith in the third quarter. That one led to the first of two touchdown runs by Jabari Davis, as the Volunteers set themselves up as early front-runners in the SEC East.

Clausen finished 12 for 23 for 235 yards and improved to 11-0 as a starter on the road.

In all, Florida looked nothing like the team that nearly beat Miami in a 38-33 loss two weeks ago. Nor did Tennessee look like the team that allowed 382 yards and struggled with Marshall in a 34-24 win, also two weeks back.

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