Vols manhandle 'Cats
Published: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 2:36 a.m.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A down year at Tennessee still didn't give Kentucky a chance.
Derrick Tinsley caught two touchdown passes from Casey Clausen as the Volunteers (8-4, 5-3 SEC) beat Kentucky 24-0 Saturday to finish the season.
The Wildcats (7-5, 3-5) have lost 18 straight games to Tennessee, including last year's 38-35 loss after the Vols had rallied from a 21-point deficit.
With a more balanced offense that averaged a league-best 35 points a game and speedy kick returner Derek Abney, Kentucky appeared to have a good chance to end the losing streak. But the Vols weren't about to let that happen, jumping to a 21-0 lead at halftime.
"I'm tickled to death to get the win," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I didn't have any idea we could come in here and be able to shut them out."
"Eight and four is not what we wanted, but it was the best we could do after we lost the fourth game."
Since receiver Kelley Washington was lost for the season with a neck injury in October, the Vols have failed to find a reliable playmaker among a young and inexperienced receiving corps.
"Derrick is as close to it as we have out there right now," Fulmer said.
Clausen threw an 18-yard pass to Tinsley in the end zone in the first quarter. Tinsley scored again on a 35-yard pass play in the second quarter when he caught the ball near the sideline, stopped himself from stepping out of bounds and tiptoed 10 yards into the end zone.
Jabari Davis jumped over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter after the Wildcats were penalized four times for being offside.
Alex Walls added a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter after missing a 44-yarder earlier.
Clausen, playing on a healing sprained right ankle and foot, completed 13 of 26 passes for 175 yards and no interceptions. Tinsley had four catches for 72 yards, a career high.
Tennessee finished the season with three straight wins since losing to Miami on Nov. 9, and in spite of having 18 starters - including Clausen - miss games due to injury.
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