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SEC: Volunteers extend dominance of 'Cats

©Associated Press

December 1, 2002


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee is having a down year, but not down far enough to give Kentucky a chance.

Derrick Tinsley caught two touchdowns from Casey Clausen as the Volunteers beat Kentucky 24-0 Saturday to finish the regular season.

The Wildcats have lost 18 straight in the series, including 38-35 last year when the Vols 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 led 21-0 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."

Clausen threw an 18-yard pass to Tinsley in the end zone in the first quarter. Tinsley scored again on a 35-yard catch in the second quarter when he caught the ball near the sideline, stopped himself from stepping out of bounds and tiptoed 10 yards.

Jabari Davis jumped over a pile for a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter after the Wildcats had four offside penalties.

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 for 175 yards and no interceptions. Tinsley had four catches for 72 yards, a career high.

Kentucky, which can't go to a bowl because of NCAA sanctions, began with a disadvantage as four starters were suspended for the first quarter for unspecified disciplinary reasons. Tailback Artose Pinner, the SEC's leading rusher, joined tight end Chase Harp, cornerback Leonard Burress and defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson on the sideline.

Alexis Bwenge started in place of Pinner and ran for 34 yards in the first half. Pinner replaced him in the second quarter and finished with 11 carries for 51 yards. He came in averaging 123.7.

Kentucky's Jared Lorenzen, the league's most efficient quarterback, struggled and was replaced temporarily by Shane Boyd in the third quarter. Lorenzen threw for 406 yards against Tennessee last season but finished with 59 on 9-for-23 passing.

* * *

ALABAMA 21, HAWAII 16: Shaud Williams ran for 160 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Crimson Tide extended its NCAA record of 10-win seasons to 27.

Alabama grounded the nation's top passing team and forced quarterback Timmy Chang into four interceptions. The Crimson Tide also kept the Warriors offense off the field with time-consuming drives. Alabama had the ball for 38:55.

The Hawaii Bowl-bound Warriors saw their win streak end at six, and Crimson Tide coach Dennis Franchione improved to 6-0 against Hawaii. He beat the Warriors three times at New Mexico and twice at TCU.

Hawaii scored twice in the final quarter to make it a five-point game, but a final attempt at an onside kick with 1:55 left drifted out of bounds.

The Warriors, who came in third in the nation in total offense at 503.6 yards a game, sputtered in the first half, turning the ball over four times. The first came when Chad Owens fumbled on the opening kickoff after a 50-yard return. After the Warriors failed on a fake punt attempt deep in their territory, the Crimson Tide executed a fake field goal that led to a 1-yard TD run by Williams that made it 7-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, Owens returned it 62 yards to the Alabama 31. But Chang's pass was intercepted on the first play by Waine Bacon, who returned it 31 yards to set up Alabama's second score, a 13-yard run.

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