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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee -- Tennessee tried to give it away but still beat
Casey Clausen threw three touchdown passes,
including two in the second quarter, and Cedric Houston rushed for 154 yards as
the 14th-ranked Volunteers held on for a 34-24 victory over the
Tennessee had more than 400 yards for the second straight week but could not
pull away due to costly mistakes. The Volunteers committed 11 penalties totaling
113 yards and struggled defensively until the final quarter.
"We were our own worst enemy," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said. "If we
want to be a good team, we can't do the retaliatory kind of penalties."
"We gave them more yards than they actually got one drive," linebacker Kevin
Burnett said. "We just have to be more disciplined and stay at home."
Clausen completed 23-of-34 attempts for 244 yards and an interception. He
executed a balanced aerial attack as he completed passes to 10 different
Houston, who rushed for a career-high 161 yards in the season opener against
Fresno State, carried 25 times en route to the second-best day of his career.
"Offensively, we made plays," Fulmer said. "Casey played well, Cedric Houston
and Jabari Davis did nice things. We did some good things on both sides of the
ball, but we have to get more consistent."
Clausen gave Tennessee (2-0) the lead for good at 14-10 on a 27-yard
touchdown pass to Tony Brown with 20 seconds left in the first half. He
connected with Troy Fleming on a three-yard score with 2:53 left in the third
quarter for a 28-17 edge.
"In the second half we just started clicking and it really didn't matter what
they did," Clausen said. "We were going to try to move the ball and score on
Stan Hill threw a 65-yard TD to Josh Davis for Marshall (1-1) just 1:34
later, but Tennessee held on as James Wilhoit kicked two field goals in the
final 5 1/2 minutes.
Hill completed 17-of-26 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns but did not
play in the fourth quarter due to a lower leg injury. He was constantly battered
by Tennessee's defense, which had seven sacks.
"I thought (Hill) was the best quarterback on the field," Marshall coach Bob
Pruett said. "They would make one play and we'd make two. We didn't think we
couldn't win. We had a chance in the fourth quarter. I thought we would win."
Marshall jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Hill's nine-yard touchdown pass to Jason
Radar midway threw the fourth quarter. Tennessee struggled until Clausen threw a
game-tying 24-yard scored to James Banks 92 seconds into the second.
Ben Lewis capped a 10-play, 60-yard drove with 34-yard field goal for the
Thundering Herd with 3:16 remaining. The teams traded fruitless possessions
before Rashad Baker returned a punt 34 yards for the Volunteers.
Marshall was whistled for a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, giving Tennessee
the ball at the 27, and Clausen connected with Brown for the go-ahead score on
the next play.
Hill threw a pair of touchowns in the third quarter as Marshall tried to
rally. The Volunteers committed four penalties on one drive that led to Hill's
13-yard touchdown pass to Darius Watts at the 6:09 mark.
Hill was replaced by Graham Gochneaur, who completed 7-of-10 passes for 52 yards and threw an interception in the final minute.