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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee -- Vanderbilt can't beat Tennessee. In fact, the Commodores can't even score. Casey Clausen tossed three touchdown passes as the 11th-ranked Volunteers blanked the Commodores, 48-0, for their third straight shutout in the series.
Tennessee (9-2, 5-2 SEC East) posted its 21st straight victory over Vanderbilt, winning the last three meetings by a combined score of 110-0. "I'm really proud of this team as it has grown and gotten better," said Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, whose team has won five in a row since back-to-back losses to Georgia and Auburn. "Casey Clausen's leadership, on and off the field, has been tremendous."
The Volunteers can create a three-way tie with Georgia and Florida in the SEC East with a victory next week against Kentucky. But the SEC's new tiebreaker - ranking in the BCS standings - favors Georgia. One week after helping Vanderbilt snap its 23-game SEC losing streak with a 28-17 win over Kentucky, Jay Cutler completed just 9-of-25 passes for 66 yards and two interceptions. "They manhandled us and there wasn't much we could do,"
Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said. "We talked a good game during the week but we didn't match Tennessee's intensity."
Clausen, who played into the fourth quarter, completed 17-of-31 passes for 290 yards in his final home game. He had his streak without an interception snapped but not before breaking Peyton Manning's school record. Clausen broke Manning's mark of 132, extending his streak to 145 passes before he was picked off on his 19th attempt. "Midway through the season I think confidence for a lot of our guys, particularly on offense, really picked up," Clausen said. "We're trying to get back to being a dynamic offense and being able to come out and put points up early." "Casey is much of the reason we've been successful," Fulmer added. "I was excited about him getting the record. Peyton won't like me saying that. Hopefully, we can recruit a guy who will come in and break Casey's record."
The Volunteers were never headed after Clausen's threw a 16-yard TD strike to Tony Brown five minutes into the game. Clausen capped the scoring with a seven-yard TD strike to Derrick Tinsley midway through the third period.