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Epic-tested Arkansas beaten in sixth overtime

10/8/2002

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said a
lack of discipline and youthful mistakes were keeping the No. 10
Volunteers from playing their best. He had nothing to complain
about Saturday night.

Jason Witten caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Casey Clausen
in the sixth overtime to give Tennessee (4-1, 1-1 SEC) an
exhausting 41-38 win over Arkansas.

"This is the type of game that jells a football team. I am
excited about the way we played,'' he said. "We had the heart and
the guts to take it to them.''

For the Razorbacks (2-2, 0-2), who beat Mississippi 58-57 in a
record-setting seven-overtime game last season, it was a
heart-wrenching loss.

They pushed into the final overtime but had to settle for a
47-yard field goal by David Carlton in the sixth OT before the Vols
got their last chance.

"When it went into overtime, I said, 'This is our game. We're
ready,''' Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "This was bitter,
bitter. There were a lot of times we outplayed them.''

The teams kicked field goals in the first two overtimes and were
held scoreless in the third.

Arkansas finally scored a touchdown in the next OT, on Matt
Jones' run, but the Razorbacks couldn't get the 2-point conversion.
Under NCAA rules, teams must go for 2 points after touchdowns
starting with the third overtime.

Tennessee scored a touchdown on Clausen's 25-yard pass to Tony
Brown, but the Vols also failed on the 2-point conversion.

Jabari Davis, who scored two TDs in regulation, ran from 12
yards out to start the fifth overtime. He fumbled, but the ball was
recovered in the end zone by Troy Fleming. Clausen was then stopped
on the conversion attempt. De'Arrius Howard scored a TD for
Arkansas, whose pass attempt was intercepted by Tennessee's Julian
Battle at the goal line.

Arkansas scored two touchdowns in a 4½-minute span of regulation
to tie the game at 17 with 3:30 to go.

The Razorbacks trailed 17-3 after Davis scored on a 58-yard
touchdown run a minute into the fourth quarter. Arkansas got the
ball back, drove 60 yards and scored when Howard ran 10 yards.

The Vols were pushed back, penalized and had to punt on
fourth-and-17.

Standing at his own 8, Jones passed to Richard Smith at the 40,
and Smith ran down the sideline untouched to the end zone for a
92-yard touchdown to tie it.

"The coaches have told us never to quit, and we were down seven
at our own 8, I kept thinking about that,'' Jones said.

Clausen completed 19 of 28 passes for 291 yards and two
touchdowns.

Jones, who couldn't find many open receivers, ran 21 times for
66 yards. Arkansas' leading rusher, Cedric Cobbs, left the game in
the third quarter with a twisted left ankle.

The Razorbacks, who have lost five straight games in Knoxville
since 1992, continued to rely heavily on the run but couldn't score
a touchdown until Howard's 10-yard run cut Tennessee's lead to
17-10 with 6:56 remaining.

Tennessee came into the game averaging 129.5 yards on the ground
-- 10th out of 12 SEC teams -- and was determined to improve despite
its leading rusher, Cedric Houston, sitting out with a torn
ligament in his left thumb.

The Vols pounded away at Arkansas' defense with Davis, starting
in place of Houston, carrying 25 times for 135 yards. Tennessee
finished with 162 yards on 47 attempts.