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Clausen TD toss spurs Vols

11/1/2003

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Vols overcame a lackluster
effort -- and got the help they needed.

Chris Hannon caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Casey Clausen
to help the No. 19 Volunteers beat Duke 23-6 Saturday.

Tennessee (6-2) hardly looked like the exciting and emotional
team that beat Alabama 51-43 in five overtimes last week -- or ready
for next week's trip to No. 2 Miami.

The crowd cheered loudly when the Vols finally scored a
touchdown. The noise was louder when Florida's 16-13 victory over
Georgia was announced with 2½ minutes left.

Tennessee needed the Gators to win to get back into the
Southeastern Conference East division race. Now all three teams are
tied for the division lead.

"We got some big help today," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer
said. "We're alive again and hope to finish this season in grand
style."

If the Vols are going to do that, they'll have to play much
better.

Tennessee, leading 9-6 early in the fourth quarter, finally got
some momentum when Duke's Jamin Pastore fumbled on a punt return
and Corey Larkins recovered it at the Duke 37.

Clausen capped the ensuing six-play drive with his scoring pass
to Hannon with 11:10 left.

Gerald Riggs, the third-string tailback, scored on a 12-yard run
with 4:20 to seal the win.

The Blue Devils (2-7), who have not beaten a ranked team since
1994's victory over then-No. 23 Virginia, played well behind the
running of Chris Douglas and Cedric Dargan.

Ted Roof, in his second game since he was promoted from
defensive coordinator to interim coach Oct. 19 when head coach Carl
Franks was fired, used Adam Smith and Chris Dapolito at quarterback
and kept Tennessee's defense busy.

Douglas finished with 128 yards on 29 carries, his fourth game
with 100 yards or more, as the Blue Devils rolled up 299 yards on
offense.

The Tennessee players and coaches heard score updates from
Florida throughout the game, but Duke gave them plenty to worry
about here.

"We knew if we lost the game our season was a wash,"
linebacker Kevin Simon said. "We couldn't listen or worry about
the Florida-Georgia game because we were tied 6-6 with Duke."

The Blue Devils had two second-half drives reach inside the
Tennessee 20, but they came away with no points on two missed field
goals.

Clausen won his 30th game as a starter to be the only other
quarterback besides Peyton Manning with at least 30 wins.

The teams were tied at halftime after scoring two field goals
apiece, and many local Tennessee fans who spent $39.95 to watch the
game on pay-per-view probably wanted their money back.

Tennessee, a 26-point favorite, looked unmotivated on offense
and defense in the first half.

Clausen completed a 40-yard pass to Tony Brown to start the
second quarter, but Tennessee lost two yards taking a knee after a
bad snap on the next play. The Vols settled for James Wilhoit's
45-yard field goal to end the drive.

Brent Garber kicked a 54-yarder for Duke, and Wilhoit added a
38-yard field goal.

Duke got the ball last in the second half and drove 71 yards to
the Tennessee 20, where Matt Brooks tied the game with a 37-yard
field goal as time ran out.

The Vols played without starting tailback Cedric Houston with a
sprained ankle and safety Rashad Baker with a sprained knee.

After Miami, Tennessee finishes the season against Mississippi
State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.