Cheeto makes a grab!

Amazing as it was, Tennessee's 10-6 upset of No. 6 Miami was not the biggest surprise in college football last weekend. An even bigger shock was the fact that Victor McClure, the Vols' 6-4, 290-pound tight end, actually caught a forward pass vs. the Hurricanes.

The 11-yard gainer represented the first reception by a Big Orange tight end all season, ending an eight-game drought. Naturally, a media wise guy asked Vol offensive coordinator Randy Sanders if he's planning to throw six or eight more passes to McClure this weekend vs. Mississippi State.

''I was glad to see big Cheeto get a catch last week,'' Sanders said, deftly ducking the question. ''He was due to get one. He's had a great attitude ... whatever he can do for the team. He's been a tremendous blocker for the team, maybe the best blocker we've had at tight end in a long time.''

McClure nearly caught a second pass. On the third-down play before Derrick Tinsley scored UT's touchdown on fourth-and-goal, McClure was the intended target. Alas, the big tight end was blanketed, so quarterback Casey Clausen had to keep the ball on a rollout.

''Down that close to the goalline, it's run first, pass second, but he (McClure) was the first pass option,'' Sanders said. ''Casey looked for him. Miami brought the pressure off the edge on the play before but on third down they didn't do it.''

McClure got his nickname, Cheeto, from grad assistant Marcus Satterfield.

''One day in practice, Victor was wearing shorts and an orange jersey,'' Sanders recalled. ''Marcus said he looked like a big Cheeto (a cheese-flavored snack food) with his all-orange on. Since then, everybody's been calling him Cheeto.''

If McClure catches another pass this season, they may start calling him ''Miracle Man.''


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