Clemson insults motivate Vols

Talk is cheap they say, but it may prove costly for the Clemson Tigers.

Several Tennessee football players are boiling mad because of comments coming from the Clemson website as the teams prepare for their Jan. 2 meeting in the Peach Bowl.

''You'll see a very angry football team, especially with the things coming out of the Clemson area about us -- from their school, their website, their players and coaches,'' Vol linebacker/captain Kevin Burnett said. ''I've seen quotes saying we're the softest team in the SEC.''

Although the Vols are disappointed to be making a second consecutive trip to Atlanta, they insist they will not merely go through the motions at the Georgia Dome, as they did last year.

''It's not that we're disappointed we're going,'' Burnett said. ''It's just that we're not nationally respected. We have no complaints about going to the bowl game; we just didn't get our respect. Part of it is that we didn't earn it throughout the season but we have to move on.''

Senior cornerback Jabari Greer concedes that the Vols were flat for Maryland in last year's Peach Bowl but says they won't make that mistake again.

''I think we have more respect for Clemson and we're taking practice more seriously,'' he said. ''We faced a good Maryland team last year but we did a lot to beat ourselves. We have to take that out of the equation this year. We have to go out there and be the best team.''

Like Burnett, Greer said some insulting comments coming out of Clemson have given Tennessee's players added incentive for this game. He declined to be specific, however.


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