Western teams struggle in East

We've all experienced it in our travels. When you fly from the East Coast to the West Coast, you feel fresher, more energized, ready to vacation. When you fly from the West Coast to the East Coast, you feel drained, you feel jet lag, you feel a bit sluggish.

It's only natural.

It's also natural for football teams when they travel from two or three time zones to the Eastern time zone to experience a touch of fatigue.

With the exception of Southern Cal – which has won at Auburn and at Virginia Tech in the past three years -- not many teams from out west have won when coming south over the past 25 years.

Last year, Boise State was expected to challenge Georgia in Athens. The Bulldogs won 48-13.

In 2000, Miami lost at Washington 34-29. The next year, the Huskies were routed by the Hurricanes, 65-7.

An undefeated UCLA team had its national championship hopes dashed by a loss at three-loss Miami in 1998.

Even USC has had its troubles. In 1982, a Marcus Allen-led Southern Cal team lost at 8-4 Florida. A terrific Trojan team in 1979 won a tight one at 6-5 LSU, and in 1974, the co-national champion Trojans lost at Arkansas.

Florida State lost 14-7 at Southern Cal in 1997 but routed the Trojans 30-10 in Tallahassee the next year.

Tennessee has beaten UCLA on two of the last three trips to California. But the Bruins have won just once in eight trips to the state of Tennessee.

The Vols are 4-1 in Knoxville against Washington State, including a win by the unranked Vols against the No. 17 Cougars in 1994.

In Knoxville, the Vols are a combined 24-4-3 against USC, UCLA, Washington State, California, Oregon State, Colorado State, Fresno State, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Tennessee is 0-4 all-time against Southern Cal. The Trojans have outscored UT 82-7 in California but in the only game in Knoxville, USC eked out a 20-17 win.

California has made eight trips to SEC country with a 1-7 record. The Bears lost to Alabama 66-0 in 1973. The lone victory was at Tennessee in 1977. UT got revenge in 1987. In recent years, Cal lost at Louisiana Tech and beat Southern Miss by 10, a close call that cost the Bears a BCS berth.

Cal's offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar was asked if he has any concerns about playing in the heat and humidity in Knoxville.

``Yes, without a doubt,'' Dunbar said. ``We've made a real effort to be conscious of that. It's a little cooler (here) and not near the humidity. It's hard to simulate. We hope it's one of those cool, 85-degree evenings with 70 percent humidity, instead of 90, 90.''

Dunbar said Cal will hydrate its players as best it can.

``Hopefully, we can fly in, play well and get out of there,'' Dunbar said.

VOLS STRUGGLE VS. TOP 10 IN OPENERS

Cal comes into ranked No. 9 in the AP poll, and that's a bad sign for Tennessee.

The Vols have opened the season against a top-10 team seven times in school history. They are 1-4-2 in those contests.

The only win was over No. 3 Auburn in 1959.

In the last two such matchups, the Vols tied - Colorado in 1990 and UCLA in 1985.

The defeats were to Georgia in 1981, UCLA in 1978, UCLA in 1967, and Auburn in 1958.


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