Vols KO Cowboys 47-7

From all indications #4 Tennessee is better than advertised, while unranked Wyoming make actually be worse.

The Vols had little trouble dropping the Cowboys 47-7 at the Coliseum in Nashville and appeared very sharp in their 2002 season debut. The only negative was a couple of key injuries, including the probable loss of all-star linebacker candidate Kevin Burnett, who went down with a knee injury in the first quarter. Senior Wide receiver Leonard Scott also suffered a leg injury that will be evaluated further on Monday.

Tennessee's win was every bit as one-sided as the final score, as the Vols held decisive statistical advantages in every category across the board. UT out gamed Wyoming 467 to 187 total yards, outrushed the Cowboys 188-43 and outpassed the punch-less Pokes 279-144.The Vols topped their new sky opponent in time of possession 38:22 to 21:28 and had 28 first downs to 12.

The Vols also forced 5 turnovers and only turned the ball over once, an interception thrown by Casey Clausen. However, that miscue was immediately erased as the Vols forced and recovered a fumble on the interception return.

Tennessee took control of the contest early, scoring on its second possession of the game via a 6-play, 49-yards drive capped by Clausen's 19-yard TD strike to freshmen Jomo Fagan. Wyoming went 3 and out from the second of three possessions on the night and Tennessee capitalized when Alex Walls connected on a 34-yard fieldgoal.
That was the first of four fieldgoals Walls would hit as he also knocked home a 19-yarder just before the half and nailed attempts from 44 and 40 yards in he fourth quarter.

Tennessee's second touchdown came in the second quarter when Cedric Houston dashed 28-yards for the score. The TD was set up by Julian Battle kick-off. Wall's second fieldgoal occurred with just two seconds left and gave UT a 20-0 edge at the half.
Wyoming was held to no yards on the ground in the first half and only crossed midfield once.

It was more of the same in the second half with Tennessee doing most of its damage on the ground. Jabari Davis scored a pair of two-yard touchdowns on UT's first two possessions to push the Big Orange ahead 34-0. Houston added a 46-yard TD gallop on a beautiful cutback later in the quarter to push the Vols ahead 41-0. Houston finished the night with 106 yards on 10 carries to equal his yardage output from last year.

Wyoming's only touchdown came early in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard pass from Casey Bramlett to Jevon Bonite.
Bramlett finished the game completing only 11-of-30 passes with three interceptions as Rashad Baker and Keon Whiteside both swiped aerials.

With Kelley Washington sitting out with a knee injury, Clausen and C.J leak found 11 other receiver to take up the slack.
Tony Brown led the way with seven catches for 77 yards.
Clausen finished the game in the third quarter, completing 22-31 for 238 yards.

" I was proud of our team." UT coach Phillip Fulmer said in an interview cast over the Vol network. "We played a lot of young people early and often. A lot a people stepped up for us tonight. I hope this will be a stepping stone for our guys, we're certainly going to need it. We got just about everybody we thought could play into the ballgame."

Fulmer also praised his teams execution and Clausen's game management. His chief concern is the rash of injuries that afflicted the Vols.

" We lost a really outstanding player probably for the year in Kevin Burnett," he said.
" We've got to get rid of this injury bug we've got right now. It might be our year in the tank from that standpoint. I hope not."

The loss of great player in Burnett was offset some by the abundance of young players that received significant playing time in the opener.

"It will be great film study for us" Fulmer said. "I told our team it's a stepping stone, things will get tougher from here. We're looking forward to the Middle Tennessee game being at home and growing a step."

"It will be fun."

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