When Vols throw a lot, they lose

When <a target='_new' href='http://scout.theinsiders.com/a.z?s=7&p=8&c=1&nid=315337&yr=2002'>Casey Clausen</a> unloaded 44 passes in last Saturday's game with Florida, it marked the 14th time a Vol quarterback has attempted 44 or more passes in a game. Care to guess how many of those 14 games the Big Orange won? <p>

Four. Tennessee's all-time record when its QB throws 44 or more passes is a
paltry 4-9-1. Moreover, UT's record when its quarterback throws more than 50
times is 1-5-1.

Here's a recap of the most pass-happy games in Vol history:

Peyton Manning ... 65 passes vs. Florida in 1996 ... Vols lose 29-35
Andy Kelly ... 60 passes vs. Notre Dame in 1990 ... Vols lose 29-34
A.J. Suggs ... 59 passes vs. LSU in 2000 ... Vols lose 38-31 in OT
Andy Kelly ... 56 passes vs. Florida in 1991 ... Vols lose 18-35
Andy Kelly ... 55 passes vs. Colorado in 1990 ... Vols tie 31-31
Peyton Manning ... 53 passes vs. Southern Miss in 1997 ... Vols win 44-20
Peyton Manning ... 51 passes vs. Florida in 1997 ... Vols lose 20-33
Peyton Manning ... 49 passes vs. UCLA in 1997 ... Vols win 30-24
Peyton Manning ... 46 passes vs. Arkansas in 1995 ... Vols win 49-31
Bubba Wyche ... 45 passes vs. Auburn in 1968 ... Vols lose 14-28
Tee Martin ... 44 passes vs. Arkansas in 1999 ... Vols lose 24-28
Peyton Manning ... 44 passes vs. Ole Miss in 1997 ... Vols win 31-17
Jeff Francis ... 44 passes vs. Alabama in 1987 ... Vols lose 22-41
Casey Clausen ,,, 44 passes vs. Florida in 2002 ... Vols lose 13-30

This relationship between filling the air with footballs and losing isn't
exclusive to Tennessee, either. Eli Manning recently set an Ole Miss record
with 57 pass attempts against Texas Tech. The previous record of 56 attempts
was set by his dad, Archie, in 1970 vs. Southern Mississippi. Notably, both
milestones were established in LOSSES.

So, what gives?

''Obviously, you look at the style of offense you play in,'' Vol offensive
coordinator Randy Sanders said. ''If it's Kentucky or Texas Tech or somebody
that's going to spread the field and throw it everywhere, that's their whole
offense. The short pass is their run game.

''Our offense isn't that way, and neither is Ole Miss's. When you're in a
situation where you're having to throw the ball, that means you're playing
catch-up, which is hard to do.

''We've won some games where we've thrown it a lot but, usually if you win
throwing it that much, it's because you're that much better than the
opponent's secondary -- not because you're HAVING to do it.''

If Sanders has his way, the Vols may never throw 44 passes in a game again.

''I had no intention of throwing it 44 times last weekend, especially in the
rain,'' he said. ''But when Florida was able to get up 24-0, there wasn't
much reason to come out and plan on running it 25 times in the second
half.''


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