Cal clipped on punt return

Phillip Fulmer watched Tennessee lose to Cal 45-31 live Saturday night, then watched it again on tape Sunday morning. It was just as ugly the second time.

"I was disappointed last night," the Vols' head coach said on his Sunday teleconference. "I was disappointed again today when I watched the tape."

One of Fulmer's major disappointments was that Tennessee allowed DeSean Jackson to return a punt 77 yards for a touchdown that put the Golden Bears on top 21-14 in the second quarter. Jackson led the NCAA with an 18.2-yard average last fall and won the Randy Moss Award as college football's premier return man.

After fielding Tennessee's first punt near the left sideline, Jackson broke three tackles, sped diagonally across the field and picked up a convoy on the right side that helped him race the final 70 yards untouched.

Fulmer reiterated that punter Britton Colquitt, who has been slowed by a sore quadricep muscle, was supposed to kick the ball out of bounds. Still, the coach conceded that the kick was angled close enough to the sideline that the coverage team had "ample opportunity" to make the stop.

"They had a dynamic returner; we knew that coming in," Fulmer said. "They got away with a couple of clips on the play but we had a couple of chances to make the play and didn't."

Asked if he is planning any personnel changes on his coverage unit, Fulmer replied that there are a couple of spots at which he will "look at different guys."

One possible change, the head man said, is relieving backup tight end Luke Stocker of coverage duties "because he's playing a whole lot."

Although Daniel Lincoln's kickoffs left a bit to be desired, the redshirt freshman showed poise in nailing a clutch 41-yard field goal that pulled Tennessee within 38-31 with 14:17 left in the game.

"I was proud of Daniel," Fulmer said. "He was four for four on extra points and had the 41-yard field goal. We need to get him where he needs to get to on kickoffs (but making the field goal) was a boost for him and for us ... our confidence in him."


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