Kelley makes a statement

Tennessee made a statement on the first play of its second possession in Saturday night's 41-38 six-overtime defeat of Arkansas.

The Razorbacks may have the best secondary talent in college football, yet the Vols sent Kelley Washington on a fly route. Casey Clausen hit him with a 45-yard pass, nullifying a pass interference call against Arkansas cornerback Ahmad ''Batman'' Carroll.

Although Tennessee ultimately settled for a field goal and a 3-0 lead, that big pass accomplished two significant things:

1) It told Arkansas, ''We're not afraid to throw deep on you.''
2) It enabled Washington to show that he could not be covered one-on-one.

''It was just a play where I was one-on-one with Batman,'' Washington said. ''I just wanted to take it deep, really start the crowd off and start the offense off with a big play. I was able to get past him and make a big catch for us.''

Then, again showcasing the humble stance he has adopted since being roundly criticized for his showmanship earlier this season, Washington quickly turned the spotlight on his teammates.

''It was a great throw and, obviously, great blocking up front,'' he said. ''It was a big play I needed to make for my team.''


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