Vols 'open up' at game's end

Tennessee's offense was more conservative than Pat Robertson for the first three quarters of Saturday's 18-13 loss at Georgia, but offensive coordinator Randy Sanders got a bit bolder in the final period.

''We had to,'' Sanders said.

Of course, one reason was that aggressiveness was the Vols' only hope once the Bulldogs padded their lead to 18-0. But Sanders suggests the sizeable deficit wasn't the only factor causing the shift in Tennessee's offensive thinking.

''Georgia was tired,'' the coordinator said. ''What we had done had worn on them some, and they weren't moving quite as fast. They also went into a zone mode -- played a lot of zone coverage and very little man-to-man -- so we didn't have the protection problems.''

Whatever the reasons, Tennessee opened up the offense in the fourth quarter, even resorting to a halfback pass. After throwing for just 32 yards in the first three periods, the Vols passed for 150 yards in the final stanza. Freshman James Banks guided the Big Orange on two TD drives during the late rally, completing 6 of 6 passes for 145 yards in the quarter.

''James made some plays, the receivers made some plays and we had a chance,'' Sanders said.

Still, the two biggest plays were made by Derrick Tinsley, who turned a screen pass into a 33-yard play for Tennessee's first touchdown, then flipped a halfback pass to Jason Witten for the Vols' second TD.

''We've been running it (halfback pass) in practice, but I wasn't sure Coach Sanders would call it,'' Tinsley conceded.

The play was a little slow developing but Tinsley eventually spotted Witten in the back of the end zone and hit him with a wobbily five-yard pass.

''I just let it play out,'' Tinsley said. ''Jason was held up a little bit, then he got loose. I seen a little crack and threw it in there. It was a perfect pass and Jason -- being a good tight end with good hands -- caught it.''

So, how can a team that was limited to 32 passing yards through three periods suddenly erupt for 150 passing yards in the final period?

''I'd been running a lot, so the defense was trying to contain me,'' Banks said. ''They couldn't rush me like they wanted to, so that gave our receivers a little more time.''

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