Vols can't fall behind this year

Tennessee fell behind 21-0 in last year's game with Kentucky but rallied to win 38-35 as Donte' Stallworth caught eight passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Now that Stallworth is in the NFL and heir-apparent Kelley Washington is out for the year with a neck injury, the Vols no longer have the firepower to win a high-scoring shootout.

In other words, if Tennessee falls behind 21-0 this year, the odds of another successful comeback are about one in a million.

''We don't want to be falling behind 21-0,'' head coach Phillip Fulmer said. ''With Kelley Washington and Donte' Stallworth not out there, obviously, it would be harder to catch up.''

Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders agreed that the Vols can't expect to make another frantic comeback this year. Last year's rally was somewhat miraculous in its own right.

''We did nothing for 17 plays, then scored 38 points in 40 plays,'' Sanders said. ''It'd be much harder to do that this year because we don't have that kind of big-play potential on the field.''

Tennessee's ground game has made significant strides in recent weeks, with Cedric Houston topping the 100-yard mark four games in a row. However, the Vol passing game continues to struggle. Knowing this, Kentucky defenders are sure to crowd the line of scrimmage and dare Tennessee to throw the football.

''We need to make some plays in the passing game because they (UK defenders) will take some chances from time to time,'' Fulmer said. ''We need to find our balance because they'll sell out eight or nine people up there (in the box). I think we have a good plan to try and keep them off balance.''

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