Fulmer's looking for big plays

After scoring just 48 points in Games 4, 5, 6 and 7 -- an average of 12 points per game -- Tennessee's offense sprang to life during the final three games of the regular season. The Vols trounced Mississippi State 35-17, then beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky by identical 24-0 scores. They averaged 340 yards and a 27.7 points per game during that stretch.

Still, head coach Phillip Fulmer is looking for improvement in the Vols' upcoming Peach Bowl showdown with Maryland.

''I still feel like there are plays to be made out there that we're not making,'' he said recently. ''We had five or six opportunities against Kentucky to make big plays and didn't make 'em -- even though we protected well and had great throws. We didn't make 'em at receiver.''

The Vols nearly connected on long passes against both Vanderbilt and Kentucky, but each time freshman wideout Jonathan Wade dropped the ball.

''I'm sure Maryland's going to watch that,'' Fulmer said. ''They'll probably get up in our face and challenge us some, try to stop the run. We've got to make those plays. From a personnel standpoint, we've got to take a step at receiver. We'll try to run the football and hit our plays when we get an opportunity. We've run the football well but we haven't made enough big plays.''

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