KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Volunteers looked far from the third-best team in the country Saturday. The third-ranked Volunteers struggled with UAB all game and weren't assured of a victory until Darrell Hackney's fourth-down pass sailed over the head of Blazers receiver Lance Rhodes in the end zone with less than four minutes left. Tennessee (1-0) then took over at their own 12 and ran out the clock on the 17-10 win. "I'm not taking away from the fact that we got a win today, but it's hard to feel great about it because I thought we'd play better than we did on both sides," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said.
The Vols are off next week before playing back-to-back road games at Florida and LSU. "If we don't play better we're going to struggle especially the next couple of weeks," Fulmer said. "So I'm expecting us to go back to work and correct our mistakes." Hackney, who dodged defenders all day, was 27-of-38 for 282 yards with one interception. But it was the one pass he didn't complete that he was thinking about after the game. "It was nice to come up here and show what we could do," Hackney said. "No one's satisfied with losing. Clausen threw a TD pass and an interception. Fulmer called Clausen's performance "one of the good things" and said he would have to evaluate the quarterback situation, adding that both would continue to play. Clausen and Ainge rotated throughout the game, and Clausen appeared more calm and in control. Clausen finished 17-of-24 for 217 yards; Ainge went 5-of-14 for 57 yards. "Wherever the quarterback derby or whatever you call it goes from here it doesn't matter. I'm just glad that we won," Clausen said. "Basically, the questions about the whole quarterback thing, I'd like them to stop." Ainge was not available to speak to reporters.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)