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Washington has 197 receiving yards -- in second half

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Rutgers kept Kelley Washington from
making any plays the first half. When the Scarlet Knights left
Tennessee's star receiver alone after halftime, that's when the
Volunteers started rolling.

Washington had seven catches for 197 yards and a touchdown, all
in the second half, as the 11th-ranked Volunteers stumbled badly
early on but rallied to beat Rutgers 35-14 Saturday.

"Basically, I was smothered ,'' Washington said of his first
half shutout. "I was one-on-one in the second half. I took that as
a disgrace, and took it upon myself to get it done.''

Amazingly, the Vols (3-1) needed Washington to bail them out
against the lowly Scarlet Knights (1-4).

Nathan Jones returned the opening kickoff 100 yards, and Rutgers
had a 14-17 halftime lead. After missing his first two games with a
sore right knee and barely being a factor in last week's loss to
Florida, Washington caught his first pass 23 seconds into the third
quarter.

He had three straight catches, including one he turned into a
52-yard gain down the sideline, before Jason Witten capped the
series with a 13-yard touchdown reception to tie it at 14.
Washington's 48-yard catch on the next possession set up Troy
Fleming's 16-yard touchdown run with 10:07 left in the third
quarter.

Washington finally scored when he caught a pass from Casey
Clausen, ran past Jones and ran 58 yards untouched to the
orange-and-white checkerboard to put Tennessee ahead for good.

Despite his injury, Washington was criticized by fans and some
of his teammates for running out of bounds and dropping to the
ground to avoid tackles in the 30-13 loss to the Gators. On
Saturday, coach Phillip Fulmer praised and defended him again.

"Kelley is a fine football player and good for our football
team,'' Fulmer said. "I said that last week, too.''

Jabari Davis added the Vols' final score on a 4-yard touchdown
run with 1:41 remaining.

Clausen rebounded from the Florida game -- in which the Vols
fumbled five snaps -- by completing 15 of 28 passes for three
touchdowns and 284 yards.

"I think we got the Florida business out of our system,''
Fulmer said.

But until the Vols could get the ball to Washington in this
game, Rutgers controlled the game. From the moment they opted to
receive on the coin toss, the Scarlet Knights didn't look anything
like the 40{-point underdogs they were supposed to be. Jones'
opening return prompted loud boos from the crowd of 103,925.

Rutgers went for broke after the return, recovering an onside
kick at the Tennessee 48. The drive stalled there, but the Vols had
been issued a serious challenge.

At first, the Vols didn't respond, looking as unprepared and
disorganized as the week before. The Scarlet Knights had 221 total
offensive yards to Tennessee's 63, had 14 first downs to only 7 for
the Vols, and had the ball nearly 21 minutes in the half.

Tennessee drove to the Rutgers 14 on its first drive, but Alex
Walls missed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide left.

The Vols finally got something to go their way when Keyon
Whiteside intercepted Ryan Cubit's pass and returned it 26 yards to
the Rutgers 10. Tennessee tied it three plays later on Clausen's
14-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Tinsley with 6:32 left in the
first quarter.

Not to be outdone, Rutgers drove 80 yards on its next
possession, ending with an 11-yard touchdown reception by Chris
Loomis at the beginning of the second quarter.

Tennessee couldn't sustain a drive, giving Rutgers another
chance to score before halftime. Cubit completed a 15-yard pass to
T.J. Smith and then ran 4 yards to the Tennessee 1 as time was
running out.

Cubit, who started in place of injured Ted Trump, spiked the
ball to stop the clock, but the officials ruled that time had run
out.

For the second straight week, the Vols had trouble running the
ball. They finished with 94 yards on 23 attempts.

Rutgers got plenty of blocking from its offensive line, and
Clarence Pittman ran for 104 yards on 31 carries.

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