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Penn State defeats Tennessee in Outback Bowl

Jan 1, 2007 - 11:02 PM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- After Tony Davis struck quickly, Tony Hunt banged away slowly.

Davis returned a fumble 88 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Hunt hammered through the defense as Penn State gave coach Joe Paterno a 22nd postseason win with a 20-10 victory over No. 17 Tennessee in the Outback Bowl.

Hunt ran for 158 yards on 31 carries for Penn State (9-4), which improved to 3-0 against Tennessee (9-4) in bowl games.

The teams traded field goals and touchdowns in the first half before playing a scoreless third quarter. Penn State appeared to be in trouble when Tennessee's Erik Ainge found wide-open tight end Chris Brown for 53 yards to the 14-yard line.

On the next play, tailback Arian Foster plowed into the line and lost the ball. It was picked up by Davis, a sophomore cornerback who sprinted untouched to the end zone, giving Penn State a 17-10 lead with 10:01 to play.

"We were just thinking make a play, make something happen," Davis said. "I didn't think it was going to happen that quick because we were all drained from the play before. I think that drained them. It definitely gave us the momentum back."

"I was trying to make a play, but it's not an excuse for what happened," Foster said. "So you just suck it up and be a man about it. That was tough."

The Volunteers were forced to punt on their next possession but could not force one in return. Chewing away the clock, Hunt carried the ball six straight times for 42 yards to the 5 before being stopped for a two-yard loss.

"I didn't really think they were that physical of a team," Hunt said. "They really boasted and bragged about their speed, but I think we brought something to the table today and they couldn't handle it."

"He's a money football player," Paterno said. "We worked him so hard, he looked slow. I told (the) offensive coaches, 'Don't work him hard.' Hunt had a heckuva game, a lot of tough yards against a tough football team."

Three plays later, Kevin Kelly kicked a 24-yard field goal for a 20-10 bulge with 3:29 to play, sealing the win.

Paterno has been coaching from upstairs since undergoing surgery to repair a broken left leg and ligament damage suffered in a sideline collision at Wisconsin on November 4. He improved to 22-10-1 all-time in bowls, including wins over Tennessee in the 1992 Fiesta Bowl and the 1994 Florida Citrus Bowl.

"(I) talked it over to (the) doctor and he said, 'Why don't you go upstairs? If you want to come down, come down,'" Paterno said. "I have a great staff. They need me like they need a hole in the head. I yell at them to act like I'm earning my money.

"At halftime I was debating going down (on the field), because there was a couple of little things. I told coaches to tell them to hang in there, we're doing all right."

A senior, Hunt was named MVP as he moved past Blair Thomas into second place on the school's all-time rushing list with 3,300 yards.

"You can't say enough about him," Penn State wide receiver Derrick Williams said. "He can run the ball. He's a horse. He can catch it and he can block. He's a big-time leader. Tony's the best running back I've ever been around."

"I told you coming in that was my biggest concern," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said. "He fell forward and ran hard. He's one of the more underrated backs I've seen, a very good football player."

Anthony Morelli completed 14-of-25 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown for the Nittany Lions, who held a 380-350 edge in total yards and did not commit a turnover as they closed the season with five wins in their last six games.

"All week long, we heard they would put eight in the box and stop the run and make us pass to win," said Morelli, whose ability to throw the ball has been questioned at times this season. "We passed the ball successfully and that enabled us to open up the running game."

"I thought Anthony was a real big-time quarterback today - a lot of poise, he ran the show in there," Paterno said. "He grew up in a lot of different ways. He's played against a lot of tough clubs. He's had a tough road and he's going to get better."

Ainge was 25-of-37 for 267 yards and an interception for the Volunteers, who committed three turnovers. Foster had 65 yards on 12 carries but also fumbled in the first half.

"I think overall, they're one of the top three or four teams we played (with) Arkansas, LSU, Florida," Fulmer said. "You certainly can't help them like we helped them with turnovers."

Tennessee's James Wilhoit kicked a 44-yard field goal in the first quarter, but Foster's first fumble set up a 34-yard kick by Kelly just over three minutes into the second period.

Morelli directed a 92-yard drive - Penn State's longest of the season - that resulted in his two-yard TD pass to Andrew Quarless with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

The Volunteers immediately responded with an 80-yard march as LaMarcus Coker covered the final 42 on a draw play that he broke to the left sideline, forging a 10-10 tie.

Jayson Swain and Chris Brown each caught seven passes for Tennessee.








  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (17) 3 7 0 0 10
    PENN ST 0 10 0 10 20 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TENNESSEE - FG, JAMES WILHOIT 44 YD, 10:02.
    TENNESSEE 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 34 YD, 3:17.
    TENNESSEE 3-3
    PENN ST - TD, ANDREW QUARLESS 2 YD PASS

    Jan 1 2:34 PM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF OUTBACK BOWL
    FG PENN ST
    KEVIN KELLY 24 YD
    TENNESSEE (17) 10
    PENN ST 20 3:29 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 2:23 PM
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    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 2:17 PM
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    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 2:15 PM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF OUTBACK BOWL
    TD PENN ST
    TONY DAVIS 86 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    TENNESSEE (17) 10
    PENN ST 17 10:01 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 2:05 PM
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  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (17) 3 7 0 10
    PENN ST 0 10 0 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TENNESSEE - FG, JAMES WILHOIT 44 YD, 10:02.
    TENNESSEE 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 34 YD, 3:17.
    TENNESSEE 3-3
    PENN ST - TD, ANDREW QUARLESS

    Jan 1 1:43 PM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (17) 3 7 10
    PENN ST 0 10 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TENNESSEE - FG, JAMES WILHOIT 44 YD, 10:02.
    TENNESSEE 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: PENN ST - FG, KEVIN KELLY 34 YD, 3:17.
    TENNESSEE 3-3
    PENN ST - TD, ANDREW QUARLESS 2 YD

    Jan 1 12:36 PM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF OUTBACK BOWL
    TD TENNESSEE
    LAMARCUS COKER 42 YD RUN
    (JAMES WILHOIT KICK)
    TENNESSEE (17) 10
    PENN ST 10 1:15 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 12:26 PM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF OUTBACK BOWL
    TD PENN ST
    ANDREW QUARLESS 2 YD PASS FROM ANTHONY MORELLI
    (KEVIN KELLY KICK)
    TENNESSEE (17) 3
    PENN ST 10 3:30 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 12:15 PM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF OUTBACK BOWL
    FG PENN ST
    KEVIN KELLY 34 YD
    TENNESSEE (17) 3
    PENN ST 3 11:43 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 11:55 AM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TENNESSEE (17) 3 3
    PENN ST 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TENNESSEE - FG, JAMES WILHOIT 44 YD, 10:02.
    TENNESSEE 3-0

    Jan 1 11:42 AM


  • OUTBACK BOWL
    AT TAMPA FL
    NCAAF OUTBACK BOWL
    FG TENNESSEE
    JAMES WILHOIT 44 YD
    TENNESSEE (17) 3
    PENN ST 0 4:58 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Tennessee vs. Penn StateJan 1 11:31 AM
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