Monday, November 10, 2008
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Wyoming surprises reeling Tennessee 13-7

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[November 10, 2008]  KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee couldn't even beat heavy underdog Wyoming for outgoing coach Phillip Fulmer -- on homecoming day no less.

In his first game since being forced to resign at the end of the season, Fulmer could only watch as Ward Dobbs returned an interception 24 yards to lead Wyoming to a 13-7 win over the Volunteers on Saturday.

Tennessee (3-7) came into the game favored by 26 1/2 points, but wound up with its seventh loss of the season and marking just the second time in Fulmer's 17 years as coach that the Vols won't play in a bowl game. It was the first time the Vols lost to a Mountain West opponent.

Wyoming (4-6) won its first road game of the season, and may want to play more often at Southeastern Conference schools. The last time the Cowboys went on the road to the SEC, they beat Mississippi in 2005.

On Monday, an emotional Fulmer said he was being forced to resign at the end of the season.

Traditionally Tennessee has dominated its opponents on homecoming, going 65-17-3. The Vols hadn't lost since Miami beat them in 2002. The announced attendance for Saturday's game was 99,489, but the stadium was only two-thirds full.


On the first drive of the game, Mike Neuhaus picked off Tennessee quarterback Nick Stephens and ran 55 yards before being tackled by Lucas Taylor at the Vols 4. On the next play, Chris Stutzriem rolled out of the pocket and tossed the ball to Greg Genho in the end zone.

Stephens threw to Dobbs with 9:03 left before halftime, and Dobbs' touchdown gave the Cowboys a 13-0 lead. Jake Scott missed the extra point attempt.

Wyoming, ranked 111th out 119 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total offense, had a hard time finding the end zone, but didn't need to.

Looking for something to prod the offense after Stephens' second interception, Tennessee put Jonathan Crompton in at quarterback.

After a few successful running plays, Crompton underthrew a pass, was sacked for an 8-yard loss and overthrew Austin Rogers on third-and-19, drawing boos from the few Tennessee fans who showed up for the game.

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Wyoming piled up 167 yards on the ground compared to Tennessee's 101 yards. Top rusher Devin Moore gained 98 yards, and Wynel Seldon added 40. Stutzriem finished 8-for-16 for 95 yards and the touchdown.

Tennessee had a shot to grab the lead, stopping Moore one yard short of a fourth-and-3 at the Tennessee 24 with 12:24 in the fourth quarter.

The Vols drove 59 yards, but found themselves with a fourth-and-8 at the Wyoming 19. Crompton threw to a diving Denarius Moore, who couldn't stretch far enough to grab the ball. Crompton finished 11-for-27 for 91 yards.

Tennessee had one last chance, but sputtered at the Wyoming 47 on fourth-and-18 with just under two minutes to play.

The Vols' only successful drive came on their first possession of the second half, helped by a 23-yard run by Lennon Creer. Crompton found Gerald Jones in the end zone on an 8-yard pass to pull the Vols within 13-7 with 10:08 in the third quarter.

Dennis Rogan recovered a fumble by Stutzriem at the Vols 48 with about 10 minutes in the third quarter, but Tennessee could only move the ball 2 yards on the drive, and Britton Colquitt punted.

[Associated Press; By BETH RUCKER]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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