Tennessee Reverses Cougars’ Fortunes : Nonconference: Volunteers upset 17th-ranked Washington State, 10-9, with a noteworthy play.

From Associated Press

Nilo Silvan went untouched 62 yards on a reverse Saturday, sparking Tennessee to a 10-9 upset of No. 17 Washington State.

Silvan’s sprint with 3:34 left in the third quarter gave Tennessee (2-3) a 7-6 lead. His run was the first touchdown Washington State (3-1) had given up in 16 quarters going back to the second quarter in last season’s final game.

“We knew if we called that play at the right time it could really hurt them,” Silvan said. “I had asked the coach to run that play all day long. I must have asked him 10 times.”

Washington State retook the lead, 9-7, on the first play of the fourth quarter on Tony Truant’s 32-yard field goal, his third of the game.


But the Volunteers responded with a drive to the Cougar 10, and John Becksvoort kicked a 27-yard field goal with 10:15 left for the winning points.

Tennessee began the winning drive at its 35. On a fourth-and-one at the Volunteers’ 44, quarterback Peyton Manning kept on a sneak and managed the first down by inches.

Three plays later, Manning hit Kendrick Jones for 41 yards to the Cougars’ 12 to set up Becksvoort’s game-winning kick.

The Cougars had the ball three times after that, but the closest they could get was the Tennessee 39.

“We’ll have to get our confidence back and play penalty-free football against Oregon,” Washington State Coach Mike Price said in looking ahead. “We played well offensively at times, but couldn’t get it going inside the 20. It was my fault, poor coaching and play selection. I’ll take the blame for that.”

The Cougars had 280 yards but the 11 penalties for 95 yards were damaging.