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This item appeared in The Times & Free Press on Monday, December 27, 1999.
   

[Times & Free Press: Fulmer Says Vols Similar To 'Huskers]

Fulmer Says Vols Similar To 'Huskers

By WARD GOSSETT
Assistant Sports Editor

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer arrived at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport on Sunday night and started talking about similarities between third-ranked Nebraska and fourth-ranked Tennessee.

"There are some comparisons that certainly could be made between the two -- an aggressive defense on both sides, statistically they've done very well and we've done very well; mobile quarterbacks, very play-making type of quarterbacks; both teams have outstanding tailbacks and good depth at tailback," Fulmer said.

"Both teams use the field very well . . . Nebraska certainly does with its option attack, while we like to move the clock and do different things with (quarterback) Tee Martin. Both have exciting kickers and kick returners and both teams like to physically run the ball. That's been a strength for us, although we've made our share of plays in the passing game.'

Wynonna To Sing

Country singing artist Wynonna Judd will sing the national anthem at the Fiesta Bowl. Her appearance will cap a pre-game celebration that includes a parachute team from the U.S. Air Force Academy floating into Sun Devil Stadium to present the colors.

Wynonna isn't the only act that will be in town. At the Bowl's annual Block Party on Dec. 31, Sugar Ray and Billy Idol are booked to be among the performers. The Fiesta Bowl bash was ranked by USA Today as one of the top eight places in the nation to celebrate New Year's Eve.

'Huskers Want No Repeat

Where repeat performances are concerned, Nebraska would not mind another outcome like the Orange Bowl two years ago when it defeated Tennessee, 42-17.

Just don't mention last year's 23-20 Holiday Bowl setback to Arizona.

"You better make sure your team understands it is playing a great opponent in a bowl game, and that it only takes a mistake or two to turn things the other way,' Nebraska coach Frank Solich said. 'I think I kind of knew that, but it was probably a good reminder the way it turned out last year.

The Injured Players

Tight end Tracey Wistrom, an all-Big 12 Conference pick, is expected to resume practice with Nebraska this week. Wistrom, who missed the Big 12 championship game win over Texas, has been sidelined with a knee injury.

The Cornhuskers also expect I-back Correll Buckhalter back at practice Tuesday. Buckhalter did not practice over the weekend.

Fulmer said the only question mark for the Vols is offensive guard Fred Weary, who suffered a knee injury against Vanderbilt. "We're hoping to have him full speed this week," Fulmer said.

Weary performed much of the work in the Vols' practices in Knoxville as did center Spencer Riley, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after the Vanderbilt game. Linebacker Eric Westmoreland, who missed the last two games of the season with a knee injury, is fully recovered and is expected back in the starting lineup for Nebraska.

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