ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Tennessee would have loved this kind of execution in last month's Southeastern Conference championship.
Casey Clausen passed for a career-high 393 yards and three touchdowns as the eighth-ranked Volunteers routed No. 15 Michigan, 45-17, in the Citrus Bowl. It was the worst bowl loss in Michigan's history.
"Michigan is really a good football team," Clausen said. "We just came out and executed. We played the way we were capable of playing. We had a great time here in Orlando, but we were here on a mission."
Tennessee's hopes for a berth in the national championship game were dashed in a 31-20 loss to Louisiana State for the SEC title.
Instead, coach Phillip Fulmer's team had to settle for a victory in what has become the Volunteers' favorite bowl. Three of their last four postseason wins have come in the Citrus, where Tennessee is 4-1 overall.
"Before we left Knoxville, we had our plan in," Fulmer said. "We did regain our focus when we got down here. We made some plays and forced some errors on their part."
The Volunteers (11-2) recorded their eighth 11-win season. Four have come under Fulmer, the nation's winningest active coach who improved his record at Tennessee to 95-20.
Facing Tennessee for the first time, Michigan suffered its most lopsided loss in 32 bowls. Its previous worst bowl defeat was a 34-14 setback to Washington in the 1992 Rose Bowl.
The loss ended Michigan's school record-tying streak of four straight bowl wins. The Wolverines (8-4) ended the year with consecutive losses, suffering a 26-20 defeat to Ohio State in the regular season finale that cost them the Big Ten Conference championship.
"It took us a while to get going today," Michigan quarterback John Navarre said. "We just couldn't get the big thing to crack. We were close on some plays."
Michigan finished with four losses for the first time since 1996, one year before the Wolverines captured their last national championship.
Clausen passed for 332 yards against LSU, but the Volunteers were done in by a pair of crucial second-half turnovers.
Tennessee never trailed Tuesday, opening a 24-10 halftime lead before Clausen burned the Wolverines with a pair of big plays in the second half. He tossed a 64-yard TD pass to Jason Witten with 5:23 left in the third quarter, then connected with Kelley Washington for a 37-yard TD strike 1:23 into the final period.
Tennessee scored again just 24 seconds later as Jabari Greer's interception set up Travis Stephens' three-yard TD run that made it 45-10.
Clausen shreaded the Wolverines, who came in ranked 12th in the country in total defense and ninth in scoring defense. He completed 26-of-34 passes, falling just short of the fourth 400-yard passing game in Tennessee history.
"This is the reason I came to Tennessee, to play in big games like this," Clausen said. "In my opinion, the last four, five, six games we ran the offense we wanted to run all year."
"They threw a lot of speed at us," Michigan linebacker Eric Brackens said. "They had a lot of speed and used it to their advantage. It makes it tough when they have that burst of speed."
Tennessee's other three 400-yard games were produced by Peyton Manning, including 408 in a 48-28 win over Northwestern in the 1997 Citrus Bowl.
The Volunteers rushed for just 97 yards but held Michigan to only 103. B.J. Askew paced the Wolverines on the ground with 71 yards on nine carries.
Stephens, the SEC's leading rusher, was limited to 38 yards on 16 carries.
"We weren't going to let them run the football and they weren't going to let us run," Fulmer said. "We made some plays in the passing game. I would have expected us to run the ball a little better, but they were darned committed to stopping us."
The Volunteers snapped a two-game bowl losing streak and matched their most lopsided postseason win. They defeated Miami, 35-7, in the 1986 Sugar Bowl.
Tennessee opened the scoring on Alex Walls' 32-yard field goal 4:06 into the contest and made it 10-0 on Clausen's three-yard TD pass to Washington. Tennessee made it 17-0 on Clausen's one-yard TD run 32 seconds into the second period.
Michigan tried to rally, closing within 17-7 on Navarre's 14-yard TD strike to Askew with 7:15 left in the half. But Clausen added another one-yard TD run before Michigan's Hayden Epstein kicked a 28-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining to pull the Wolverines within 24-10.
Navarre was 21-of-39 for 240 yards, including a meaningless 24-yard TD pass to Calvin Bell in the fourth period.
Michigan's Marquise Walker caught five passes for 100 yards, the ninth time he reached the century mark this season.