ATLANTA (Ticker) -- After saving coach Tommy Bowden's job, Clemson finished the season with a flourish.
Charlie Whitehurst passed for 246 yards and Chad Jasmin rushed for a career-high 130 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries as the Tigers upset seventh-ranked Tennessee, 27-14, in the Peach Bowl.
Two months ago, Bowden's job appeared to be in jeopardy, but the Tigers (9-4) won their last three regular-season games, including victories over intrastate rival South Carolina and nationally ranked Florida State.
"This win shows we're heading in the right direction," Bowden said. "After Wake Forest (a 45-17 loss that dropped Clemson to 5-4), the way players reponded, it shows a lot about your character."
Bowden received a contract extension in December, and Clemson carried the momentum into the Peach Bowl.
The Tigers drove 80 yards on the game's opening possession as Whitehurst's 35-yard completion to Kevin Youngblood set up Duane Coleman's nine-yard TD run just 2:10 into the game.
Bowden even resorted to some trickery as backup running back Kyle Browning rushed for an eight-yard touchdown run on a "fumblerooskie" play with 5:36 left in the first half to give the Tigers a 24-14 lead. Browning had just seven carries in his previous seven games.
"Browning is a small guy," said Whitehurst, who completed 22-of-40 passes. "You can hide him in the huddle. I kind of put the ball between his legs and he kind of rolled in."
"We call it 'Panther,'" Bowden said. "We've used it three times since I've been here. Scored against Virginia, scored against Virginia Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl and scored this time."
Tennessee safety Rashad Baker admitted the Volunteers were caught off guard.
"None of the players saw the ball," he said. "They went with the flow. None of us really saw the ball until it was in the end zone."
Tennessee never recovered as it unraveled in the second half with undisciplined play. They were whistled for 10 penalties for 119 yards and were held to just 38 yards rushing.
"We helped them some," Volunteers coach Phillip Fulmer said. "We had four of five major penalties in the second half. You hope you have better control than that."
Casey Clausen threw two TDs in the first half and finished with a career-high 373 yards but could not get much going in the second half. The second-winningest quarterback in school history behind Peyton Manning, Clausen finished his career 34-10.
"When we needed a big play, we didn't get it," Clausen said. "It comes down to who makes the plays."
Clausen directed 17-play, eight-minute drive in the third quarter, but the Volunteers came away empty as James Wilhoit missed a 35-yard field goal.