Fifth-ranked Colorado made the big plays. No. 8 Tennessee had the big player.

And both teams blew a lot of chances, so the first game of the season, the inaugural Pigskin Classic, ended in a 31-31 tie Sunday at Anaheim Stadium.Tennessee rebounded from a two-touchdown deficit behind the outstanding passing of Andy Kelly, who threw for 262 of his 368 yards in the second half.

The Volunteers were driving in the closing seconds, had called their final timeout with 39 seconds left to force the Buffs to punt. The game ended when Chuck Webb was forced out of bounds at the Colorado 16, after gaining 25 yards on a fourth-and-2 draw play.

Webb, who carried 27 times for 131 yards and two touchdowns, may have done his job too well by not getting out of bounds sooner.

"Webb's a heady and intelligent player," Tennessee coach Johnny Majors said. "We thought it was our best chance for him to run and get out of bounds. He didn't get it.

"We knew if we threw a pass and he went 15 yards and didn't get out of bounds, by the time they reset the chains, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to kick the field goal.

"It was a tremendous effort by both teams," Majors said. "We didn't have the luxury of prepping against anybody, so we had some missed opportunities. This was a game of big plays. I told my players not to be distressed if the play goes the other way."

For a while, it did.

Mike Pritchard, a converted wide receiver, gave the Buffaloes a 31-17 lead on his second big touchdown run, a 78-yarder with 7:49 to play.

Quarterback Darian Hagan found himself in trouble inside and pitched out to Pritchard, who raced untouched along the sideline. Pritchard finished with 217 yards on 20 carries.

Kelly then led the Tennessee rally, passing 14 yards to Carl Pickens to make it 31-24 with 4:09 left. The Vols held Colorado and regained possession on their 26 for the tying drive.

Kelly, who set school records by completing 33 of 55 passes, hit seven of nine as he moved Tennessee to the 4. Webb scored on a draw play with 2:25 left.

Majors elected to go for the tying extra point by Greg Burke rather than a two-point conversion, and the decision seemed to be a correct one as the Volunteers again held Colorado and got possession on their 23.

"I considered going for two," Majors said. "I thought about it, talked about it the whole course of the game. I had mixed reviews. I made the decision. I thought we would get the ball back and bring it up field. We did; we just ran out of a couple of ticks of the clock.

"It might be different in a championship game, but a tie is a lot better than a loss."

For the Vols, anyway.

"We had the victory, but couldn't keep a two-touchdown advantage," said Coach Bill McCartney, whose Buffaloes committed five of the game's eight turnovers. "There's a lot of frustration on our team because we were in the position to win.

"Tennessee has a tremendous offense. We couldn't get pressure on their quarterback late in the game. We usually are able to pressure an opposing quarterback, butwe got very tired late in the game."

Colorado also had a two-touchdown lead early in the fourth quarter, 24-10, thanks to two 55-yard scoring plays. Pritchard broke a trap play 4:11 into the third quarter, and Dave McCloughan, a cornerback who had an interception, scored on a punt return 5:26 into the fourth.

The Volunteers needed only 41 seconds to close to 24-17, as Kelly completed four of six passes, including a 24-yarder to Alvin Harper for the touchdown with 8:53 left.

Tennessee got the ball right back when Dwayne Davis fumbled the kickoff at the Buffaloes' 19. But Kelly's twice-tipped pass was picked off in the end zone by Tim James. James also intercepted Kelly in the end zone when the Volunteers were threatening in the final seconds of the first half. Kelly was picked off twice in the first half.

The Buffaloes turned the ball over on their first three drives - including a fumble by Pritchard on their first play - and four times total in the first half.

The Vols converted only two of those turnovers, and the half ended in a 10-10 tie. Webb scored on a 3-yard run and Burke kicked a 47-yard field goal after having his first two attempts blocked.

George Hemingway scored Colorado's first TD, on fourth-and-goal from the one. Jim Harper kicked a 35-yard field goal for the Buffs.