Aug. 26, 2009
Tennessee pushed through its third consecutive difficult practice in as many days at Haslam Field, setting the stage for the final preseason scrimmage this weekend.
The Vols again worked for three hours Wednesday in hot and dusty conditions, and head coach Lane Kiffin needed another jump-start for his troops as the afternoon wore on.
"It was a slow-starting practice today," he said. "I thought we were kind of feeling sorry for ourselves, just going through the motions. We challenged them heading into that last period and I thought they responded very well with a good team period to end the day."
Aiding Kiffin's pep talk late in the day was news from the sidelines that freshman tailback Bryce Brown had received the all-clear from the NCAA regarding his amateurism issue. (Check UTsports.com for more on that story).
Kiffin's offense then ended on a high note -- Brown leading the motivation, of course. But that late-game flurry is something the head coach says has been happening quite often of late.
"The offense really had two great four-minute drives to end the game versus the first and second defense, so that was good to see on one side," Kiffin said. "But we've got to get better on our four-minute defense. That's about the third time in a row we've done that, let the offense get first downs at the end."
The staff and players are taking Thursday off before returning for a thorough workout Friday afternoon. Saturday's final scrimmage of the preseason will not be full contact, and Sunday is another off day, so Kiffin wanted to make sure Friday was a hitting day with game week approaching.
The Vols host Western Kentucky one week from Saturday in a 12:21 p.m. Eastern time kickoff. Coverage is being provided on radio by the Vol Network and on television with the debut of the SEC Network, ESPN's regionally syndicated package of games.
Check UTsports.com at the following Web address for a complete list of SEC Network markets and affiliates: http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/072109aaa.html