Sept. 15, 2008
RICO McCOY BLOG: Be sure to check Rico McCoy's entries on the inSIDe The Vols Blog. The linebacker will be blogging all week, so check it out.
The Southeastern Conference announced Monday that Tennessee's Sept. 27 contest at Auburn is being televised by CBS Sports and kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Central time. That marks consecutive weeks on CBS Sports for the Vols after this weekend's matchup against Florida. Last month, CBS agreed to a 15-year broadcast rights deal with the SEC beginning next year.
Tennessee and Auburn are meeting for the first time since the 2004 SEC Championship Game, won 38-28 by the Tigers. Auburn leads the series 25-21-3 and is riding a three-game winning streak after a 5-0-1 stretch by the Vols from 1989-99. Auburn won 28-21 during the teams' 2003 meeting at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Other games being televised that weekend involving SEC teams are Mississippi at Florida on Raycom Sports (12:30 p.m. Eastern), Arkansas at Texas on ABC (2:30 p.m. Central), Mississippi State at LSU on ESPN2 (6:30 p.m. Central) and Alabama at Georgia on ESPN (7:45 p.m. Eastern).
SCOTT TABBED SEC OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
Tennessee's Chris Scott was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week after grading the best for a Vols offensive line that played a key role in Saturday's 35-3 victory over UAB. Tennessee finished with 548 yards of total offense - the program's best total in 24 games - and now leads the SEC in total offense with an average of 457.0. UT passed for 282 yards and rushed for 266 against the Blazers.
A junior from Riverdale, Ga., Scott earned his first career player of the week nod and the Vols first this season. The 6-5, 310-pounder has started 16 consecutive games on the offensive line dating to the opener of his sophomore campaign.
Other players named by the SEC this week were Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline (offense), Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran (defense), LSU return specialist Trindon Holliday (special teams), Mississippi State's Jessie Bowman (defensive line) and Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones (freshman).
INTERVIEW WITH HEAD COACH Phillip Fulmer BEFORE FLORIDA GAME AT NEYLAND STADIUM
1. As last Saturday's game with UAB rolled along, where did you see progress that was encouraging to you as a football coach?
A - "As it went along, I thought we developed a personality in running the football. The running backs and blockers were effective, and Jonathon Crompton did a good job managing the offense. We had good blocking by receivers downfield. Defensively, we did well to hold UAB and its highly capable quarterback as well as we did."
A - "They were a productive crew in the last game. When you say forever, that is a long time. I remember Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry and Travis Stephens playing here at the same time. They were very talented tailbacks, also. A couple of these young guys still have something to prove. But it's a good group that we are going to have to lean on. When they finish a game, they need to be a bunch of tired guys."
3. With UT ranked second nationally for interceptions (7), how can that ability intimidate opponents as they execute their passing games?
a - "It's important to get our hands on the ball, whether causing fumbles or getting an interception or any number of ways. What you have to remember is that an interception is a total defensive effort, with everybody contributing."
4. Does Florida this season have more offensive weapons to complement last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow?
A - "Florida has athletes all over the place, really outstanding running backs and receivers. Tim Tebow kind of makes it go, but they have plenty of skill players to help him."
5. How important is it for the offensive line to reach peak form Saturday afternoon for the Florida game?
A - "What those guys up front do is always important. In this game it will be especially important because of Florida's ability to rush the passer and stop the run. We have to be at the top of our game -- not just the offensive line, but the entire team, I tell you."
WAVE OFF HUNGER WITH UT POWER TOWEL
The 17th Annual Tim Kerin Memorial Drive takes place Saturday before the UT-Florida home game. Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, volunteers, staff and the students of the UT Ministers Council will be collecting donations and distributing the UT Power Towel for a suggested $5 donation.
The orange and white Power Towels will be available outside of every gate at Neyland Stadium two hours prior to kickoff. Second Harvest Food Bank is asking fans to make a donation in exchange for the Power Towel or give $1, enough to provide 3 meals.
Tim Kerin made a huge impact on UT and the Knoxville community. He came to UT in 1976 as head athletic trainer. Kerin was honored as Trainer of the Year by the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society in 1992 and was elected posthumously into The National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 1993.