Oct. 22, 2008
"We've got to take it to the field."
Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer offered those words Wednesday after assessing his team's 90-minute workout at Haslam Field. The Vols have gone to more physical practice sessions since reaching the season's halfway point with a 2-4 record.
UT responded last Saturday by defeating Mississippi State 34-3, but second-ranked Alabama looms with a whole different set of circumstances -- and opportunities -- this weekend at Neyland Stadium. To that end, the Vols have kept up their mid-week intensity.
"Practices are all good, but we've got to take it to the field," Fulmer said.
"We've had two good physical days of work. Mentally, we have been very into our preparations. Now it's important for us to come out and have one of those perfect Thursdays where you come away from practice feeling really good about (your work)."
The Vols won last weekend's turnover battle 3-0 and committed only penalty. To show how things had gone over the first six contests, Tennessee still ranks 10th in the SEC in penalty yards at 57.1 per game.
"We certainly understand the challenges we have," Fulmer said. "I really appreciate the way the coaches and particularly the players have gone about their preparations for this football game."
BERRY'S ACCOLADES CONTINUE
Eric Berry capped a terrific few days Wednesday by being named CAREacter Star Athlete of the Week. The CAREacter Star Athlete Program is based on a five-point "star system" that includes the basic traits of a true champion, whether on or off the field. Those traits are attitude, character, grades, community service and performance.
Berry set an SEC record Saturday for career interception returns yards and, for his efforts, was named Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week. The award is the first in college football to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. A check in the amount of $1,000 is being sent to UT's general scholarship fund from the Lott Trophy presented by Wachovia.