Oct. 22, 2009
Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin regarded Thursday's 90-minute practice at Haslam Field as solid if not spectacular. The Vols took advantage of last weekend's bye to stage their second "Thursday-type" practice in as many days after holding a pair of "Tuesday-type" workouts.
"It just was normal," Kiffin said of the practice. "A mistake here, a mistake there. Our intensity wasn't the same as it had been the last few days and maybe that comes from back-to-back Thursdays and feeling good about where they were at.
"We had to go back and repeat some things, but we still have a lot of time to clean things up. (Friday) will still be big."
Speaking of big, Tennessee's (3-3, 1-2 SEC) second road game of the season comes against its second No. 1-ranked opponent -- this time Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC). And Kiffin is counting on the extra week of rest bolstering his lineup with the addition of offensive lineman Vladimir Richard (knee) and improved health of Art Evans (knee).
"We expect both of those guys to go. Art moved around and practiced basically everything today, Vlad did everything today, so we anticipate both of them being able to play."
Kiffin also offered encouragement Thursday about senior wide receiver Quintin Hancock, who injured his foot on special teams against Georgia.
"I think there's still a chance. We will test him (Friday) morning and see where he's at."
The Vols are scheduled to walk-through inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on Friday before departing later in the afternoon for Alabama. Kickoff Saturday from Tuscaloosa is set for 2:30 p.m. Central time, with CBS and the Vol Network calling the action.
"I think overall it's been a good week," Kiffin said. "We've stayed healthy for the most part; the guys have been into it. But we still have a long ways to go before kickoff."