Oct. 28, 2009
Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin has seen some positive similarities between last week's practice sessions and this week as the Vols prepare to host No. 21 South Carolina at Neyland Stadium.
"It was much like the preparation for the last game we played when I talked about having really great practices, and the quarterback's playing phenomenal right now," Kiffin said after practice Wednesday. "Hopefully we can keep it up."
Saturday's game against South Carolina kicks off at 7:45 p.m. Eastern time.
Kiffin called the passing game "phenomenal" in practice last week as well, and senior Jonathan Crompton translated those solid practice sessions to success on game day by completing 21-of-36 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown in the 12-10 loss to top-ranked Alabama.
After Tuesday's cold and rainy conditions, Wednesday was nearly perfect in comparison: sunny with temperatures in the upper 60s. The Vols took advantage of the good weather and employed a physical practice that included some one-on-one drills.
"We had a lot of energy today," Kiffin said. "It was good to have some warm weather and some sun out here."
Kiffin said junior kicker Daniel Lincoln was still sidelined with a quadriceps injury that he aggravated during the pregame warm-ups against Alabama. He has not kicked in practice for the last two days, and junior punter and placekicker Chad Cunningham has been taking field goal duties in his absence.
"Chad kicked extremely well these two days, by far better than he's ever kicked since we've been here," Kiffin said. "We'll see later this week."
Kiffin said senior tight Luke Stocker wore the no-contact jersey in practice because of a sore back, but he anticipates Stocker playing against South Carolina. Kiffin added that senior wide receiver Quintin Hancock, who injured his foot on special teams against Georgia, was moving around better than he has been.