Oct. 30, 2006
1. Coming out of the tough South Carolina game with a win, where will you be looking for improvement as the Vols prepare for LSU?
A - "We're really happy to get the win at South Carolina, where we did not play our best. We need to control the line of scrimmage against a strong LSU team. We are protecting the passer, but need to improve our run blocking. That will be a focus."
2. How well is freshman Josh McNeil, now the starting center, fitting in as the trigger of the Vols offense?
A - "He has done a good job considering he missed spring practice. He's behind from the technique standpoint. Some day he will be a great player, but he is still going through growing pains."
3. Sum up the progress Erik Ainge has made in taking a leadership role as the Vols quarterback.
A - "Erik has done a fine job, mainly by example, which is what counts most. He showed good leadership in the South Carolina game and is now certainly one of the best quarterbacks in the Southeastern Conference,"
4. What are the particular problems presented by the offense of LSU, which comes to Neyland Stadium Saturday afternoon?
A - "Their system is good, but the real problem they present is the quality of their personnel. They have outstanding tailbacks and receivers and a great quarterback who can get the ball downfield."
5. How does LSU stack up defensively with other teams the Vols have faced this season?
A - "I think, top to bottom, they are the best defensive team we've played. They have great safeties, outstanding linebackers and the best defensive front, which is saying a lot, considering who we have played."
NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAY IS SATURDAY
The holiday season is about to kick off, and it starts with National College Football Day -- a holiday created by the AT&T Cotton Bowl to commemorate the birth of college football. This third-annual celebration will be observed on Saturday.
National College Football Day takes on added significance this year. The AT&T Cotton Bowl has partnered with The V Foundation for Cancer Research to increase awareness about men's cancers.
The V Foundation, based in Cary, N.C., is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. The Foundation seeks to make a difference by generating broad- based support for cancer research and by creating an urgent awareness among all Americans of the importance of the war against cancer. The Foundation performs these dual roles through advocacy, education, fundraising, and philanthropy.
"Everyone knows someone affected by cancer, and considering over 1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone, I can't think of a better organization for the AT&T Cotton Bowl to be aligned with than The V Foundation for Cancer Research," said Bruce Gadd, chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. "By teaming up with The V Foundation, we can help further their important cause while joining forces to make National College Football Day a nationally observed holiday each year."
The annual holiday observed on the first Saturday of November was developed as a way to pay tribute to a significant moment in our nation's history. On Nov. 6, 1869, Rutgers defeated Princeton, 6-4. More importantly, those college athletes left a lasting legacy that would evolve into the great spectacle of football.
To honor college football's 137th birthday, the AT&T Cotton Bowl and The V Foundation have produced limited edition lapel pins that will be distributed to hundreds of coaches, athletic directors, university presidents, sports publicists and media throughout the United States.
"We're honored to be selected as the charitable partner of National College Football Day, which we know will help bring attention to the need for cancer research," said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation. "I also want to thank all the members of the college football community, including the coaches, for lending their credibility and visibility to the celebration of National College Football Day and embracing The V Foundation and our mission of funding cancer research."
For more information on National College Football Day and to learn more about The V Foundation for Cancer Research, please visit www.NationalCollegeFootballDay.com.