Vols Conclude Saturday Practice with Lengthy Drives

Dec. 12, 2009

Tennessee concentrated its practice efforts Saturday on conditioning and physical play, and head coach Lane Kiffin said it's part of his bowl preparation itinerary.

"We put them through a really hard practice," Kiffin said. "For the ones (first team), their last drive of the day was 18 plays in a row with no substitutions; for the twos, it was 28 plays in a row, which is very unusual.

"We wanted to put an emphasis on our conditioning. I think one of the things that can be missed during bowl preparations is when you go through the motions in practice and then go a month without playing anything that simulates a game. So instead of just the normal four plays and rotating, we went with the long-drive emphasis today."

Tennessee's second of its three weekend practices extended past the 90-minute mark inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

Kiffin liked how his squad looked with still nearly three weeks until the Vols meet Virginia Tech in the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.

"I thought today's practice was really good, really spirited," Kiffin said. "There was a lot of energy, especially for a morning practice. After watching Friday's film, that practice was just OK. So we really challenged them to come out today and have a great practice.

"I do think our team has great focus right now. To see how far they've come -- from a physical standpoint, but more importantly from a mental standpoint -- that they don't get fatigued."

Kiffin said constant training has paid off in those departments.

"Your mind gets tired way before your body does, so it's been conditioning and a lot of mental training. When you talk enough about that and you train your players to understand that, they can do what we did today."





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