Vols Wrap Preparations With Georgia Dome Walk-Through

Dec. 30, 2009

  Head Coaches Bowl Conference Audio - 12/30


The Vol Network's radio "StadiumCast" frequency for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome on Thursday has been changed from 99.1 to 102.1 on the FM dial. The change was made for technical reasons to accommodate both participating schools in-stadium broadcast. Fans attending the game can tune into the Vol Network broadcast at the stadium by bringing a portable radio. The "Kickoff Call-In Show" begins coverage at approximately 6 p.m. EASTERN / 5 p.m. CENTRAL following the conclusion of Tennessee's basketball game at Memphis.

ATLANTA - Tennessee concluded its pre-Chick-fil-A Bowl practice schedule here Wednesday with a 45-minute walk-through inside the Georgia Dome. But as has been the case all season, Vols head coach Lane Kiffin plans to make the most of his prep time right up until kickoff.

"We've been rusty, and I think that comes with the territory of a bowl game and now having practiced at three different sites," Kiffin said of the team's workouts in Knoxville, at Decatur High School on Atlanta's east side and the last three days inside the dome. "But we have a long way to go until kickoff and still have a lot of work to do.

Kiffin knows the importance of keeping alive Tennessee's late-season surge. He also knows how difficult that task is going to be against No. 11-ranked Virginia Tech.

"I just think it's the next step for our program," Kiffin said of a potential eighth victory this season. "To finish by winning four of our last five in the regular season, winning our last four SEC East games to finish second in the East, coming to what I consider a BCS bowl, playing a top-11 opponent, one that's been to the Orange Bowl the last two years and won the Orange Bowl last year, and that had only one starter drafted off that team to show how talented this team is that we're going to play Thursday -- to be able to get that win would really help us a lot and finish off our first year as we go toward our second recruiting class."

The Vols have been a little short-handed during this bowl season after assistant coaches Eddie Gran and Frank Wilson departed for other coaching jobs and Kippy Brown joined UT's staff in mid-December. Still, Hokies head coach Frank Beamer thinks Tennessee is playing its best football of the season.

"It's not where you started but where you ended up," Beamer said. "Anybody who follows football would say this Tennessee team is at the top of the SEC in my opinion. We played Alabama and we saw how they played Alabama; they took it right to them.

"The bottom line is we're playing one of the best in the SEC and we understand that."

Kiffin said the decision on place-kicking duties would be a game-day if not game-time decision between Devin Mathis, Daniel Lincoln and Chad Cunningham - or perhaps a combination of all three.

"We've done that a lot this year, so it's nothing new," Kiffin said. "A lot of weeks, we haven't known for sure until the game who we were going to kick. A lot of games, we've planned to have two of them kick depending on the distance - and that may be the case here Thursday.

"I don't like it. I liked it a lot better the last place I was at when (Sebastian) Janikowski could kick - I think he kicked it 61 yards Sunday. It's something we will continue to improve this off-season."

Kiffin says Tennessee's seniors are due most of the credit for this year's return to bowl participation and the chance for an eight-win season.

"There are so many really good stories that I'm proud to be a part of with these seniors and we're going to miss these guys a lot."

Kickoff on Thursday night is 7:30 Eastern time, with the Vol Network and ESPN providing the coverage.





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