Blazing beginning

Based on his first two career starts, junior Tauren Poole is on pace to be even more productive than most of Tennessee's celebrated tailbacks of the past 15 years.

After rushing for 110 yards Sept. 4 vs. UT Martin in his first start, he surpassed that total in the FIRST QUARTER of Game 2 vs. Oregon, picking up 111 yards on eight carries in the opening 15 minutes.

Poole finished the night with 162 yards, giving him a two-game total of 272 yards. That's virtually identical to the total posted by former Vol Arian Foster in his first two career starts. Foster, now starting for the NFL's Houston Texans, gained 148 (on 25 carries) vs. South Carolina and 125 (on 28 carries) vs. Notre Dame in 2005 - giving him 273 yards in his first two career starts.

Only two Vol tailbacks of the past 15 years were more productive in their first two starts than Foster and Poole. That would be Jamal Lewis (387 yards) in 1997 and Jay Graham (281) in 1995. Lewis exploded onto the scene as a freshman by rushing for 155 yards (on 22 carries) vs. Ole Miss in his first start and 232 yards (again on 22 carries) vs. Georgia. Graham opened the '95 season with 144 yards (on 26 rushes) vs. East Carolina and 137 (on 28 rushes) vs. Georgia.

On the other end of the scale, ex-Vol Montario Hardesty picked up a mere 35 yards in his first two career starts - vs. Florida (14 yards on 17 carries) and Marshall (21 yards on 8 carries) in 2007.

RUSH YARDS IN FIRST TWO STARTS

387: Jamal Lewis in 1997 (155 vs. Ole Miss, 232 vs. Georgia)

281: Jay Graham in 1995 (144 vs. East Carolina, 137 vs. Georgia)

273: Arian Foster in 2005 (148 vs. S. Carolina, 125 vs. Notre Dame)

272: Tauren Poole in 2010 (110 vs. UT Martin, 162 vs. Oregon)

264: Travis Henry in 1998 (197 vs. Arkansas, 67 vs. Kentucky)

182: LaMarcus Coker in 2006 (125 vs. Memphis, 57 vs. Georgia)

180: Cedric Houston in 2002 (106 vs. Wyoming, 74 vs. MTSU)

157: Gerald Riggs in 2004 (118 vs. Ole Miss, 39 vs. Alabama)

149: Travis Stephens in 1998 (107 vs. Georgia, 42 vs. Alabama)

35: Montario Hardesty in 2007 (14 vs. Florida, 21 vs. Marshall)


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