Monday Practice Notebook

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What Rivalry?

Someone might need to fill freshman wide receiver Justin Hunter in on the history of the Kentucky and Tennessee rivalry. Hunter doesn't seem to know anything at all about the blue and white.

"I don't know anything," Hunter said of the rivalry. "They recruited me out of high school, but that's about all I know."

Hunter got his first new bit of information on Kentucky when a member of the Knoxville media informed the receiver that the Volunteers have won the last 25 meetings between the two teams. His response …

"I guess it's going to be twenty-six."

Playoff Time in Tennessee

With a bowl game standing directly behind the Kentucky Wildcats the football Vols are in a playoff mindset, something that is a throwback to their earlier playing days.

"It's like playoffs in high school, win or go home," Gerald Jones said. "As an athlete, a competitor, you enjoy that, it's something you want – a challenge."

The senior wide receiver knows the boys in blue won't lay down easily, acknowledging that Kentucky is always a skirmish.

"When you are in the game it's a dogfight and usually every year with Kentucky it is. That's what we are preparing for."

Missing Montori

Derek Dooley informed members of the media that the Vols will be without second-year defensive tackle Montori Hughes Saturday, when the team meets Kentucky, due to an academic suspension. With the ranks already thin on the interior of the defensive line Dooley is certain Hughes will be missed.

"We are so thin and unproductive at defensive tackle, so anybody we loose there hurts the team," Dooley said.

"We have an academic accountability system that they understand and they know the consequences. Everybody can do what they want, everyone has freedom of choice, but nobody has freedom of consequence and at some point you can't play."

Williams Working Hard

Only two weeks after being benched for freshman Corey Miller, Gerald Williams is coming off his best game in the orange and white. Derek Dooley says Williams should be an example to all players.

"Here is a senior and all of a sudden we start Corey Miller over you. It goes back to your attitude," Dooley said. "What are you going to do about it?"

"Here's Gerald, comes out with a better attitude and out-plays Corey in the game he got benched, got his job back and has the best game of his career (last week)."

Williams recorded eight tackles, one sack and a blocked field goal during last week's game with Vanderbilt. The senior also had a pick-six nullified by a defensive penalty and was named SEC defensive lineman of the week.

Dooley Grateful

The seniors on Derek Dooley's first team at Tennessee have gone through more than most could bare, multiple coaches, multiple systems and countless ups and down, but they have been pivotal in Dooley's transition.

"They have been through something like no other class in Tennessee history," Dooley said. "I just appreciate all of them for embracing a third way of doing things in three years – that's not easy.


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