Defense hoping for big showing

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After getting gashed for yards through the air and on the ground in the first scrimmage of training camp, the Tennessee defense is looking forward to getting another shot at the Vol offense Friday evening in Neyland Stadium.

The Tennessee D created minimal pressure with just four sacks in the first scrimmage at Science Hill (Tenn.) High School the Vols are focused on rushing the passer during Friday's scrimmage.

"There is a big emphasis," defensive end Steven Fowlkes said. "I feel like that is the key to having a great defense is having a good pass rush and that's what we are trying to work on right now."

Fowlkes, who was originally recruited as a wide receiver to Rocky Top, has bulked up to 270 pounds and looks to have carved himself out a key role in the defense in third down and passing situations.

Fowlkes, a redshirt senior, addressed the media following Thursday's practice at Haslam Field. Watch this video interview from InsideTennessee.com:

Corey Miller, who Dooley noted brings similar skills to that of Fowlkes, is another Vol that has found himself a role rushing the quarterback in passing situations.

"I love the pass rush," Miller told the media Thursday. "I love it man. I have a knack for it and I hope I can contribute."

The former Byrnes (S.C.) High School star finished his 2011 season with 15 tackles and two tackles for loss in 12 games. Miller was suspended this past spring following troubles in the classroom, but was able to rejoin the team for fall camp.

Watch as Miller addressed the media following Thursday's practice on his role in Sal Sunseri's new 3-4 defense:

One player that won't join the Vols defense for Friday's scrimmage in Neyland Stadium is middle linebacker Herman Lathers, who is struggling with soreness and fatigue through 14 days of training camp.

With Lathers forced to sit out, it could force sophomore linebacker Curt Maggitt to play multiple positions as well as make defensive calls, but Maggitt will also put his hand in the dirt and get after quarterbacks Tyler Bray and Justin Worley.

Maggitt, who is slotted as the starting SAM linebacker finished, his 2011 season with eights tackles for loss and 56 tackles. Watch his comments following Thursday's practice in Knoxville:

Chris Price is a staff writer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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