Fundamental, physical practice

The Tennessee Volunteers were hard at work trying to improve Tuesday morning on campus in Knoxville. Sign up or log in now to get the latest in practice coverage from InsideTennessee.com.

The Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division could stand on its own as one of the premier leagues in the country with No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 South Carolina and No. 10 Florida all undefeated. Then, there's the other half of the division with Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Vanderbilt all hunting their first SEC victory this fall.

The Volunteers (3-2, 0-2 SEC) would like nothing more than to storm back into the race to Atlanta. Their backs are against the wall and another league loss would seemingly eliminate them from SEC championship contention. After a bye this week, the road takes them to Starkville to play Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0).

The Bulldogs travel to Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) before hosting the Big Orange on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m.

While the 51-44 loss to Georgia on Saturday wasn't what Tennessee needed to get it where it wants to go, several positives can be extracted from the trip to Sanford Stadium.

The most glaring step forward is the perseverance the Orange & White showed to take a 30-27 first-half lead after falling behind 17 points in front of a sea of red nearly 93,000 Bulldog fans strong.

Coach Derek Dooley knows his Pro-Style offense can't be truly effective unless the ground game is clicking. Behind tailback Rajion Neal's 23-carry, 104-yard performance, the team netted 197 rushing yards.

Led by likely first-round NFL Draft selection Jarvis Jones, Georgia has one of the more talented defenses in the SEC. Yet, their lone sack came on quarterback Tyler Bray's fourth-quarter fumble near the line of scrimmage. Jones was rendered a virtual non-factor, thanks primarily to the play of Vol left tackle Antonio Richardson.

After being gashed with numerous big plays early in the contest, the Tennessee defense stepped up in the final quarter, keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard and to 16 yards.

The Vols took Monday off and got back to work Tuesday morning with a physical session. To see what their head coach and several players said after practice on Haslam Field, click on the videos below:

Derek Dooley

Ben Bartholomew

Justin Coleman

Tyler Bray

Antonio "Tiny" Richardson

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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