Notes: Defense steps up

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The staff of beat reporters hasn't missed a Tennessee football practice since Josh Woodward took over as the magazine and website's publisher.

Stationed at various parts of Neyland Stadium the crew is taking in the Volunteer workouts with a watchful eye to keep its site subscribers as educated on the Big Orange as possible.

Saturday morning was no different as InsideTennessee ventured to another spring practice to get as much information, photographs and video footage as possible.

Here's a look at what stuck out to us:

  • The Vols took to Neyland Stadium Saturday morning for their second scrimmage of spring practice, which proved to be mainly situational. Butch Jones and his staff focused on a lot of overtime scenarios.
  • The usual suspects were non participants for Saturday's workout. Jacob Carter, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tom Smith, Justin Meredith and Allan Carson were all lead through various abdominal exercises and other work by linebacker Curt Maggitt. Left tackle Tiny Richardson was fully dressed, but he did not participate.
  • Wide receiver Vincent Dallas was injured on a kickoff return drill. Butch Jones added after practice that it wasn't serious. He didn't return to action.
  • Freshman wideout Paul Harris came up limping after a hamstring injury on a deep pass route. he didn't return either.
  • From the offensive side…

  • Mack Crowder was a great example of a player-led team Saturday. The No. 2 offensive line had a rough day, but Crowder was a leader after every series bringing his teammates together to correct mistakes.
  • Justin Worley had a quarterback-keeper touchdown in an overtime period and running back Marlin Lane punched in a two-yard run for the game-tying two-point conversion in that particular situation.
  • Quarterback Nathan Peterman had a game-winning touchdown in overtime delivered to walk-on wide receiver Sam Cranford just inside the checkerboard.
  • Overall, the offense sputtered under both quarterback and running backs struggled to find holes most of the day. Alden Hill had a long run and tacked on a few more yards after a horse-collar penalty.
  • From the defensive side…

  • Freshman linebacker Corey Vereen had a sack in the scrimmage, but three plays later he was involved in a fight and thrown off the field. He returned later on in what Jones called a great coaching moment.
  • Defensive end Corey Miller had a nice sack coming off the edge against the No. 2 offensive line.
  • Jordan Williams was able to record a sack on a fourth down that won the game in that particular situation. That also came against the No. 2 offensive line.
  • Geraldo Orta had several bone-crushing hits for the No. 2 defense, including a jarring hit on running back Alden Hill on a screen pass that could be heard in various Knoxville suburbs.
  • Check out InsideTennessee's slideshow of the action from Shields-Watkins Field below (click to enlarge):

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