Thursday Practice Report

Tennessee has certainly put the past behind them as they look forward to Saturday's game against Marshall. Phillip Fulmer echoed those very same sentiments following Thursday's practice.

"I think we've had a good week of practice," said Fulmer. "I think our team appreciates the fact that we're going to have a lot stiffer challenge in this ballgame than we had in the first game."

The versatility of senior Mark Jones is something else Fulmer discussed after the team's work-out.

Jones will play wide receiver, safety, and punt returner for the second consecutive week. With all of the action Jones will see, it's clear Fulmer will have to choose his spots wisely. The only question is, 'when will Fulmer decide to sit Jones on the sidelines to give him a breather?'

"To me I'd rather let him rest on offense or defense than to take him off special teams," said Fulmer. "That's as big a transfer of yardage as there is in the game."

On the defensive side of the football, Fulmer expects to welcome two players back from injury. Senior strong safety Gibril Wilson sprained his ankle in the opener. He should be in the starting rotation again on Saturday.

Sophomore defensive tackle J.T. Mapu returns from a sprained knee.

The only player whose status is questionable is sophomore running back Gerald Riggs. Riggs has not practiced this week because of a sprained ankle suffered versus Fresno St.

The special teams unit is not in question. However, that doesn't mean questions won't arise down the road concerning which players to take on the road.

NCAA rules mandate a team can only travel with 70 players. Currently the Vols have three players with kicking responsibilities.

Dustin Colquitt handles the punts, Ryan Fusco kicks off, and James Wilhoit takes care of the field goals and points after.

"One of the concerns I have down the road is 70," Fulmer said.

On the bright side, the amazing story of Ryan Fusco continues to run its course. Fulmer commended his sophomore kicker for what he did Saturday in his first game as a Vol.

"Fusco did a good job in the ballgame when he had his chance," Fulmer said. "We'll continue that way and see how it works out."

Tennessee has a walk through scheduled for tomorrow at Neyland Stadium.


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