Monday Practice Report

Tennessee returned to the practice field for the first time since defeating South Carolina in overtime on Saturday. The Vols might be undefeated, but head coach Phillip Fulmer thinks his team is capable of being much better.

"Maybe we're not really that good," said Fulmer. "I think that's probably more the case than anything. We're a pretty good team fighting hard to get wins."

Tennessee will certainly be challenged this week as they hit the road to take on a team many predicted to win the SEC.

"We've got the biggest challenge of the year coming up against a really fine Auburn football team that seems to be playing really well right now," Fulmer said.

Auburn got out of the gates slowly losing to USC and Georgia Tech. However, they are still firmly in the mix to capture a conference crown. It's their defense, not their running game that catches Fulmer's eye.

"Defensively, this is the best team that we will have played this year at this point," Fulmer said.

Oddly enough, Tennessee's defense might be just as big of an obstacle for the Tigers. Saturday's game kept the unit on the field a bit longer than expected.

"Defensively we ran more plays than we're accustomed to playing," Fulmer said. "There were 74 official and about 90 unofficial counting penalties."

According to Fulmer, freshman defensive lineman Justin Harrell is questionable. Yet, his return is imminent.

"We set a goal for Georgia and that's what we're looking at," Fulmer said.

Fulmer also took some time to praise Robert Peace, one of his defensive warriors. Peace has been in the program for four years. Injuries have plagued the Louisiana native from day one though. However, it finally looks as if Peace is going to put a complete season together.

"He's as tough a guy as we've had here at middle linebacker," Fulmer said. "He's become an exceptional tackler for us."

Chuck Prugh was absent from practice again on Monday, too. However, the reason for his absence could be serious and is yet to be determined.

"Chuck Prugh is in the hospital," Fulmer said. "We're not sure what we're dealing with. It may be a virus. He missed last Thursday and Friday, and obviously wasn't there for the game. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and we hope the community will do the same. It's tough right now. We're hopeful they'll identify what it is soon and he'll be on the road to recovery."

Tuesday is media day for UT. Practice is scheduled for the afternoon.

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