Thursday Practice Report

The Tennessee Volunteers walked off the practice field on Thursday afternoon with their sights set on playing in a game for the first time in nearly two weeks. Tennessee and Alabama will face off on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. Neither team has had the season they had hoped for, making this showdown all the more important.

"Both teams need a win," said Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer. "I'm hopeful we can be consistent. At times we've been good with some things that we've done. I just want to put it all together, defensively, offensively, and in the kicking game."

Fulmer hopes to show off a bit of a revamped special teams unit, too. Corey Larkins and Gerald Riggs will both return kicks. Chris Hannon may also have an opportunity to show what he can do as a punt returner.

The ongoing competition between Phillip Newman and Ryan Fusco continues. Both kickers have had their moments. However, Newman is on the 70 player traveling roster this week.

It's no surprise that James Banks is traveling with the team. Banks may be the team's best wide receiver. What is interesting is that Banks is listed as a quarterback and receiver for this weekend's game. Whether or not Banks will see any snaps remains to be seen.

As far as scouting Alabama, Fulmer mentioned how he had talked with Ol' Miss head coach David Cutcliffe this week. Cutcliffe was the Vols offensive coordinator during the late nineties. The Rebels beat the Tide soundly last weekend.

Finally, Fulmer offered up some wishful thinking concerning Tennessee's SEC Championship hopes.

"We've still got a chance," said Fulmer. "Who knows what's going to happen. We play like we're capable of playing and I think we've got a good football team. We've got a chance if Florida helps us out a little bit. We could be right back in the middle of that thing in the SEC. You play well the rest of the season and who knows what's going to happen. It's just one of those years where we control our own destiny to some degree."


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