Young likes Bama gameplan

No one was happier to hear that Tennessee will emphasize the running game this weekend against Alabama than Vol offensive tackle Sean Young.

No wonder. Young endured a nightmare evening trying to pass-protect against Georgia's David Pollack in Game 6. Young was called for a holding penalty that nullified a 59-yard first-quarter touchdown pass from Casey Clausen to C.J. Fayton. Young also was victimized when Pollack slipped by him in the third quarter and hit Clausen as he threw, causing a costly interception.

So, Young is understandably happy that the Vols are planning on running more and throwing less this weekend.

''I ain't saying we haven't tried enough runs,'' he said, ''but we haven't run the ball a lot the past few games. We've been put in situations that we might need to do stuff we're not used to doing to protect our zones. I don't care if we have 85 plays and 80 of them are runs. We need to run the ball.

After a brief pause, Young continued:

''I think we'll go back to the stuff we usually do -- run the ball, play-action pass ... keep it simple instead of confusing everything ... shorten the playbook down and do the things we're the best at doing.''

Asked if simplifying the playbook suggests that the Vols tried to do too much earlier in the season, Young hedged a bit.

''I don't know if we tried to do too much stuff,'' he said, ''but I think we'll just concentrate on the stuff we're real good at.''

That raises an interesting question: What exactly is this Vol offense good at?

''We're usually real good at running the ball,'' Young said. ''If we have 20 to 30 rushes in a game, we usually do pretty good.''

From all indications, the Vols will rush at least 30 times against Alabama. That's fine with Young, his fellow linemen and his line coach, Jimmy Ray Stephens.

''When Coach Stephens came into the meeting room (earlier this week), he was all fired up that we were going to get to run the ball this week,'' Young said. ''That's good for us. Instead of us taking the hit on pass protection, we get to hit someone in run-blocking.''

Coming off a 41-14 loss to Georgia, Young admitted that overcoming such an ugly disappointment has been tough.

''It's real hard ... real hard,'' he said. ''Going home last weekend and getting away from football was a big deal to me. I didn't watch no games on Saturday. I had a chance to just spend time with my family, eat home-cooked meals and visit nieces and nephews and friends, and NOT talk about football.''

Once the Vols recharged their batteries, they seem to have returned to the practice field with a newfound resolve.

''We need a win bad,'' Young said. ''It's going to be a tough one -- going down to Alabama -- but we need a good, quality win.''


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