Tuesday Practice Report

After the big win over Miami on Saturday, the Vols look like they have put the success of last weekend behind them as they now look ahead to their next challenge.

"I think our kids are very focused right now on Mississippi State," said Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer. "We changed the practice schedule around a little bit just to break the monotony. It broke the routine and it made them focus on what they had to do."

The Vols have a new swagger about them after notching their seventh win of the season. Most noteably, the defense has improved by leaps and bounds. Fulmer believes that his team is now making it tougher on opposing offenses to get where they want to go.

"We were letting people have things that they really didn't earn," Fulmer said. "Whether it was a cut back lane that wasn't filled, or a bootleg that wasn't covered. It was just too easy for people to stay on the field. We've gotten a lot better with our consistency."

Specifically, the defensive tackle position is a sign of how much better the team has gotten in the last couple of weeks. The two starters are leading the charge, too.

"J.T. Mapu and Mondre Dickerson have improved alot," Fulmer said. "The rest of them have improved some. The others, not nearly to that degree. They will someday, but not now."

On the offensive line, Fulmer continues to like what he sees from true freshman Arron Sears. Sears has seen some very meaningful playing time late in a couple of big ballgames, including last weeks game versus Miami.

"He should be playing more than he's playing," said Fulmer "We haven't had very many games to put a freshman out there. I don't have any problem at all putting him in a ballgame at either tackle."

On the injury front, it doesn't look like Rashad Baker will be back this weekend according to Fulmer.

"I don't think he'll be available," Fulmer said. Baker has missed the last two games with a knee injury.

The Vols practice again on Wednesday and Thursday before Friday's walk through at Neyland Stadium.


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