Vandy to be pumped up?

Phillip Fulmer has seen the Tennessee-Vanderbilt rivalry from both sides, so he's convinced the Commodores will be fired up for Saturday's game at Neyland Stadium.

Fulmer spent the 1979 season as offensive line coach at Vandy, so UT's head man knows first-hand how pumped the Dores get when UT is the opponent.

''There's a great passion to beat Tennessee,'' he said. ''Having been on both sides of the fence, I know it makes their season if they can (upset the Vols).''

The Commodores are coming off a 28-17 defeat of Kentucky that snapped a 23-game SEC losing streak. Asked if that win might motivate Vandy, Fulmer shrugged.

''I don't think they need it,'' he said.

Asked if he's concerned that Vandy is long overdue to beat Tennessee -- the Vols have won the last 20 meetings in a row -- Fulmer shook his head.

''I don't think about the streak until you guys (media) bring it up. We just take each game as it comes, let each game stand on its own.''

Tennessee could be hurting at offensive tackle this weekend. Sean Young missed last weekend's game with Mississippi State due to a sprained ankle and remains slowed. Freshman Arron Sears filled in for Young but went down with a sprain of his own midway through the game. If neither can play this weekend, Fulmer said he'll move Cody Douglas from guard to tackle, then start Chavis Smith and Anthony Herrera at the guard spots. Richie Gandy has made progress and could see action as a backup tackle.

Although Georgia appears to have the inside track for the SEC East title and a bid to the league championship game in Atlanta, Fulmer isn't ready to concede defeat.

''Atlanta is one of our goals every year, but it's out of our hands,'' he said. ''All we can concern ourselves with is getting better.''


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