Vols to get physical

In his ongoing attempt to build a more physical football team, UT head man Phillip Fulmer has scheduled five preseason scrimmages this preseason.

The Vols begin practice this Saturday. The first scrimmage will be Aug. 14, just two days after the first day of two-a-day workouts (Aug. 12).

Tennessee was a very physical football team in 1998, when it won the national title, but the Vols have become more finesse-oriented -- and less successful -- in the interim. Since going 13-0 in '98, the Big Orange has slipped to 9-3, 8-4, 11-2, 8-5 and 10-3 ... a combined mark of 46-17 and a winning percentage of .714.

Fans may remember that Fulmer vowed to field a more physical team last August, too. After piling up big rushing totals in Games 1 and 2 vs. Fresno State and Marshall, however, the Vols lapsed back into their old patterns. They managed just 4 rushing yards in Game 5 at Auburn, 61 rushing yards in Game 6 vs. Georgia and 38 rushing yards in Game 13 vs. Clemson -- losing all three.

Tennessee is in desperate need of a more physical running attack in 2004, since the ground attack must take some pressure off of the Vols' new quarterback. As offensive coordinator Randy Sanders recently noted: ''We need a productive run game because we don't have Casey (Clausen) to bail us out anymore.''


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