Saturday Scrimmage Report

KNOXVILLE-Tennessee's football team went through a brief kicking scrimmage on Saturday afternoon. However, the discussion following practice quickly turned to getting key players ready for next Sunday's game at key positions.

"We need another week," Fulmer said. "Anytime you're youthful at a couple of positions like we are, in the secondary and at quarterback, you're automatically looking at using every day that's given to us."

The talk of which quarterback to start has been a hot topic since Brent Schaeffer and Erik Ainge were named co-number one's. Yet, when asked about the subject, it still doesn't look like head coach Phillip Fulmer is in any rush to announce who his starter will be.

"I don't know," Fulmer said. "Right now it's day to day. They've had long meetings today. Your team would probably like to have one guy they can look to as the starter. The truth of it is they're both young. They're both talented and they both bring different things to the game. We may have to let that play itself out in the games.."

Fulmer also mentioned the quarterbacks will need to rely on the passing game in order to maximize the running attack.

"If we can make people respect our passing game enough than I think we can run the football," Fulmer said. "If we're going to allow eight and nine men in the box and not get anything done in the passing game it's going to be tough to run the ball."

Fulmer said he's tried to reach Peyton Manning to talk with him about the freshman quarterbacks. So far, his attempts have been unsuccessful. Fulmer did say he had an idea of what Manning was thinking, though.

"I‚m sure he's like everybody else," Fulmer said. "He's interested to see what happens."

Across the offensive line, the unit is taking shape. However, Albert Toeaina and Arron Sears, two possible starters are nursing injuries. Sears has a sprained toe, but has fought through the pain. Whether or not Toeaina will be ready for the opener is still unkown.

"I don't know what Albert's status is with his knee," Fulmer said. "Our depth is hurt if Albert can't go. We think what he has is a bruise on his tibia. That may be a week to ten days. He took a pretty good lick in the scrimmage."

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Fulmer likes the way the defensive line is coming around.

"I love what the three defensive tackles have done," Fulmer said. "(Tony) McDaniel, (Justin) Harrell, and Jesse Mahelona from a physical standpoint have taken the challenge. Parys (Haralson) is wide open all the time. Karlton (Neal), Jason Hall, and Turk (McBride) are all ready to play. We‚ve got to get Xavier Mitchell and Antonio Reynolds up to speed from that physical standpoint."

In the return game, Fulmer reiterated his intent to use Corey Larkins, Cedric Houston, Derrick Tinsley, and Jonathan Wade as kick returners. Wade, Tinsley, Larkins, Jon Hefney, and Jayson Swain are all being considered as punt returners, too.

Finally, Fulmer indicated he thought about half of the true freshman would see playing time this season.

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