Monday Practice Report: Vols get ready for Gators

Florida week has a different feel to it. Ask anybody and you'll get the same answer. With that being said, the Vols hit the practice field for the first time since last Thursday in preparation for a game that has plenty riding on its outcome.

"This is for a lot of the marbles," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I feel excited. How do you not get excited about playing a good team like Florida at home."

Fulmer indicated the off week came at a good time as far as healing some injuries.

Running back Cedric Houston practiced on Monday after injuring his ankle in Tennessee‚s season opener against UNLV. However, not every Vol will be ready to go when Saturday rolls around.

"It looks like we're going to be reasonably healthy," Fulmer said. "There's several guys I'd like to have back for this type of game."

Fulmer was probably alluding to James Banks, Antwan Stewart, and Marvin Mitchell who are both out for the season because of knee surgeries. Albert Toeaina won't play either. Toeaina has been plagued by a bruised knee. His status is week-to-week. Bret Smith didn't practice on Monday either. He has been slowed by an ailing toe. Smith's status is unknown.

Injuries are just one of the things Fulmer doesn't have control over. Weather is something else that is out of his hands. Hurricane Ivan could dump some precipitation on the field during the game. Fulmer said his team is readying itself as if it will rain.

"We'll do extra wet ball drills during the week," Fulmer said. "We're anticipating doing all that we can."

Finally, Florida's quarterback, Chris Leak provides several challenges for the Vols defense.

"That (pressure on the quarterback) has to happen for us to have success," Fulmer said. "Chris Leak is a very good passer, a very accurate passer. He's matured. He understands the system better and does a good job of getting the ball out faster."

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