Meachem makes mark

The eagerly anticipated debut of redshirt freshman receiver Robert Meachem saw him catch just one pass in Tennessee's Game 1 defeat of Nevada-Las Vegas. That was the bad news. The good news: It went for a 35-yard touchdown.

This raises an obvious question: Might fans see a lot more of Meachem in Game 2 Saturday night vs. Florida?

''If Meachem gets it one time and makes a touchdown, that's probably OK,'' offensive coordinator Randy Sanders quipped this week. ''We probably should've gotten it to him twice and let him score two touchdowns.''

Sanders was handicapped in 2002 and 2003 by a shortage of big-play threats at the wide receiver position. That isn't the case in 2004. In addition to Meachem's TD grab, C.J. Fayton caught a 42-yard touchdown pass vs. UNLV. Chris Hannon, Jayson Swain, Bret Smith and Derrick Tinsley also have the ability to score from anywhere on the field.

The question is: Now that Sanders has some big-play threats at his disposal, how often will he try to capitalize on their dynamic abilities?

''A lot depends on how much you accomplish when those guys get the ball in their hands,'' he said. ''Obviously, we want to get it in their hands as much as we can to give them (big-play) opportunities.

''Players win games. As coaches, you try to get your guys in position to make plays but they still have to go out there and make the plays.''


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