Tuesday Practice Report

KNOXVILLE -Tennessee's next match-up on the gridiron is their toughest to date. However, in the words of head coach Phillip Fulmer, "With challenges come opportunities." With that being said, the Auburn Tigers certainly present a challenge.

"The history of this game having gone through it as a player, an assistant coach, and now as a head coach, it‚s always been a tough game," said Fulmer.

The brutality of Auburn's running attack shell-shocked Tennessee down on the plains in the early stages of last year's game. However, Fulmer believes the Tigers have actually gotten better since their meeting in 2003.

"Auburn's made significant improvement on the offensive side of the football," said Fulmer.

In order in ensure there won't be a repeat of last season's showdown, the Vols will need a good showing from their defense.

According to Fulmer, a lot is riding on what middle linebacker Jon Poe has to offer.

"Jon's good against the run," Fulmer said. "Jon's done very well. He gives us what we're looking for."

In addition to praising Auburn's offense, Fulmer thinks much more of his troops on that side of the ball, too. He looks to his wide receivers as the group that's come the farthest.

"They've matured," Fulmer said. "They're talented. We couldn't run the football last year, so we couldn't throw it either."

On the injury front, Kevin Burnett was in pads on Tuesday but wasn't seen practicing. It looks like he will be able to give it a go on Saturday though. Burnett said the only thing that would keep him out of the game was if he was in a bodybag. Jonathan Hefney joined Derrick Tinsley and Brad Cottam in green no-contact jerseys. Hefney is nursing a sore shoulder.

In the secondary, John Chavis noted he plans to start Roshaun Fellows at cornerback and Brandon Johnson at strong safety. Corey Campbell is the team's nickel back.


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