Recalling '03 game

Because he was redshirting last fall, Rob Smith didn't play in the 2003 Tennessee-Auburn game. But he watched from the Vol sideline as the Tigers rolled to a 21-0 lead en route to a 28-21 victory.

''It was definitely disappointing. We came back at the end but we basically got beat the whole game, man for man,'' Smith recalled. ''I'm playing this year, and I don't want to leave the game rushing for seven yards again.''

Actually, the Vols' net rushing total was four yards that evening.

''Hopefully, it'll be completely different this year,'' Smith said.

It SHOULD be. Tennessee is averaging 263.3 rushing yards per game thus far, suggesting its ground game is vastly superior to a year ago.

One reason for the improved rushing attack is the play of Smith, now the starting left guard. He's determined to help the Vols establish a consistent running game in the rematch with Auburn Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

''I'm just going out there and do my thing,'' he said. ''Just do what comes natural.''


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