Has Sanders learned his lesson?

Randy Sanders spent six years (1993-98) assisting Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe before succeeding him when Cutcliffe left to become head man at Ole Miss in '99.

With the Vols and Rebels meeting Saturday night in Oxford, Sanders was asked to pinpoint the major lessons he learned from his predecessor.

''Two things,'' Sanders said. ''One is preparation. When you have a plan, you prepare that plan, then you prepare a Plan B and in some cases you prepare a Plan C.

''The other thing is patience. I thought one of the best things we did last week (in a 19-14 upset of Georgia) was we were really patient with what we were doing offensively.''

Basically, Tennessee showed its patience by sticking with the running game, even when it wasn't clicking. The ploy led Georgia to crowd the line of scrimmage, and that opened up some passing opportunities later on. Of course, had Georgia jumped to a quick lead -- as Auburn did a week earlier -- Tennessee would've been forced to go with an all-out passing attack in an effort to come from behind.

''The defense played well enough that the score stayed where we could be patient,'' Sanders said. ''That was the biggest difference between last week's game and the Auburn game.''

Can Sanders show similar patience against Cutcliffe, his former mentor? Fans will find out Saturday night.

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