Fulmer previews scrimmage

Maybe they were distracted by the heat. Maybe they were distracted by thoughts of Saturday's scrimmage. Whatever the reason, the Tennessee Vols came up short on the practice field Friday for the second time this week.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer, who also panned Wednesday's morning workout, said Friday that, "I think we're going to be a pretty darned good football team but we didn't look like it today. We let the sun get to us, I think… We didn't practice with the intensity we need to practice with to be the kind of team we're talking about trying to be."

Fortunately for the Vols, Saturday brings a chance for redemption. The first full-scale scrimmage of the preseason provides players a golden opportunity to make a positive impression on the coaching staff.

Fulmer said he plans to "take a great look at the kicking game" in the scrimmage, adding that he's also looking for better play from the Vol defensive front. UT's defensive line dominated in spring practice but that may have been partly because several key offensive linemen were sidelined or limited by injuries.

"Hopefully, our defensive front will hold their ground better than they did when we scrimmaged the first time," Fulmer said, referring to a 40-play scrimmage last Monday. "I want to see them winning more of those one-on-one battles."

The head man said proven players will see very little action in the scrimmage, specifically mentioning tailback Gerald Riggs, fullback Cory Anderson, offensive linemen Rob Smith, Cody Douglas and Arron Sears, defensive end Parys Haralson and cornerback Jason Allen.

Although the Sept. 3 opener is still three weeks away, Fulmer said the staff needs to begin zeroing in on the 70 players who will comprise UT's travel roster since games 2 and 3 are at Florida and LSU, respectively. Thus, Saturday's scrimmage could be crucial to some players who are battling for spots on the travel squad.

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