Clausen reflects on 'crazy' day

With 10 completions in 13 attempts for 159 yards and two touchdowns, Tennessee quarterback Rick Clausen clearly was "in the zone" Saturday afternoon. For a while, though, it appeared to be The Twilight Zone.

On the first play of the full-scale scrimmage, center David Ligon suffered a high-ankle sprain that caused a three-minute delay. Six plays later lightning struck the Neyland Stadium area, forcing a 72-minute delay.

So, after two delays and just seven plays, the Vols moved into the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex to complete the bizarre scrimmage.

"It was a little crazy," Clausen said. "We knew when we heard the rumblings off in the distance that we'd either have to come inside or wait it out."

Asked if having to play most of the scrimmage indoors took any of the edge off the proceedings, Clausen shook his head. In fact, he's hoping to play inside again this year.

"If we play the SEC Championship Game, we'll play IT inside," he said. "No matter where we have to play – if we have to play on asphalt – then that's what we have to do."

Clausen's passing was very sharp for a first scrimmage. Even he gave his performance a positive review.

"I did pretty well," he said. "There was maybe one or two throws where it didn't go exactly where I wanted it to go but, for the first scrimmage, this is a great teaching tape. This is the time when you should make your biggest strides – especially at the quarterback position – between the first scrimmage and the second."

Clausen wasn't the only offensive player who had a big day. Fellow quarterback Erik Ainge was 11 of 17 for 130 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman tailback Arian Foster had a 40-yard run. Junior receiver Bret Smith caught six passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Freshmen wideouts Josh Briscoe (six for 99) and Lucas Taylor (four for 95) also enjoyed productive afternoons.

"We had some good plays," Clausen said. "Guys stepped up, including some guys you probably hadn't heard of very much. That's the best part about scrimmaging; you get guys who've probably never been heard of coming out and making plays."

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