Scrimmage highlights

Improved pressure from the front four and tighter coverage from the secondary enabled Tennessee's defensive units to do a much better job shutting down the pass in full-scale scrimmage No. 2 Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

After allowing more than 400 passing yards a week earlier – including TD bombs of 69 and 65 yards – the defensive backs looked much better this time. Although the secondary allowed completions covering 56, 41 and 38 yards, only the middle one produced a touchdown. Moreover, first-team safeties Antwan Stewart and Jonathan Hefney registered interceptions.

Redshirt freshman tailback Ja'Kouri Williams missed the scrimmage due to a sore knee and freshman tailback Montario Hardesty left the scrimmage after taking a hit to an already bruised thigh on his first carry. Both players should be back at practice this week.

First-team guard Rob Smith worked at center with the first unit, while Anthony Parker worked with the second-team. Michael Frogg and freshman Josh McNeil also made some snaps as the Vols try to adjust following recent injuries to their top two centers, Richie Gandy and David Ligon.

What follows are the scrimmage highlights on both sides of the ball:

- Jason Allen made a big hit on Chris Hannon to break up a quick out on the first play of the scrimmage.

- Jason Hall sacked Erik Ainge for a six-yard loss.

- Gerald Riggs bolted 14 yards on his first carry of the evening.

- Fullback Cory Anderson rambled 16 yards, showcasing a spin move along the way.

- Hall sacked Ainge for a four-yard loss.

- James Wilhoit nailed a 46-yard field goal.

- Xavier Mitchell sacked Rick Clausen for a six-yard loss.

- Clausen hit Robert Meachem with a 20-yard pass that Meachem turned into a 56-yard gain.

- Clausen hit Bret Smith for 13 yards.

- Casey Woods attempted a pass off a fake field goal but the defense had the play tightly covered and batted the ball incomplete.

- Ainge makes a super throw to freshman Josh Briscoe for a 38-yard gain.

- Two plays after nearly intercepting a pass, Antwan Stewart intercepted a throw over the middle by Ainge and returned it roughly 40 yards.

- Clausen hit tight end Brad Cottam for an 18-yard gain.

- Freshman LaMarcus Coker made a nice cut en route to a nine-yard gain.

- Clausen hit freshman Lucas Taylor with a perfectly thrown 41-yard touchdown pass.

- A resounding hit by freshman safety Adam Myers-White separated Coker from the ball.

- Coker made a nifty cutback and streaked 12 yards.

- Jim Bob Cooter, battling for the No. 3 quarterback job, hit freshman Slick Shelley for a 40-yard gain.

- Cooter connected with Shelley on a quick hitch, and the freshman made a quick cut and dived into the end zone to complete a nine-yard scoring play.

- Xavier Mitchell batted a pass thrown by Clausen.

- Antonio Reynolds stormed in from his end position to dump Arian Foster for a four-yard loss.

- Coker took a short pass from Ainge, broke two tackles and rambled 17 yards.

- Freshman defensive tackle Demonte Bolden threw Coker for a four-yard loss.

- Clausen found Bret Smith for a 14-yard gain.

- Punter Britton Colquitt, bidding to be the No. 2 kicker, booted a 50-yard field goal.

- Bill Grimes made a super diving catch of a throw from Clausen for a 12-yard gain.

- Showing his combativeness, freshman center Josh McNeil went after a defender he felt tried to cheap-shot him, only to be restrained by an official. This occurred on McNeil's third snap of the scrimmage.

- Wilhoit hit a 40-yard field goal.

- Clausen found Meachem for a gain of 13 yards.

- Safety Jonathan Hefney made a nice break on the ball to intercept a throw over the middle by Clausen.

- Linebacker Daniel Brooks brought a resounding halt to the scrimmage with a huge hit on reserve quarterback Dylan Dickey, resulting in a five-yard sack.

The scrimmage also included some goal line work. The highlights included:

- Wilhoit hit a 28-yard field goal.

- Ryan Fusco hit a 20-yard field goal.

- Ainge completed a two-point conversion pass to Bret Smith, even though the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

- Wilhoit hit a 29-yard field goal, missed a 41-yarder, then hit a 41-yarder.

- Fusco missed from 52 yards.

- Colquitt missed from 52 yards.

- Wilhoit connected from 52 yards.


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