Gandy due back Monday

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer said Wednesday he expects senior center Richie Gandy to be working full speed when the Vols return to practice from their open weekend. He made his comments after concluding the team's two-hour session at Haslam Field.

"I think he'll be ready on Monday, ready to go," Fulmer said. "He worked really hard to get back from his original injury and has worked hard again to get back from this one."

Gandy injured his knee in February during a campus intramural basketball game and underwent surgery March 4. During preseason drills on Aug. 18, the senior suffered a partial dislocation of the kneecap -- an injury that was unrelated to his previous mishap.

Gandy played in 11 games last season, making his first five career starts. His first career start was Oct. 30 against home state foe South Carolina. His only start at center came against Vanderbilt.

"Richie, when he came here, had a long way to go to be a Southeastern Conference lineman. He has worked his tail off since he's been here to have this opportunity and has turned into a good player. To have the misfortune of missing the first game, hes sure handled it well."

The Vols practiced for their second day of the open week Wednesday.

"We've had two days of getting back into it much better as far as our tempo and what we're trying to get done," Fulmer said. "We obviously had a lot to correct from the first game and a lot to look forward to as far as getting ready for Florida."

The Gators won 32-14 in their opener against Wyoming and host Louisiana Tech Saturday.

"I wouldn't call them vanilla at all against Wyoming," Fulmer said. "It's an offense that uses the whole field and you've got to be ready to defend the whole field.

"It's like playing the old veer or wishbone teams. You've got somebody for the dive, somebody for the quarterback and somebody for the pitch. Throw in the screens and reverses and it gets challenging -- and the deep balls, play action, the nakeds -- there is a lot to it."


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