"I was really happy with Gerald," head coach Phillip Fulmer said of his senior tailback's Game 1 performance. "He ran physical and hard but there were two or three opportunities for big runs in the game and we didn't get that. And we NEED that."
Riggs had bursts of 80 and 54 yards in the 2004 SEC Championship Game against Auburn. Those two runs accounted for 134 of his career-best 182 rushing yards that evening. If he's going to put up impressive numbers this year, he's going to have to pop some big gainers. He didn't do that vs. UAB.
"For a guy to have a 170-yard game or a 180-yard game or a 200-yard game, there's got to be a big play or two in there," Fulmer said. "He got all of it (his 110 yards) the tough way."
The Vols also need to get a little more out of redshirt freshman tailback Arian Foster tonight. He rushed five times for 23 yards in the opener and didn't fumble – a problem that cropped up in preseason scrimmages.
"I thought Arian did well," offensive coordinator Randy Sanders said. "I was pleased with what he did for his first real action. Obviously, it was limited action, so his challenge will be to do the same thing with more reps."
Asked what Foster must do to continue progressing, Sanders replied: "Keep running hard and not fumbling."