Gridders get a break

Tennessee concluded a short practice week with a midday workout Thursday at Haslam Field. The Vols practiced for more than 90 minutes around the lunch hour in order to allow team members the chance for a free weekend during the university's fall break.

"I think we've had a good open week and had a good week fundamentally," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "Obviously, we've gotten a good start on Alabama on both sides while continuing to work to improve our own execution."

Fulmer said the Vols, 3-2 overall and 2-2 SEC, were using the off week for a chance to heal bumps and bruises gained during the team's recent schedule of top-10 opponents. Tennessee is 1-2 against that competition thus far, with unbeaten Alabama expected to remain in the top 10 should the Tide defeat Mississippi in Oxford this weekend.

"We need a week off," Fulmer said. "We've got several guys that are a little bit nicked and bruised. With the schedule we've had, we've got some tired guys so these three days will be great for us."

The team will reconvene Sunday night at 9 p.m. before resuming practice preparations Monday.

"We certainly expected to be in a better position than what we are right now but as I've said a number of times, this is a tough, mature group of kids," Fulmer said. "We have good leadership on the team and the only way I know to get over a disappointment is to go to work and make something good happen that you can be more proud of."

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