Hyams on Game

The night before the Alabama game, Tennessee senior defensive end Parys Haralson wasn't sure he could play. He was running a fever and had a sore throat.

But Haralson knew what was at stake. He gutted it out the first half.

Exhausted at halftime, he told position coach Steve Caldwell he wasn't sure he could go anymore. So, the Vols started Xavier Mitchell at defensive end.

Next thing Caldwell knew, Haralson was in the game and wouldn't come out.

Haralson went on to record two sacks, bringing his season total to 5.5, third in the SEC. He has 9.5 tackles for loss, also third in the SEC. For his career, Haralson has 18.5 sacks, tops among active SEC players, and 40 tackles for loss.

``He's playing about as well as anyone I've ever had,'' Caldwell said. ``He's just so consistent. I've told you 100 times, it comes right from practice.''

Haralson isn't the only one having a special season. Jason Hall, also a senior, had two sacks against Alabama. This season, he has three sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.

``Parys and Jason as a tandem are probably playing as consistent as any two I've had, game in and game out,'' Caldwell said. ``They haven't had a bad game, knock on wood.''

Tennessee will need for Haralson and Hall to play well Saturday night against South Carolina. Kickoff is 7:45 p.m. on ESPN2.

Gamecock quarterback Blake Mitchell is No. 2 in the SEC in passing efficiency and he has an excellent target in 6-4 freshman Sidney Rice, who leads the league in receiving yards per game and receiving touchdowns (nine).

In the past, Haralson was known for near sacks and late hits. Now, he's making more plays than ever -and avoiding the personal fouls.

``It comes down to getting help from the other side,'' Caldwell said. ``They're pretty equal and can bring good pressure. They've stepped up. They're seniors. They should be playing well.''

Hall said Caldwell's remarks were a ``great compliment'' and that his play and Haralson's are the result of hard work.

Hall praised Haralson's effort against Alabama while ill.

``That just shows you what type of competitor he is,'' Hall said. ``He wasn't going to let anything keep him out. When you see that, it makes you want to play that much harder. He's giving his all for Tennessee and for the team, so it makes you want to do the same.''

Hall knows that UT's success against South Carolina depends on pressuring the quarterback.

``They're a timing offense so we'll have to do our best to disrupt that timing,'' Hall said. ``If they throw it to a spot on time, they're receivers are good enough to go get the ball.''

Front Four Applying Pressure

UT has recorded 19 sacks to rank among the SEC leaders. The Vols have done it without blitzing a great deal.

``John Chavis (defensive coordinator) has a lot of confidence in that front four,'' Caldwell said. ``He tells them every year, how much we get accomplished is what you four can get accomplished up front. We don't to have to blitz. Most of our blitz has dome from our three-down package, bringing an extra body.''

Inside Tennessee Top Stories