Foster, Smith likely to play

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer said tailback Arian Foster and offensive guard Rob Smith both should receive the green light to play this weekend at Notre Dame after injures suffered against South Carolina left them questionable.

"Arian Foster and Rob Smith look like they are going to be able to play, which is good news," Fulmer said after Wednesday's 90-minute workout at Haslam Field. "We've had a number of guys who have battled like heck to get themselves healthy."

The Vols are trying to spring an upset this weekend against the fifth top-10 opponent they have faced this season. Four of those games have been on the road, as is the case for Saturday's 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Notre Dame Stadium.

One year ago, the Fighting Irish came to Neyland Stadium unranked but left bowl eligible after pulling the 17-13 upset of No. 9 Tennessee. Notre Dame's current national ranking is eighth by Associated Press and ninth by USA Today.

"We've had a good week," Fulmer said. "I believe the kids really are trying to push through the disappointment they've had. It's very important we go and play with the same kind of effort we've played with and make some plays against a really good Notre Dame football team."

Tennessee, 3-4, has dropped three straight games for the first time since 1992. Earlier this week, Randy Sanders announced he was relinquishing his offensive coordinator duties.

"Randy's done a great job of being really upbeat and excited about the challenge, and I think the kids have responded," Fulmer said.

"It's tough, I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's not. Its tough not because of the events because I think that was handled very well. Just being 3-4 -- that's not where we're accustomed to being and that's not what anybody wanted. But sometimes life doesn't go the way you wanted it to go and you have to keep fighting."

The official injury report is updated after Thursday's practice.

INJURY REPORT (Notre Dame Week): Probable -- C Richie Gandy (knee), DE Parys Haralson (knee), OT Arron Sears (toe); Questionable -- TB Arian Foster (knee/shoulder), OG Rob Smith (shoulder), TB Ja?Kouri Williams (knee).


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