1000 yards for Arian?

Just as a little giblet gravy can spice up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, a little sidelight could spice up Saturday's football game between SEC also-rans Kentucky (3-7) and Tennessee (4-6).

That sidelight: Arian Foster's quest for 1,000 rushing yards.

Foster has just 765 yards with one game remaining, so many observers don't give him even an outside shot at a 1,000-yard season. But they're wrong.

Consider this: Foster rushed for 223 yards last weekend against Vanderbilt. If he can top that figure by a mere 12 yards – against the SEC's worst rushing defense – he will hit the 1,000 mark.

The catch? Foster had to carry 40 times to get his yards vs. Vandy, and that might not happen against Kentucky.

"I never would've anticipated that (40 carries) but the guy did an incredible job with it," Vol head coach Phillip Fulmer said this week. "I don't anticipate that happening too often. That's a lot of carries in the Southeastern Conference."

Still, don't bet against Foster. Here's why:

1. Tennessee's passing game has sputtered all year. With Rick Clausen injured and erratic Erik Ainge thrust into the starting quarterback job, the Vols may rely even more heavily on the ground game than usual.

2. Foster has been the SEC's hottest running back since assuming first-team status four games ago. He hung 148 yards on South Carolina, 125 on Notre Dame, 132 on Memphis and 223 on Vandy. That's an average of 157.0 yards per game over the past month. Clearly, he's on a roll.

3. In a season filled with disappointments, producing a 1,000-yard rusher would be a notable achievement for a Vol offense that has underachieved all season long.

4. Foster's teammates like him, so they'll block even harder than normal as he approaches the 1,000-yard mark.

Can Arian Foster reach the 1,000-yard plateau? Maybe. Maybe not. But his quest should spice up Saturday's game … much as giblet gravy spices up leftover turkey.

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