Scrimmage stars

Since Tennessee's first-team offense and defense got a lot of work in Saturday night's scrimmage, head coach Phillip Fulmer took a long look at the second- and third-teamers Tuesday evening in the Vols' final preseason dress rehearsal.

No. 1 quarterback Erik Ainge completed just 3 of 7 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown before calling it a night. No. 1 tailback Arian Foster carried a mere four times but gained 28 yards, averaging 7.0 per carry. Receiver Robert Meachem caught just two passes for 20 yards and fellow first-teamer Jayson Swain did not record a reception.

All told, the first-team offense played just three series. The first was a three-and-out. The second resulted in a 54-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard James Wilhoit field goal. The third, following an interception return by Jonathan Wade, was a three-yard drive that ended with a five-yard TD pass from Ainge to Meachem.

"I would've liked to see them move it every time," Fulmer said of his first-team offense. "They moved it some but we got down there and kicked a field goal. On offense, 11 guys have to play consistent football. The last scrimmage we did much better … this time not as well."

Still, the head man managed to give a lot of work to some key backups.

"We wanted to push the 2s and the 3s tonight," Fulmer said, "particularly the second-team guys that are one injury away from playing."

Mission accomplished. Second-team quarterback Jonathan Crompton completed 11 of 17 passes for 129 yards with two TDs and zero interceptions. Third-teamer Bo Hardegree completed 8 of 17 for 46 yards but threw four interceptions. Hardegree had completed 15 of 17 passes in the two previous scrimmages.

The guys battling for the No. 2 tailback job behind Foster also got to show their wares. David Yancey carried 11 times for 31 yards, LaMarcus Coker nine times for 26 yards, Montario Hardesty six times for 13 yards and Ja'Kouri Williams six times for 10 yards. Walk-on Roy Olasimbo, running against third-team defenders, picked up 82 yards on 12 carries.

Fulmer also got a look at some of the receivers bidding for playing time behind Meachem and Swain. Freshman Quintin Hancock caught four passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Rogers added three catches for 36 yards. Bret Smith, who did not catch a pass in two previous scrimmages, weighed in with two grabs for 43 yards. Tight end Jeff Cottam, another player who did not record a catch in the first two scrimmages, had two receptions for 14 yards.

Fulmer also checked out some of UT's key backups on defense. Freshman linebacker Dorian Davis led all tacklers with seven stops. First-team linebacker Ryan Karl was next with six, followed by second-team linebacker Ellix Wilson with five.

Linebacker Adam Myers-White had four stops, a pass breakup and an interception. Reserve defensive tackles Dan Williams and Demonte Bolden performed well, also. Williams recorded four stops, including a tackle for loss. Bolden chipped in three tackles, including a sack.


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