"It was good to get started back after a good win," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I really liked the attitude of our guys in meetings and their seriousness of taking this win and building on it. It is a whole lot more fun to coach a group of guys who are being unselfish and just trying to win football games."
The Falcons are making their 2006 debut coming off a 4-7 season. But Fulmer said coach Fisher DeBerry's squads always stand tall against the toughest competition.
"Air Force is obviously a different kind of challenge for us," he said. "You have to have tremendous respect for those young men, what they stand for and what they're trying to do with their college lives. They will be the defenders of our country one day.
"We certainly understand the type of young men we're playing against - determined, committed, focused - guys who are not going to be intimidated one bit coming into Neyland Stadium."
Fulmer named his game captains for Saturday, with fullback Cory Anderson, offensive guard David Ligon, linebacker Marvin Mitchell, cornerback Jonathan Wade and deep snapper Ryan West getting the nods.
UT-AIR FORCE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
The Tennessee-Air Force football game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis across the state of Tennessee. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern time and 6 p.m. Central.
The announcing team for the game telecast will be Randy Smith on play-by-play and former Vol and NFL quarterback Pat Ryan handling color analysis.
Cable systems across the state of Tennessee are scheduled to carry the telecast from the VideoSeat pay-per-view service. Fans may begin contacting their local cable systems Monday to order the game and receive price information. The game also is expected to be made available to Tennessee Dish Network and DirecTV subscribers as well as C-band dish owners. Channel numbers and more information about the pay-per-view telecast will be released at a later date. Dish Network and DirecTV customers will order/purchase on the day of the game.
MAYO EARNS TWO AWARDS
After recording career highs of seven tackles and three quarterback sacks in UT?s season-opening win over ninth-ranked California, Vols sophomore linebacker Jerod Mayo was selected as the Walter Camp Football Foundation's National Division I-A Defensive Player of the Week and the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
Making just his second career start, the junior from Hampton, Va., anchored a Tennessee defense that held the Golden Bears to just 64 yards rushing for the game. Mayo, who also had a pass breakup, became the first Vol to post three sacks in a single game since linebacker Kevin Simon logged three sacks against Marshall in 2003.
"It's really a heck of an effort on his part, but he would be the first to tell you he didn't do any of that by himself," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I don't think he practiced a full practice last week because of his ankle injury. He's a good player who has a great future in front of him."
MEACHEM UP FOR AWARD
Tennessee wide receiver Robert Meachem is one of four players up for Cingular All-America Player of the Week, the only major college football award chosen exclusively by the fans.
Meachem, who is the first UT player to be nominated for the weekly honor, hauled in five receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Volunteers' 35-18 win over California.
Joining the Tulsa, Okla., native on the list are running backs Steve Slaton of West Virginia and Ray Rice of Rutgers, along with UCLA quarterback Ben Olson. A panel of ESPN college football analysts selected the candidates based on their outstanding performances during the weekend.
College football's true pundits -- the fans -- have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday to participate in the voting by text messaging 'VOTE' to '87654' on their wireless phone. Fans can vote as many times as they like, with each vote counting as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2007 BCA National Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz.