UT is 'team of week'

With their 35-18 win over California, the Tennessee Volunteers are the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, as selected by the pollsters of the Football Writers' Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll for games of the weekend of Sept. 2.

Erik Ainge threw four touchdown passes, including a pair to Robert Meachem, as the Vols ended a six-game home losing streak to teams ranked in the top 10 in front of 106,609 fans at Neyland Stadium.

"We all felt disrespected," Ainge said after the game. "This game tonight wasn't just for Tennessee versus California. It was for the South versus the West Coast, the SEC versus the Pac-10."

Ainge finished the night 11-for-17 for 291 yards.

Tennessee improved to 11th in this week?s Associated Press poll and 17th in the coaches? USA Today rankings. The Vols host Air Force on Saturday at Neyland Stadium in a 7 p.m. Eastern time kickoff.


Tennessee has a limited number of tickets for sale to Saturday's UT-Air Force football game at Neyland Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Eastern time, with VideoSeat providing the pay-per-view telecast.

Tickets can be purchased at the UTSports.com Web site, or by calling 656-1200 in the Knoxville area and toll free 800-332-VOLS.

A few hundred singles remain for Florida?s Sept. 16 visit (8 p.m.), while Tennessee?s homecoming date against Marshall (4 p.m.) is nearly sold out as well.


Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo is having a nice week.

The junior from Hampton, Va., just one day after earning Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors, has been selected UT's first CAREacter "Star Athlete of the Week" for his efforts both on and off the field. Mayo is regularly involved in the Vols' community service efforts and this semester is participating in the VOLScholar Program for academic and citizenship-building.

He also was recognized as this week's VOLScholar of the Week by the UT Thornton Athletic Student Life Center.

The CAREacter Program is based on a five-point star system that includes the basic traits of a true champion, whether on or off the field. Those traits are attitude, character, grades, community service and performance.

Every week the coaches from each school and specific sport will select one student athlete as their school's "Star Athlete of the Week" based on these five criteria. As a reward for their accomplishments, these students will be recognized each week by their local media and presented with a T-shirt and a letter acknowledging them as their county's "Star Athlete of the Week."

Mayo is a former SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll recipient majoring in sport management. He is a member of the UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

The linebacker turned in all-time highs Saturday with seven tackles and three sacks in Tennessee?s 35-18 win over California. It was just his second career collegiate start.

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