Vol practice report

Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer has his Vols covering all the angles during this week's practice sessions, hoping they can slow an Alabama opponent that continues to improve offensively.

"The things we focused on from the open date, we need to see carry over in practice," Fulmer said after Wednesday's workout at Haslam Field. "Our pad leverage to get ready for a really outstanding Alabama rushing football team. Our breaking to the ball, to get ready for their two big receivers and outstanding quarterback.

"All week long, we've worked to get our hats in the right place to help manage the defensive front. Today we looked pretty good, but pretty good is kind of the best of the worst and the worst of the best. Hopefully, we'll carry over the good work into the football game."

Alabama stands sixth in the league in rushing but tailback Kenneth Darby has topped the 100-yard mark each of the last two games, including 162 yards in Saturday's 26-23 overtime win against Ole Miss.

Receivers D.J. Hall and Keith Brown have combined for 1,116 yards thus far this season, the second highest total in the country and ahead of Tennessee?s heralded duo of Robert Meachem and Jayson Swain (1,053 yards). Quarterback John Parker Wilson is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes and has 11 touchdowns against only five interceptions.

The Tide is fifth in the league in passing offense and fifth in total offense. More impressively, Alabama leads the SEC and is third nationally with an average time of possession of 33:37.

Fulmer reported that sophomore wide receiver Austin Rogers has mononucleosis and will miss an additional three to four weeks. The Nashville native had been hampered by a shoulder injury. He caught five passes against Air Force for 69 yards and has played in three games this season.


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