Fulmer plans to scrimmage

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer put his players through more scrimmaging last spring than probably any team in the NCAA. The results were encouraging: The Vols improved from 5-6 in 2005 to 9-3 in 2006.

Electing to stick with a formula that's working, UT's head man says he's planning to put the Vols through some full-scale scrimmaging at Neyland Stadium this week to help prepare them for their Jan. 1 Outback Bowl date with Penn State.

"We'll have some live scrimmages as we go through the week," he said. "Saturday we'll have 'Saturday Night Lights.' We're going to have a good scrimmage at the stadium so that we will have played football before we get to the Jan. 1 ball game."

Fulmer held a 90-minute workout in helmets and shoulder pads on Saturday, followed by a full-pads workout today. After off days Monday and Tuesday for finals, the Vols will put in eight more days of on-campus work before scattering for the holidays. They'll reassemble in Tampa on Christmas night and do a little more scrimmaging at the bowl site.

"We did a really good job with that (two years ago) versus Texas A&M before the Cotton Bowl," Fulmer said, "and we're going to have the same type of mentality by getting better during this bowl time."

Because a month will have elapsed between UT's regular-season finale against Kentucky and its bowl game, Fulmer plans to focus on the basics this week.

"We'll work on a lot of fundamentals and Penn State stuff," he said. "We've almost got a chance to have a spring practice."

Fulmer was not at all pleased with Tennessee's performance against Kentucky, so he intends to put his team through some rigorous workouts this week. Asked if he's trying to keep the team's edge, Fulmer shook his head.

"We're trying to GET IT BACK right now," he said.


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