Kelley's return energizes UT

The availability of Kelley Washington for Saturday's Tennessee-Florida game may not significantly change the way the Vols play offense, but it almost certainly will change the way the Gators play defense.

''It's not going to change us a whole lot,'' Vol offensive coordinator Randy
Sanders said. ''We'll still do the things that worked in the first two
games. Hopefully, the difference will be that he'll be able to make some
plays out there for us -- whether it's catching it and making somebody miss
and turning a five-yard gain into a 15- or 20-yard gain or catching the deep
ball.''

Whether his return affects UT's offensive gameplan or not, Washington's
big-play ability will affect Florida's defensive gameplan by discouraging
the Gators from crowding the line of scrimmage so much.

''I hope it will,'' Sanders said. ''Anytime you've got a threat outside it
changes the way defenses have to play.''

Vol head man Phillip Fulmer concedes that Florida probably will pay a lot of
attention to Washington, much as Vol defenders will pay considerable
attention to Florida receiver Taylor Jacobs.

''We are certainly aware of Taylor Jacobs -- where he is lined up and where
he's going,'' Fulmer said. ''I'm certain they feel the same way about
Kelley. That's why the other guys (wideouts) are so important. It's critical
for them to come through.''

Fulmer added that he continues ''looking for big-play opportunities.''
Toward this end, he hopes to give freshman wideouts Chris Hannon and
Jonathan Wade more playing time in the weeks ahead.

''We're anxious to get Wade and Hannon more in tune with what we're doing
and involved because of their speed,'' the head man said.

Until then, Tennessee will rely heavily on Washington, who missed Games 1
and 2 with a sprained knee that is still limiting him a bit in practice.

''I'm very hopeful Kelley will be 100 percent for the Florida game,'' Fulmer
said. ''I can't promise he
can be there for every play or even half the plays. My guess is that he
would play about 75 percent of the time.''

Sanders hopes so because he feels Washington provides as much of a boost
emotionally as he does physically.

''I think his energy level kind of energizes the whole offense,'' the
coordinator said. ''Obviously, him being out there makes the other guys'
jobs easier because he attracts a lot of attention.''

Saturday's game will see Washington filling a new role ... go-to guy. He
played second banana to Donte' Stallworth most of last season but
Stallworth's departure for the NFL leaves Washington as the ''marked man''
of Tennessee's receiving corps this fall.

As Sanders put it: ''His biggest challenge is going out and producing when
he's the focal point of the defense.''


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