Vols battle heat again

After being disappointed with the Vols' practice indoors on Wednesday, head coach Philip Fulmer took his team back into the blistering summer heat for a workout of nearly three hours in full pads on Thursday afternoon.

As temperatures climbed near 100 degrees on Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, the Vols picked up their intensity enough to leave Fulmer encouraged heading into the first scheduled scrimmage of the fall.

"I thought it was a good day," Fulmer said. "After watching the film, I might have been a little hard on them yesterday. They really did push through. Some of the youngsters we are trying to count on, they just truly don't understand what it takes to play in the Southeastern Conference."

The Vols focused on game situations for a large portion of the practice, working in the two-minute offense, on two-point conversions and in short yardage situations.

The practice was Tennessee's seventh in as many days and the team's third consecutive workout in full pads. A break from full-contact practice awaits the Vols on Friday before the team moves to Neyland Stadium for a scrimmage on Saturday.

"Everything that we're doing at this time is geared towards the scrimmage on Saturday," Fulmer said. "We're giving the second and third groups good looks while trying to keep the first group going in the right direction."

Fulmer expressed the need for his young players to move along in their preparations, as many of them will be expected to contribute early in the season.

"That's a process that you're going to go through," Fulmer said. "Some show significantly more maturity than others, but there is ability out there. We have to get them ready."

The Vols have 14 practices and three scrimmages remaining before they will begin game-week preparations for the season-opener at California.

Tennessee and Cal kick off Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

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