Frosh kickers need polish

Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer no longer has to wonder what his kicking game would look like without junior Britton Colquitt. He found out Saturday night, and it wasn't a pretty sight.

Colquitt, who projects to do the Vols' punting and placekicking this fall, pulled a quadricep muscle on his first kickoff just seconds into the scrimmage and was withheld from further action.

With Colquitt sidelined, Chad Cunningham handled all of the punting and fellow redshirt freshman Daniel Lincoln handled all of the kicking for the rest of the evening.

Interestingly enough, Cunningham got off to a great start, then faded a bit, whereas Lincoln got off to an awful start, then rallied.

Cunningham's first punt came with the ball spotted at the 2-yard line. Standing inches from his own end line, he promptly boomed a 47-yard punt with excellent hang time. Then, kicking from the 22-yard line, he angled a punt toward the west sidelines that rolled dead after 47 yards.

With the ball back on the 2-yard line, Cunningham again showed a knack for booming the ball from the back of the end zone. This time he unloaded a 50-yard rocket that was easily his best kick of the night.

Returning to the 22-yard line, Cunningham hit a punt that – thanks to a good bounce and roll – traveled 49 yards. He then concluded the first punting segment with an ugly boot that traveled just 34 yards.

Lincoln's start couldn't have been much worse. He botched his first conversion attempt of the night, hooking the ball way left. He made the next two PATs, plus a 22-yard field goal, but then – with no one rushing him – missed consecutive field goal tries of 39, 42 and 46 yards. Later in the scrimmage, he atoned somewhat by connecting from 28, 33 and 36 yards ... again with no rush.

Stats compiled by UT sports information personnel say Cunningham finished with 11 punts for a 43.5 average. Lincoln finished 5 of 8 on field goals with a long of 36 yards. Fulmer finished with a look of consternation.

"Both of 'em struggled and both of 'em had their moments," the head man said. "Chad had a couple of really good kicks, then he had a couple that looked like some eighth-grader punted it. Daniel misses three in a row, then he comes back – to his credit – and hits three in a row."

Neither redshirt freshman exhibited the kind of consistency Fulmer is looking for with the Sept. 1 opener at California just 13 days away.

"That's youth and immaturity," the coach said. "I'm working on 'em every day to try and get them mentally tougher."

Here are the other statistical leaders from Saturday night's scrimmage:

Rushing Leaders (Att.-Yds.-TD): Daryl Vereen 13-47-1; Lennon Creer 11-57-0; Josh Hawkins 10-29-0; Arian Foster 8-41-0; Roy Olasimbo 6-32-1; Montario Hardesty 5-30-0.

Passing Leaders (Att.-Comp.-Int.-Yds.-TD): Erik Ainge 25-14-1-146-2; Jonathan Crompton 15-10-0-77-0; Nick Stevens 12-5-1-47-0; B. J. Coleman 9-3-0-19-0.

Receiving Leaders (No.-Yds.-TD): Austin Rogers 4-56-0; Josh Briscoe 4-29-0; Gerald Jones 4-20-0; Jeff Cottam 3-20-0; Denarius Moore 2-48-1; Kenny O'Neal 2-17-0; Tyler Maples 2-15-0; Ahmad Paige 2-15-0; Chris Brown 2-6-1.

Defensive Leaders: Nevin McKenzie 7 tackles, 1 PBU; DeAngelo Willingham 7 tackles, PBU; Dorian Davis 7 tackles, 2 TFL (-6); Rico McCoy 6 tackles; Jerod Mayo 6 tackles; LaMarcus Thompson 6 tackles, 2 sacks (-17); Eric Berry 5 tackles, interception; Jarod Parrish 5 tackles; Jonathan Hefney 4 tackles; Chris Donald 4 tackles; Dan Williams 4 tackles, sack (-1), 1 PBU; Chris Walker 4 tackles, PBU; Xavier Mitchell 4 tackles, sack (-5); Art Evans 3 tackles, PBU; Michael Crain 3 tackles, TFL (-3); Marsalous Johnson 2 tackles, PBU; Savion Frazier 2 tackles, TFL (-3); Adam Myers-White 2 tackles, TFL (-3), PBU; Donald Langley 2 tackles, sack (-8); Walter Fisher 2 tackles, TFL (-3); C. J. Fleming tackle, interception; Antonio Gaines tackle, PBU.

Injury Holdouts: LB Ryan Karl (back) and LB Ellix Wilson (knee).

Scrimmage Injuries: LB Adam Myers-White (knee), DE Ben Martin (knee), P Britton Colquitt (quad; held after one series); DE Xavier Mitchell (head; held after one series).

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