Reserves take center stage

After watching the No. 1 offense post a touchdown and a field goal on its first two possessions, Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer turned Tuesday's final preseason scrimmage over to Vol reserves. The result was a predictably uneven performance.

What follows are the highlights and lowlights:

Arian Foster made a nice cut on the second play of the scrimmage, turning a modest gain into an eight-yard burst.

Erik Ainge hit Lucas Taylor with a 15-yard strike.

No. 2 tailback Montario Hardesty juked a defender and turned a flare pass from Ainge into a 20-yard gain.

Foster knifed off right guard for a three-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 67-yard march on the No. 1 offense's opening possession.

Ainge hit Josh Briscoe for 13 yards.

Ainge fooled the defense by faking a screen pass to the left side, then completing a screen pass to tight end Chris Brown on the right side that resulted in a 14-yard gain.

Tight end Brad Cottam just missed making a spectacular diving catch in the end zone but injured his wrist on the play. He was taken to UT Hospital for x-rays.

Foster, finding no room at right tackle, deftly reversed his field and picked up seven yards at left tackle.

Linebacker Dorian Davis' big hit on wide receiver Kenny O'Neal forced a fumble. Offensive lineman Ramon Foster recovered the ricochet, then dropped the ball. Hardesty wound up recovering for a six-yard loss.

Two plays after his fumble, O'Neal allowed a strike from Ainge to bound off his shoulder pads. The No. 1 offense then settled for a 38-yard Daniel Lincoln field goal.

Scrambling to his left under considerable pressure, Jonathan Crompton showed great touch by lofting the ball to Quintin Hancock for a 15-yard gain.

Freshman running back Daryl Vereen showed a nice burst with an eight-yard run off tackle.

Senior safety Jonathan Hefney stormed into the backfield to throw Vereen for a three-yard loss.

Linebacker Ryan Karl, scrimmaging for the first time this preseason following a lengthy back injury, made a leaping deflection of a Crompton pass attempt.

Hefney stormed into the backfield again, this time dropping Vereen for a two-yard loss.

Senior end Xavier Mitchell sacked Crompton for a 10-yard loss.

Lincoln, coming off a poor showing in Saturday night's scrimmage, nailed five of six field goal attempts – going 2 of 2 from 27 yards and 3 of 4 from 37 yards.

Nick Stephens showed off his big-league arm with a 40-yard strike to Ahmad Paige, who sprinted the final 48 yards to complete an 88-yard TD play.

Freshman receiver Denarius Moore continued his impressive preseason work, following his blocking nicely while turning a screen pass from Crompton into a 13-yard gain.

Freshman defensive tackle William Brimfield batted down a Crompton pass at the line of scrimmage.

Stephens showed quick feet on a 12-yard scramble.

Linebacker LaMarcus Thompson sacked Stephens for a five-yard loss.

Defensive back Ricardo Kemp stripped freshman receiver Tyler Maples, forcing a fumble that rolled out of bounds four yards behind the play.

Denarius Moore made a nifty fingertip catch en route to a nine-yard catch/run.

Dennis Rogan intercepted a Crompton bomb and rambled 41 yards on the return.

Crompton found freshman Brent Vinson for a 13-yard gain.

Rogan stripped receiver Quintin Hancock and Anthony Anderson recovered.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories