Sanders applauds Banks' play

The performance of Vol freshman quarterback James Banks in Saturday's 18-13 loss at Georgia showed that Tennessee CAN compete without first-team QB Casy Clausen. It also showed that Banks' shiftiness as a runner can pretty much offset his shortcomings as a passer.

''He made some plays with his legs,'' offensive coordinator Randy Sanders said. ''You've got to have a quarterback make plays. Casey does it with his arm ... James did it with his legs and some with his arm. That's what it gets down to. X's and O's are great but you've got to have guys do those X's and O's. James did a good job of doing what we asked him to do.''

Banks finished 10 of 15 passing for 168 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 70 yards on 10 rushes, although four sacks reduced him to 35 net yards. Best of all, he rallied UT from an 18-0 deficit with two 80-yard TD drives in the fourth quarter. So, what does it all mean?

''It means a ton to James and it means a lot to me,'' Sanders said. ''You earn respect by going out there and doing it, not having that deer-in-the-headlight look in his eyes. James never had that. He did all he could to give us a chance to win.

''He can get a lot better -- not only with understanding the offense but also executing what we asked him to do. I was proud of him, though. He competed hard.''


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