Aubrayo's coming on strong

With all four starters missing from last year's defensive line, many Tennessee fans thought the front four would be a weakness this fall. Thanks to guys like Aubrayo Franklin, it hasn't been.

Franklin registered a career 8 stops (4 solos, 4 assists) in Game 6 against Georgia.

''Every game I try to go out and leave everything out there on the field,'' he said. ''I thought I left everything out on the field.''

Franklin, a 6-2, 295-pound senior tackle, is fired up for Saturday night, when the Vol front will face an Alabama offensive line that is widely regarded as the SEC's finest.

''It fires us up EVERY week,'' he said. ''Coming into the season, everybody was wondering if the defensive line would step up after losing so many people. There were a lot of questions to be answered. As a defense, we look at every week as a challenge to get better, prove people wrong.''

Though projected to contend for the national title, the Vols have stumbled to a 4-2 start that includes a 1-2 SEC mark. With Alabama, South Carolina and Miami upcoming, can Tennessee turn the season around?

''I think we can turn it around,'' Franklin said. ''I don't think to this point we've played our best game, putting together offense and defense as a whole.

''This week we're looking to turn it around, get the fans into it and let ourselves know that we deserve a win.''

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