Offense puts pressure on Vol 'D'

They don't like to admit it, but Tennessee's defensive players feel a little extra pressure to stop opponents this year. That's because they know a struggling Vol offense is unlikely to put up a whole lot of points.

''Of course,'' defensive end Karlton Neal said. ''If our offense is struggling, we know we have to pick it up on our end. We have to pick it up sometimes, as well as they helped us out in a lot of difficult times.''

Because Tennessee's offense has been so ineffective, Vol defenders have been forced to play a lot of snaps. They seemed to wear down in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's game against Alabama, surrendering a 15-play drive that led to a Tide field goal.

''On that 15-play drive they had, I came out after nine plays,'' Neal said. ''If we'd limited that, I think we still had a very good chance of coming out of the ballgame (with a win).''

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