Wideouts can exploit MSU defense

Because Mississippi State defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn loves to blitz, Saturday could be a really bad day for Tennessee's passing game. <p> Or ... it could be a really GOOD day for Tennessee's passing game.

If Vol receivers run crisp routes and find the open spots quickly, they could have a field day against the gambling style of defense Dunn employs.

''There's a lot of opportunities for the receivers -- with all the pressure and things that will come up in the game,'' UT head coach Phillip Fulmer said. ''We've still got to protect (the quarterback) and get the ball to them, but there are some opportunities.''

In an effort to upgrade a passing attack that managed just 77 yards last weekend against Miami, UT has inserted speedy freshman Jonathan Wade into the starting lineup, replacing senior Leonard Scott.

''Jonathan and (fellow freshman) Chris Hannon have done really well,'' Fulmer said. ''Chris has been slowed a little bit by a hamstring injury but both of them are doing really well.''

That's good news for the Vols because Tennessee's wideout corps, as a group, has been a real disappointment this season.

''The development of the receivers has been slower than what we anticipated or would like to have seen,'' Fulmer said. ''But Chris Hannon, C.J. Fayton and Jonathan Wade are all guys who are emerging there and doing some good things. They didn't get any balls thrown to them the other night (vs. Miami) but they're doing much better in practice.

''Hopefully, that whole group will come out the next few weeks, starting this weekend.''


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