Tuesday Practice Report

At the start of another cold week in November, the Vols' spirits are high.

"Practice went very well," said coach Phillip Fulmer after practice on Tuesday. "That's two days in a row that we've come out here with good intensity."

A new week and a new theme took Tennessee back to the drawing board, but this time on a little more of a positive note. After a much needed victory on Saturday in Mississippi, the Vols have shifted their thoughts to the next hindrance, Vanderbilt. And with a new Vanderbilt coach and a different Commodore look for this season, the Vols have a lot of work to do.

"Defensively, the option attack and getting ready for that is always a challenge," said Fulmer. "But they get the ball down field to Stricker too. So, our work is cut out for us from that stand point. Overall, though, the attitude is good and the preparation is good."

Of course, the status of Kelley Washington and Casey Clausen will not be known until Thursday's injury report, but the team appeared not to stray much from the offensive game plan that worked for them a week ago.

"Those young quarterbacks are getting better," said Fulmer. "Casey also did much better today, and we're excited about that."

The most exciting part of last Saturday's victory was the performance of Cedric Houston. Houston, who has been injured much of the season, racked up 120 yards in the first half alone and started showing that he has some weight to throw around on this Tennessee team.

"I thought he (Houston) was off to a pretty darn good start," said Fulmer. "But he's picked up right where he left off. South Carolina was a good effort and last game was even more so. I'm excited about things to come."

At this point in the season, no one would have every guessed that Tennessee would be so deep into the roster, but with two games to go Fulmer and staff will be playing many freshmen and sophomores that normally wouldn't have seen the field for another season.

"We've had to play a lot of young guys," said Fulmer. "There are benefits long term, but short term it makes things more difficult."

With the injuries of this season and with a few disappointing losses, this Tennessee team will be a prime target for a Vanderbilt team. The Commodores would love a chance to spit on Superman's cape. So, today's practice was a good step to this week's crucial preparation to play their in-state SEC rivals.

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