Fulmer sees energy, emotion

Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer says energy, emotion and passion are always a part of football.

"You really can't play it without those things," Fulmer commented after Wednesday's practice at Haslam Field.

But should the Vols display just a little bit more of all three during Saturday's Homecoming affair against Wyoming -- well, let's just say the head coach wouldn't be surprised.

Wednesday was just 48 hours removed from the announcement that Fulmer is stepping down as UT's head coach after the 2008 season. The Vols are 3-6 overall and must close with victories over Wyoming (3-6), Vanderbilt (5-3) and Kentucky (6-3) to qualify for the 16th bowl appearance of Fulmer?s storied career.

That leaves no margin for error, though, and Fulmer hopes the team's focus remains strong.

"I think they are determined -- for a variety of reasons, mostly for our team -- to put a different face on this season," he said. "If we can finish well like we'd like to, that would certainly do that.

"Practices have been good and have had real good energy. Today was as sharp as we've been in an offensive passing attack, so hopefully we can take that right on into the game and execute well."

Saturday's scene at Neyland Stadium likely will continue what has been a very heart-wrenching week for the entire Volunteer Nation.

"Energy, emotion and passion are always a part of football," Fulmer said. "But if there is an extra amount of energy and passion and emotion in this football game, certainly I know the players want to do well, like I said for a variety of reasons, but mainly for the team and the fans."

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Eastern time.

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