Thursday Evening Practice Report

The Tennessee Vols were forced indoors this afternoon due to rain in the area. Because the game will be played in the Georgia Dome, being inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex to practice may not have been a bad idea.

"I have been pleased and impressed at the way they have gone about their business in our preparation, for the most part," Coach Fulmer said on Thursday afternoon. Fulmer has really been pushing his team all week to keep them from allowing the holiday fever slip into the Peach Bowl practice atmosphere. He has done a solid job at keeping his players focused all of this week.

There was speculation that a few players have already been ruled academically ineligible for the bowl game. Those players mentioned where freshmen Aaron Kirkland, Gerald Riggs Jr, James Banks and Willie Miles. While it is very likely this will be the case, Coach Fulmer said any speculation is very premature. He said he will not know for certain until Friday morning the status of the anyone. For the record, none of the four practiced this week. Riggs would not be able to play anyway with his recent ankle surgery. Miles has been battling bumps and bruises, but I am not sure how he would stand if he is eligible to play from an academic standpoint. Banks could see some snaps if he can go or if Casey Clausen were to sustain an injury, Banks would be the first off the bench. Kirkland probably would not see a significant amount of snaps. Fulmer did say this about the problems in question, "It was typical stuff. A freshman not taking care of his business or an upperclassman that was in some tough things to manage." Fulmer said no starter was in danger of not playing.

Fulmer said he is still concerned about two of his veteran stars. Scott Wells and Eddie Moore are in question for the game. Wells has an ankle injury that will threaten his time at center, but I really can't see Scott missing this game. Moore had a "cleanup job" on his knee after battling problems for the last half of the season. Moore's status for the Peach Bowl is definitely in question at this point.

The Vols will practice on Friday morning and then head home for Christmas. Fulmer said the team will meet back in Atlanta on Christmas Day and begin practices the following day.


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