One 'juicy' scrimmage

Because of soggy turf at Neyland Stadium, Tennessee's first spring scrimmage lacked a game-day setting. But it had a game-day feel, and that had head coach Lane Kiffin smiling.

"I thought the guys really came out with great juice," he said following a spirited two-hour workout at cold and damp Haslam Field. "We treated it like a game-day in our meetings, and they really responded well for our first shot at a game experience ... as much as we could make it.

"I'm really proud of the guys. They really battled all day."

As has been the case throughout spring practice, the defense dominated for a while, then the offense made a few big plays. Kiffin found that quite encouraging.

"At one time the defense was really taking over," he said of Saturday's scrimmage session. "Then the offense did. They went back and forth. I thought it was very competitive, and I thought we did a good job. I'm proud of where we're at right now."

After saying little previously about the quarterback battle between rising senior Jonathan Crompton and rising sophomore B. J. Coleman, Kiffin opened up a bit following the scrimmage.

"I thought Jonathan Crompton played extremely well at quarterback today," the head man said, "and I thought Montario Hardesty ran the ball well. And Chris Walker (at defensive end) is unblockable right now."

Coleman had his moments but was not as consistent as Crompton.

"He's doing well," Kiffin said of Coleman. "He's got to make some better decisions with the ball."

Although the defense reportedly has won every practice to date in Kiffin's scoring system, there were some positive signs from the attack unit on Saturday. Rising senior Quintin Hancock, who didn't register a reception last fall, caught a pair of three-yard touchdown passes in a goal-line drill at the end of the workout.

"There's a lot (of positives)," Kiffin noted. "Hancock made two touchdowns there at the end, had a big day today.

"We've got to get our next two receivers (established). There are a couple of guys at the forefront, including Gerald (Jones), but we've got to get some more guys in the mix. Some other guys need to step up."

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