Offense shines in first scrimmage

The defensive unit came out flat in Tennessee's first scrimmage of fall camp and the offense took advantage. Read what Head Coach Derek Dooley had to say following Tuesday's practice session.

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee football squad headed into Neyland Stadium for their first scrimmage of fall camp.

A flat Tennessee defense saw the offense run all over the field during Tuesday's scrimmage.

"It was a typical first scrimmage," said Dooley. "I think if there is one lesson coming out of this it's that if you aren't mentally ready to play you are going to get your tail whipped."

Senior defensive end Chris Walker said there was no question that the defense came out slow during the early moments of practice.

"We didn't play very well on defense," said Walker. "We came out slow and Coach Dooley said that if we aren't ready to play when you first come out then you are going to get beat by anybody."

Tauren Poole may have been short on opportunities in the last year, but the senior took advantage of the defense's slow start. Poole ripped off a 49-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

"I thought the offense was mentally ready to play and the defense wasn't," said Dooley. "The first play of the game Poole takes one 49 yards on a power."

Poole wasn't the only back showing promise during the scrimmage. Dooley was pleased with all aspects of the running game.

"I think the two runners have shown a lot of progress and David Oku has had an excellent camp his first seven practices," Dooley said. "We needed him to, so I feel like he is starting to get a little confident."

Every runner needs a solid offensive line and the head coach had praise for the men up front.

"The ones did good. They came and established the line of scrimmage," said Dooley.

If anyone needed to come out and establish themselves it was the two quarterbacks, Matt Simms and Tyler Bray. And the new Volunteers did just that.

"I was really pleased with the progress the quarterbacks are making," said Dooley. "They are both really doing well and they are both different."

It appears that Simms has the edge at the quarterback position through week one of fall camp, but both quarterbacks have their own talents.

"Tyler does some things better than Matt," Dooley said. "Matt does some things better than Tyler. I think Matt stays ahead at this stage of the game because of his experience and his knowledge of the offense."

The Volunteers will resume practice with their first two-a-day on Thursday afternoon. They will spend Wednesday reviewing tape from Tuesday's scrimmage.

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