A young unproven Tennessee offense got just what it needed Tuesday afternoon in the first scrimmage of the year for the Volunteers.
Early success and early confidence were just what the doctor ordered, including an unproven offensive line coming together as a unit at Neyland Stadium.
"The offense was mentally ready to play, the defense wasn't," Head Coach Derek Dooley said. "The lesson of the day if you're not ready to play you're going to get your tail whipped."
Vol running back Tauren Poole set the tone early.
The talented tailback on the first play from scrimmage took the ball on a power and broke a 49-yard run.
"That set the tone really early, the offense did a great job today," Dooley said "They got some early confidence, and they needed that."
A young team needs a dose of early confidence, a momentum changer. It's like a snowball in December; it gets bigger and bigger and a young team begins to believe in itself even more.
While many feel that the Vols' offensive line is unproven, the unit was pleased with what the players proved Tuesday.
"The offense came out focused on offense," Jarrod Shaw said. "We created some big holes, and Tauren did the rest."
Poole, who has broke a long run in each of the Vols' scrimmages in the spring and now the fall, set the tone early for the offensive unit.
"The offense had the edge today," defensive back Eric Gordon said. "We had a couple of good moments."
SHAW'S TAKE ON THE SCRIMMAGE
"We did communicate very well as a unit today." Jarrod Shaw said. "I think I did pretty well today. We continue to build on the unity of this group of offensive linemen. It's all about coming together."
"I didn't think I played good today," Eric Gordon said. "I always want to shut down my guy completely."
MARSALIS TEAGUE ON TRANSITION TO DEFENSE
"I'm hard on myself," Marsalis Teague said. "I feel I like I could have played a lot better today.
"It felt good to hit today on the defensive side of the ball," he added. "It's been an easy transition so far. I have always considered myself an athlete. I'm getting more comfortable every day at the position."
NICK REVEIZ ON HIS RETURN
"We have a lot of things we need to improve on," Nick Reveiz said. "It felt good to be back out there today. To be able to run and tackle and do the things I love to do, I'm blessed to back out there."
"There are a lot of things we need to improve on defensively," Reveiz added. "It was great to hit again, it felt great, the knee feels great."
DAVID OKU ON TUESDAY'S SCRIMMAGE
"I felt like I did OK today," David Oku said. "I got eight or nine touches, which is great with me."
"The coaches are evaluating everything we do," Oku added. "Not just when I carry the football. I want to be an all-around player. Whether it's on special teams or blocking, I want to be good at everything I do."