Looking Ahead

Derek Dooley and his coaching staff are looking ahead Friday afternoon to an important scrimmage in Neyland Stadium Saturday evening. Go "Inside" this practice report to see what the head coach had to say about his football team.

With a scrimmage on the horizon in Neyland Stadium Saturday evening, Derek Dooley and his coaching staff can't help but look ahead.

The Vols will enter Neyland Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m. for what the head coach said is a very important scrimmage for his football team.

"We have a big scrimmage tomorrow," said Dooley. "It's an important scrimmage for our football team and I told them that."

As important as schematics and football knowledge will be, the intangibles on Saturday for the Volunteers are also vital.

"We need to show significant improvement from the first scrimmage, especially from an intangibles stand point," he said.

"They are hot and tired, but they are hot and tired everywhere in the league right now and nobody really cares. They have 24 hours to get their mind right and I think they will."

Dooley said Saturday's workout will be significantly more game-like than the Volunteers first scrimmage experience.

"It will be a lot longer," said Dooley. "There will be all special teams incorporated in the scrimmage.

"Last scrimmage we just did punt and field goal, then had two independent kickoff and kickoff return periods. This time iy will all be integrated in the scrimmage. It will be more game-like."

After coming out flat in the first scrimmage, Saturday will be especially important for the Tennessee defense. On top of that there is no more important position than defensive tackle. Dooley looks for his tackles to cause pandemonium in the offensive backfield.

"They need to be productive and disruptive," said Dooley. "Take on blocks the right way, be in the gaps the right way, be in the gaps the right way, play with great mental intensity."

And while Tennessee fans might feel that they are set with Montori Hughes, Dooley said the big defensive tackle hasn't had the most impressive camp and needs to be something special.

"Montori needs to have a good scrimmage," said Dooley. "He hasn't had a great fall camp either. He has ability, but he has to do better."

On the short list of players who have impressed this fall is tailback David Oku, who gained more high praise from his head coach Friday afternoon.

"It starts with his attitude - everybody who is having a good camp, it starts with their attitude," said Dooley. "They are coming to work every day with a smile, they are embracing the grind, accepting it and enjoying it.

"David has done that. He has played with great energy, ran hard, showing improvement in his cuts, reads, pass protection, he is really just showing improvement across the board."

Dooley and the Vols will enter Neyland Stadium Saturday evening at 7 p.m. for their second scrimmage of fall camp.

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