published Sunday, August 9th, 2009

Vols a little banged-up but nothing serious


by Wes Rucker

KNOXVILLE -- Coach Lane Kiffin avoided specifics when asked about the Tennessee football team's injury status following Saturday's first major preseason scrimmage, but he said none of the setbacks appeared too serious.

All-SEC senior linebacker Rico McCoy (knee) and junior cornerback Brent Vinson (hamstring) didn't suit up in full pads Saturday. Neither did redshirt freshman offensive tackle Dallas Thomas or junior fullback Kevin Cooper from Chattanooga, though neither player's condition was disclosed.

Senior defensive end Wes Brown sat out the scrimmage because of his sore knees.

Two first-team defenders, defensive tackle Dan Williams (shoulder) and cornerback Art Evans (knee), were hurt during the scrimmage, but neither situation was considered serious.

"Oh, it was nothing," Williams said. "I guess I roughed up my shoulder a little bit, but I'm fine. It was just a little sharp pain, but I walked it off and I'm fine."

Leg cramps forced reserve safety Stephaun Raines from Dalton, Ga., to the sideline near the end of the scrimmage.

Vlad foreknowledge

Volunteers senior guard Vladimir Richard said he knew sophomore tailback Tauren Poole would have a big day. Poole, a lesser-known player than senior starter Montario Hardesty and freshmen Bryce Brown and David Oku, had about 145 rushing yards, 20 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

"It was crazy, because I was just so excited to come out here and scrimmage because I knew what he was going to do," Richard said. "Since he got here, I was like, 'Man, he reminds me of Montario.' And I know what Montario can do, so I know what Tauren can do.

"Tauren's been a little banged up and hurt and stuff, and I was just excited to see him come out here and get some good runs and breakaways."

Richard admitted he expected Poole to get caught before reaching the end zone on his spectacular 77-yard score, though.

"But he just went into another gear," Richard said. "That was really exciting."

Reveiz to Reveiz

First-team middle linebacker Nick Reveiz let his teammates hear it after surrendering a quick score to the offense on the game's first possession, and younger brother Shane briefly turned momentum the other way.

The second-team offense quickly drove down the field for a first-and-goal on the second possession, but Shane Reveiz prevented a score by pile-driving Oku on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1. Shane smacked Brown for a loss earlier in the drive.

Defensive woes continued throughout the day, however. Momentum never fully shifted away from the offense.

"We got out of our gap a little bit on a couple of plays, and as you saw, our offense had a lot of explosion plays on us," junior defensive end Chris Walker said. "Like Coach (Monte) Kiffin says, it's one-gap football, and when somebody gets out of their gap, plays go for 60. We've just got to get back into the film room, and up front we've got to work on our game cut and linebackers getting cut off and everything.

"Our coaches are going to drill us, and we're going to be better than that in the second scrimmage."

Lincoln long one

Junior kicker Daniel Lincoln connected on his only field-goal attempt of the scrimmage, a 48-yarder near the end of the day.

Media timeout

The Vols don't practice again until Monday, but they will meet reporters this afternoon for "media day." The true freshmen are expected to be available for the first time this preseason.

about Wes Rucker...

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