published Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Vols enter final week before season opener against Western Kentucky

by Wes Rucker
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    The Associated Press Vols football coach Lane Kiffin watches players during practice.

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee football team went through a tackle-free, simulated game at Neyland Stadium on Saturday afternoon, exactly one week before its Sept. 5 season opener against Western Kentucky.

The scrimmage kicked off at precisely 12:21 p.m. — the same time as the WKU game — and they went through more than three hours of various game-like situations.

“I thought there was a lot of good work today,” first-year Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin said. “Obviously, it was not an extremely physical day. It’s a very mental day, with a ton of situations.

“We came up with every scenario that could possibly come up in a game, and so that was really good for our players. And at the same time, for it to be very hot, a lot of conditioning was involved in there, as well.”

UT, which released a two-deep depth chart Friday night full of true freshmen, is expected to rely heavily on young players this season.

Kiffin didn’t sound surprised by that.

“I thought we signed a number of players that would have significant roles as freshmen for us,” he said. “And with injuries, it’s become more significant, especially at the receiver spot. There are a lot of young guys on there, but that’s good. That’s good for the competition. It shows that these guys have worked really hard.”

Read Sunday’s Times Free Press for a full recap of UT’s scrimmage. Another contact for Wes Rucker is

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