published Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Steak dinner at stake as UT Vols face off

Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter performs in a drill during spring NCAA college football practice, Thursday, March 29, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.
Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter performs in a drill during spring NCAA college football practice, Thursday, March 29, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn.
(AP Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess/The Knoxville News Sentinel)

HOW YOU CAN WATCH TENNESSEE'S ORANGE AND WHITE SPRING GAME

IF YOU'RE GOING

• Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. at Neyland Stadium

• Admission and parking are free.

• Fans can get autographs from coach Derek Dooley, assistant coaches and players from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on the field. Enter Gate 7 at noon to take part.

• Fans attending just the game can start entering at 1 p.m. The first 2,500 who enter through Gate 10 will receive a 5x7 Tennessee football mini-poster featuring receiver Justin Hunter.

• A flag football game between two teams of former Tennessee players is scheduled for halftime following the presentation of spring awards for the current team.


IF YOU'RE NOT GOING

• You can watch the game live online. Both Fox Sports (foxsportstennessee.com) and ESPN (watchespn.com) will carry live streams of the game.

• Fox Sports South will air a delayed broadcast of the game five times: Sunday at 8 p.m. or following Game 6 of the Nashville-Detroit NHL playoff series, Monday at 2 a.m., Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday at 11:30 p.m. and Friday at 11 a.m.


ORANGE TEAM

Offense Defense

6 WR Vincent Dallas 3 S Byron Moore

13 WR Naz Oliver 9 CB Izauea Lanier

14 QB Justin Worley 15 DB Tyrin Fairman

15 HB Marlin Lane 17 S Brent Brewer

17 QB Tyler Page 24 CB Eric Gordon

24 HB Deanthonie Summerhill 26 K/P Derrick Brodus

27 WR Jacob Carter 27 CB Justin Coleman

29 HB Tom Smith 29 DB Max Arnold

39 FB/TE Ben Bartholomew 34 LB Herman Lathers

57 C Mack Crowder 37 S Brian Randolph

57 DS Andrew Henry 41 LB Dontavis Sapp

60 OL Carson Anderson 43 P Matt Darr

63 OL Evan Volner 44 DT Maurice Couch

66 T Marques Pair 45 LB A.J. Johnson

67 T Alan Posey 48 LB Greg King

73 OL Darin Gooch 55 LB Jacques Smith

77 OL Kyler Kerbyson 58 DE Marlon Walls

79 OL Brock Collier 59 LB Gregory Greico

80 WR Dylan West 86 LB Willie Bohannon

85 TE Brendan Downs 90 DE Steven Fowlkes

87 WR Alex Ellis 93 DT Greg Clark

89 TE Bryant Plumlee 96 DL Trevarris Saulsberry

Injured: QB Nathan Peterman (12), HB Alden Hill (30), LB Christian Harris (52), LB Curt Maggitt (56), OL Jacob Gilliam (65), TE Justin Meredith (82).

Coaches: Sal Sunseri, Josh Conklin, Jay Graham, Darin Hinshaw, John Palermo.


WHITE TEAM

Offense Defense

1 K/P Michael Palardy 2 DB Michael Williams

3 WR Tyler Drummer 7 DB Corey Alexander

8 QB Tyler Bray 10 CB Marsalis Teague

19 HB Devrin Young 19 DB Tyler Coombes

20 HB Rajion Neal 22 S Rod Wilks

21 WR Da'Rick Rogers 23 CB Prentiss Waggner

36 WR Cody Blanc 26 S Geraldo Orta

43 TE Dakota Summers 31 S Tino Thomas

45 FB Austin Bolen 33 CB Jaron Toney

57 DS Andrew Henry 38 LB Logan Honeycutt

64 G James Stone 39 LB/DS Michael Cantwell

68 G Marcus Jackson 42 LB Nigel Mitchell-Thornton

70 T Ja'Wuan James 46 LB Channing Fugate

71 G Dallas Thomas 47 LB John Propst

72 G Zach Fulton 50 LB Raiques Crump

74 T Antonio Richardson 54 LB Jordan Williams

78 C Alex Bullard 65 DT Joseph Ayres

81 TE Mychal Rivera 69 DT Allan Carson

83 WR Zach Rogers 71 DT Isaac Mobley

88 TE Cameron Clear 94 DE Darrington Sentimore

99 DL Trent Taylor

Injured: WR Justin Hunter (11), DS J.R. Carr (53), DT Daniel Hood (76).

Coaches: Jim Chaney, Derrick Ansley, Charlie Coiner, Sam Pittman.

KNOXVILLE -- The food reward is the same.

The competition and trash talk that ensues is there, too.

That's about where the similarities for this edition of Tennessee's annual Orange and White spring game. The Volunteers will conclude four weeks of spring practice in this afternoon at Neyland Stadium in what, in a change from the past two years, is essentially a third scrimmage. While the bragging rights and a steak dinner are again on the line, different Vols have different desired outcomes for the showcase event.

"I just want to go out there and play and show everyone that I'm deserving of the spot that I've been given," said left tackle Antonio "Tiny" Richardson, who will suit up on the White team with the rest of the first-team offense. "I just want to see some explosive runs and an explosive pass game."

For quarterback Tyler Bray, simply performing better than last year's debacle in which he completed just five of his 30 passes would suffice.

"It's probably not hard to do," the laid-back junior quipped. "I probably could punt and do better than last year."

Like last year, the winning team is treated to a nice steak dinner. The losers get hot dogs.

"I can tell you right now," coach Derek Dooley said, "it's a high-stakes game. We do fine china, steaks, all the trimmings, baked potato and dessert. They have nice people serving them tea.

"Then [for] the other crowd in the same room, paper plates, hot dogs, potato chips and water with no ice. That's what we're playing for -- and pride."

Such a potential reward is likely to spark the competitive juices for any college student, and the Vols are no different. Soon after the teams were divided Wednesday night, players began touting their allegiances -- orange or white -- on social media networks. The woofing continued some after practice Thursday.

For example, while receiver Justin Hunter was answering a question during a post-practice meeting with the media, linebacker Herman Lathers attempted to distract his spring-game adversary.

"Herm," Hunter said after finishing an answer, "he ain't going to be able to do anything. He's just going to be crying all week."

Hunter isn't even playing. Coming off a torn ACL, the junior did more than anyone in the program expected and even scrimmaged last week, but the Vols aren't going to risk anything with their star. Such words are par for the course, though.

"It's been a whole lot of trash-talking," said Richardson, who's playing in his first spring game. "[Wednesday] night, everybody, we already started talking trash to each other on Twitter and on Facebook and whatnot. It's been a lot of trash taking, but at the end of the day it's really good because it shows that everybody is ready to compete, and that's what we need."

While the food and bragging rights add a fun aspect to today's game, Dooley made it clear after Thursday's practice that this is another chance to get better. Unlike the coach's first two seasons, the first-team offenses and defenses remain intact on opposing "teams," providing a better gauge of what the Vols may have heading into the summer.

For all the fun and games before and after, the Vols will take the actual game seriously as a chance to get better and show the progress they've made learning a new defense and adjusting to seven new coaches over the last four weeks.

"I feel like during our few scrimmages we had I was able to do a lot of good things," said Lathers, who missed last year's spring game with a shoulder injury and the entire 2011 season after fracturing his ankle.

"Hopefully Saturday I'll be able to show the fans some of the stuff that I was able to accomplish during the spring."

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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