KNOXVILLE -- University of Tennessee senior weakside linebacker Rico McCoy said Wednesday that a sore knee wouldn't prevent him from playing Saturday night against South Carolina.
"I'm going to go, man," McCoy said. "I'm going to be out there. I haven't missed a game since I've been here that I didn't have to miss ... and that was just a half."
McCoy laughed while making that subtle reference to a half-game suspension he received earlier in his career, but the Southeastern Conference's second-leading tackler grew more serious when asked again about the knee he tweaked against Alabama.
"I practiced for the most part (Tuesday)," McCoy said. "It's a little sore, but I've been going to rehab and icing it and stuff like that, so I'm pretty sure I'll be close to if not at 100 percent by Saturday.
"This is my senior year, man. It's going to take more than that to keep me off the field at this point."
UT coach Lane Kiffin said he expected his All-SEC senior to play.
"We haven't been very fortunate (with linebacker injuries)," Kiffin said. "And it's a very hard position to play in our system, because we do so many things. Some systems just kind of line you up, and you run to the ball, but ours is a lot of time in the offseason at specific positions. It's hard to move them into the different three positions, but guys have done well.
"Rico has played great; played phenomenal for us, actually. We need to continue to develop our depth and continue to recruit."
STOCKER, HANCOCK UPDATES
Junior tight end Luke Stocker practiced in a non-contact jersey Wednesday with lower back spasms, likely stemming from the big hit he took while hauling in a 23-yard pass that put UT into field-goal position in the final minute at Alabama. Kiffin agreed with the player's assessment that he was "probable" for Saturday.
"My whole team was counting on me, and the ball was there," Stocker said. "The play was there to be made, and my whole team was counting on me to make it, so I just took the hit and made the play.
"I honestly didn't feel the hit at all, really. The adrenaline was going so high that I just bounced right back up."
Senior wide receiver Quintin Hancock, who missed the past two games, practiced more Tuesday after getting a new brace for his injured left ankle.
Hancock expects to play Saturday, and Kiffin said the same, but neither is sure how much time the wideout will see, and how effective he will be.
"We'll see. I'm just hoping (to play)," said Hancock, who has also frustratingly fought through a jaw injury during his first season as a starter.
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