Derek Dooley: balancing work and preserving players a challenge

KNOXVILLE - Arkansas lost its best running back for the season when Knile Davis fractured his ankle during a Thursday night scrimmage.

Auburn's Michael Dyer missed Friday's practice because he's "beat up," as coach Gene Chizik put it. Georgia's entire backfield - talented freshman Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome have groin injuries and Richard Samuel has a strained quadriceps - is battling minor injuries.

At Tennessee, Derek Dooley is managing more than just his running backs, and the Volunteers' second-year coach said after Friday's practice that the balance between working his players hard enough that they improve and preserving their bodies for the long grind of the season ahead.

"It's not just at running back," he said. "Probably the biggest challenge we have as coaches is to try to get the guys ready to play and develop a physical, tough football team, which every coach around the league is trying to do, and not get them hurt.