Hendon Hooker shines, Lyn-J Dixon debuts in first Vols scrimmage

Tennessee Athletics photo / Tennessee tight end Jacob Warren, left, and quarterback Hendon Hooker celebrate during Tuesday's first preseason scrimmage inside Neyland Stadium.

The first scrimmage is in the books.

Tuesday not only marked the eighth preseason football practice for Tennessee but also the inaugural scrimmage inside Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers are a little more than three weeks away from their Sept. 1 opener against visiting Ball State.

"I think it was really good for our young guys," second-year coach Josh Heupel said afterward in a news conference, "and defensively, we were able to get some of that work against tempo. We got in some situational football, some third-and-short and some overtime work.

"Overall, I was pleased with the effort and strain and the competitive nature of it. There was some back and forth between both sides of the ball."

Heupel didn't detail many specific performances in the closed competition, other than to say that sixth-year senior quarterback Hendon Hooker was "efficient and effective" in moving the offense and that fifth-year senior linebacker Jeremy Banks had a nice interception.

Junior