- Offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe talks to the media.
- Quarterback Erik Ainge talks to the media.
- Offensive line coach Greg Adkins talks to the media.
- Defensive end Xavier Mitchell talks to the media.
Tennessee Stat Book
Tennessee assistant coach Kurt Roper was a little mum Tuesday morning when asked about UT's punt-coverage team.
But he did it with a smile on his face.
"I really didn't want to talk about it so we didn't jinx it," joked Roper, who handles UT's punt return coverage in addition to his duties as running backs coach.
Through Tennessee's first three games, the Vols allowed four punt returns for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Florida and Cal averaged 42 yards a return, while Southern Miss did not return a punt against the Vols.
But since those three games, the Vols have given up just 34 yards on 10 opponent returns.
After giving up returns of 77 and 83 yards for touchdowns early, the longest return since September has gone for just 11 yards.
Part of the reason has been punter Britton Colquitt.
Part has been a new spread formation the Vols debuted against Georgia.
And part has been a change in personnel that put more wide receivers and defensive backs on the field for punt coverage.
"I think Britton's done a great job of punting, directional punting and being on time in getting it out," Roper said. "I think the difference in formations helps getting guys out faster than what the tighter punt formation does for you. I think effort is another thing. I think the guys have been giving great effort and have been challenged. Those first two returns may be a challenge for you."
Since Florida's Brandon James and Cal's DeSean Jackson scored touchdowns, the Vols haven't faced a bunch of scrubs either.
In its last seven games, the Vols have faced Alabama's Javier Arenas, Georgia's Mikey Henderson, Arkansas' Jerell Norton and South Carolina's Captain Munnerlyn.
Those five players rank second through fifth, in order, in the SEC for punt-return average.
Florida's James ranks No. 1 with a 17.2-yard average per return.
Now Bennett: After facing the SEC's leading rusher last week in Arkansas' Darren McFadden, Tennessee gets the conference's leading receiver Saturday in Vanderbilt's Earl Bennett.
The junior leads the SEC with an average of 6.7 receptions a game and set the league's all-time receptions mark this season. He has 228 career catches entering Saturday's game.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Bennett is sixth in the league with 73.9 yards per game.
UT defensive coordinator John Chavis complimented Bennett, but also said the rest of Vandy's offense merits attention.
"We've got to defend Vanderbilt's offensive attack," Chavis said. "Bennett's a part of it. They've got another receiver or two, to be honest with you, just as good. It's not just Bennett. They've got other receivers. They do a great job of moving him around."
Simple Again?: Chavis said he called the fewest blitzes of his career against Arkansas in an effort to help stop the Razorbacks' running attack.
That likely won't be the case again this week.
"There's nobody that likes to bring pressure more than I do. That's me, that's who I am, that's what I believe in," Chavis said. "But sometimes that can get you in trouble. When you're playing a team that runs the scheme that Arkansas runs, unless you hit things exactly right, you're going to cause yourself as much problems as you do them."
Vanderbilt and its balanced offense requires a different approach.
"You have to change," Chavis said. "We did what we felt like would give us the best opportunity in last week's game. That's what we'll do this week."
Lead Foot Taylor: UT receiver Lucas Taylor has been playing the last three games with a metal plate in his shoe to help combat a turf toe injury suffered against Mississippi State.
"He's playing with a plate inside his shoe and doing the best he can," wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said.
Taylor has 782 receiving yards this season and ranks third in the SEC with 78.2 yards per game.
Tickets Available: A limited number of tickets for Saturday's final home game of the season remain.
They may be purchased at the UT box office in Thompson-Boling Arena or by phone at 656-1200 or 800-332-8657 from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. or online at UTSports.com.
Tickets are $40.
Pay-Per-View Info: Saturday's game will be shown on DirecTV channel 684 and is also available through local cable systems and on Dish Network.
The game will be available on ESPN's GamePlan package, but only outside the state of Tennessee.
Mike Strange contributed to this report.