Britton Colquitt will be back on the playing field for UT this weekend as they take on the Georgia Bulldogs down in Sanford Stadium. Colquitt was suspended for the first five games of the season following his arrest for a DUI. Coach Phillip Fulmer remarks on the difference it will make for the Vols and Colquitt talks of the lessons he's learned. Watch »
Coach Phillip Fulmer talks to the media Tuesday, Oct. 7 about how the team did against NIU and the upcoming game against Georgia. Watch »
Media day interviews
Tennessee Stat Book
It's not the sort of point spread that goes unnoticed, even for those who don't gamble.
That's what the Las Vegas experts think of Tennessee's chances at Georgia on Saturday.
Quarterback Nick Stephens said being a 13-point underdog is just insulting.
"But we brought it on ourselves," the sophomore said. "We didn't really play as well as we could have the first couple of games.
"It's to be expected."
Expected, but not accepted.
Defensive end Wes Brown said the spread is tough to swallow.
"We feel like we're supposed to win any game we play," the junior said. "We're not going to listen to the line."
Sure the Vols (2-3, 0-2 SEC) have struggled at times this season. But this is Georgia (4-1, 1-1), a team that the Vols have beaten soundly two consecutive games by a combined score of 86-47.
UT has arisen victorious wearing the mark of the double-digit before, most notably at Florida in 2001, at Miami in 2003 and at Georgia in 2004.
For the Vols, there's more at stake than proving the bookies wrong. Their pride has been challenged.
"We want to solidify ourselves and prove that Tennessee isn't going to take a backseat to anybody," Brown said.
The point spread is especially hard on offensive guard Anthony Parker, a Georgia native who has plenty of friends playing for the Bulldogs.
"I don't really like being an underdog at all, even if it's one point," the former Lovejoy High School star in Jonesboro, Ga. said. "I think that will fire us up a little more, especially to be a 13-point underdog.
"I think that will get everybody's motor going and give us a good week of practice. We'll practice hard and play even harder."
Could the line actually help UT, by perhaps giving the Bulldogs a false sense of confidence? That seems unlikely considering Georgia is coming off a 41-30 loss to Alabama and two consecutive beatings by the Vols.
Parker, however, said there is always such a risk for a heavy favorite.
"That's why I try not to pay attention to that stuff," he said.
Banged Up Brown: Brown said his sore right knee will require surgery after the season. He's been having trouble with the joint since suffering an injury in the season opener Sept. 1 against UCLA.
Brown was extremely limited last week in practice.
Despite playing 41 plays last Saturday against Northern Illinois, Brown said the knee feels better this week.
Defensive ends coach Steve Caldwell said he's trying to make sure Brown doesn't play too many consecutive plays.
Caldwell said backup sophomore Chris Walker should play more - and possibly even an equal number of snaps to Brown's - to ensure Brown is available late in the game.
Walker was in on 19 plays against Northern Illinois.
"We need to make sure he's fresh because he's got some great quickness and brings some dynamics to the field," Caldwell said of Brown.
Brown left last Saturday's game favoring his right leg. Caldwell said he believed that an issue with a leg brace, not Brown's injury. Brown returned to the game without the brace.
Brent Back?: A week after sophomore defensive back Brent Vinson's playing time was limited following a late showing to a team meeting, defensive backs coach Larry Slade insisted Vinson was back on track.
"Brent is fine," Slade said. "Brent will play. Brent is moving forward."
Vinson was also suspended against UCLA for academic shortcomings.
Vinson, who is widely considered one of the best athletes on the team, started 10 games as a freshman cornerback last season.
"He's another playmaker," Slade said.
Vinson is also important to the Vols for depth's sake. When he is on the field, it allows Dennis Rogan to play safety, giving either Eric Berry or Demetrice Morley a break.
"Brent is trying and I'm impressed with his effort," Slade said. "He's not going to do everything right.
"He's trying though and that's the most important thing. He cares and he has a great heart. He's growing up right before our eyes."
Vandy's Victories: UT coach Phillip Fulmer wasn't ready to name Vanderbilt the champions of the SEC East just yet.
The Commodores, led by coach Bobby Johnson, sit alone atop the East Division with a 3-0 SEC record. Vandy is 5-0 overall.
"Bobby's done a good job and they've had some nice wins, particularly this past weekend (over Auburn)," Fulmer said. "It's early yet."