- DE Chris Walker talks about the long plays that UT's defense gave up on Saturday
- Eric Berry talks to the media about preparing for Saturday's scrimmage
- Dave Hooker interviews DB coach Willie Mack Garza
- QB Jonathan Crompton talks to the media
- RB coach Eddie Gran talks to the media
- Dave Hooker interviews C Cody Sullins
- Dave Hooker interviews Lane Kiffin about TB Bryce Brown's tough day
Long runs. Big passes. Touchdowns. All those fun items so scarce in Neyland Stadium last season were abundant Saturday in Tennessee's first preseason football scrimmage.
"Don't put us in the Sugar Bowl yet,'' advised first-year UT coach Lane Kiffin.
"It's one scrimmage and we've got a long ways to go.''
In the pedal-to-the-metal mode of the first-year Kiffin regime, the Vols' first day in full pads was - what else? - a full-fledged scrimmage.
Keeping in the NFL mindset he prefers, Kiffin referred to Saturday's exercise as Preseason Game One.
Score this one for the offense.
After an interception-riddled practice Friday, quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton and Nick Stephens were masters of ball security.
Crompton hit his first nine pass attempts and finished, unofficially, 11-of-14 for 173 yards.
He flipped TD passes of 20 yards to Tauren Poole and 1 yard to Brandon Warren. The Warren score was set up by a 68-yard bomb to Gerald Jones.
"Things happen, especially at the quarterback position,'' Crompton said. "It's a roller-coaster ride, up and down.
"It's all a matter of how you react and I think we reacted pretty well today.''
Stephens was 9-of-13 for 100 yards, working mostly with the No. 2 offense.
As opposed to Friday, neither quarterback was intercepted.
"Any time you make a mistake,'' Stephens said, "even though you don't want to admit it, sometimes that's the best way to learn.
"We learned from (Friday) and personally, I'm not going to make the same mistake twice. I'm going to move on from those mistakes.''
The ground game wasn't to be overshadowed, especially Poole.
The sophomore gained 144 yards on eight carries. He had TD blasts of 44 and 75 yards, in each case evading a non-scholarship defensive back to reach the end zone.
Freshman Bryce Brown gained 50 yards on 11 carries. Freshman David Oku gained 34 yards on seven tries and had a long run called back by a penalty.
Brown and Oku each had 3-yard TD runs, Brown showing a burst of speed to turn the corner with a pitch.
Montario Hardesty, the starter at tailback, played sparingly.
Fourteen players caught passes, none more than Luke Stocker's three.
The only turnover was linebacker Jake Storey's interception off Nick Lamaison in a third-string series.
At the end of the day, the No. 1 offense produced three touchdowns and a 47-yard Daniel Lincoln field goal, his only attempt.
The No. 2 offense also struck for three touchdowns and was stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 1 after a 69-yard drive.
And no one professed to be surprised.
"Not at all,'' said All-American safety Eric Berry. "We've been working against those guys all summer and we know what strides they've made and what preparation they put in.''
Kiffin would have been disappointed had the defense won the day. Recharging an offense that was among the puniest in the nation last year is his mission.
"Our expectation is to move the ball like that on every drive,'' he said. "So it's surprising when we don't do it.''
The defense wasn't holding much back strategically but was hardly full strength.
Berry played only one series, then stepped aside to let younger players get tested.
Linebacker Rico McCoy (knee) wasn't in uniform, nor was corner Brent Vinson (hamstring). Tackle Wes Brown (knees) dressed but didn't participate.
Cornerback Art Evans left in mid-scrimmage after a left knee injury but was walking on his own.
"We treated it like a game,'' Kiffin said. "Those big runs don't happen in practice because you're not cutting (cut-blocking) guys.
"When you put the whole thing together and start cutting guys, a lot of people wouldn't do that but our defense needs to be able to play cut blocks and we have to learn to do it.''
Said Berry, "It's a bad feeling to see an offense do you like that, but you'd rather it be your offense (than someone else's).
"We'll look at the film, see what the problems were and try to correct them.''