Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin was pleased that quarterback Nick Stephens bounced back from a rough morning practice Wednesday with a strong showing in the evening practice.
In the first session, Stephens fumbled a snap from center, was off-target on several passes, and his worst moment came when he threw a long wounded-duck-like pass that Gordon intercepted.
“Nick was really down, especially because he had a really bad decision in the four-minute offense, which was the last thing we did so everybody kind of saw it,” Kiffin said. “To come back today and rally, that’s football, that’s what’s going to have to happen at halftime if you have a bad first half.”
Kiffin said UT’s offense practiced “extremely well” and that its quarterbacks were “really good” Thursday evening.
Kiffin said he believes that his quarterbacks have gained confidence from last Saturday’s strong scrimmage. Other players, Kiffin said, have more confidence in UT’s signal callers since their play improved.
“They’re both playing really well,” Kiffin said.
Linebacker Lingo: Kiffin said he’s been pleased with UT’s freshman linebackers.
“Every day there’s one of them that pops up,” he said.
Kiffin said Jerod Askew continues to make plays and Greg King is showing flashes. Askew nailed tailback David Oku in the evening session, causing a fumble.
No More Babying: Kiffin said he’ll likely coach from the sideline during Saturday’s scrimmage instead of sitting in on UT’s offensive huddle as he has done throughout preseason practice.
“I have to get out of the huddle here eventually,” Kiffin said. “It’s kind of like with a baby. You’ve got to wean them off the bottle.”
Practice Report: Quintin Hancock caught two consecutive 20-yard touchdowns, one from Jonathan Crompton and another from Nu’Keese Richardson on a trick play … Stephens threw a 55-yard touchdown to freshman receiver Marsalis Teague. … UT moved inside midway through practice because of lightning.