Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin seemed skeptical that Florida coach Urban Meyer would be severely punished for his recent criticism of the SEC's much-maligned football officials.
"Urban Meyer?" Kiffin deadpanned following practice Wednesday when asked of Meyer's comments. "Criticized the officials, wow, that will be interesting. We'll see."
The SEC sent out a memo to member schools and media that threatened coaches with fines and suspensions if they publicly criticized officials.
Asked if Kiffin was under the impression that the public criticism was supposed to stop, he said, "You guys got the same memo that I got."
Meyer made the comments about a play in which quarterback Tim Tebow was hit by a Georgia player after handing the ball off.
"That should have been a penalty, in my opinion," Meyer said. "Obviously, it should have been. You've got to protect quarterbacks. That's the whole purpose. It's right in front of the referee. I'm not sure how they're going to handle that, but ... that was one of the plays we did send in (to the SEC to be reviewed)."
Kiffin also weighed in on Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has been suspended by Florida for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt for eye-gouging Georgia tailback Washaun Ealey last week.
"I did see the rerun," Kiffin said. "It was pretty bad but we'll worry about our team and what we can control. We've got a lot of work to do. Obviously, he'll discipline his team - or not - however he feels."
Spikes' Reaction: UT fullback Austin Johnson, who played against Spikes in high school in North Carolina, didn't seem taken aback by Spikes' eye-gouging.
"It doesn't really surprise me," Johnson said. "It is what it is I guess."
Johnson said Spikes didn't have a reputation as a dirty player in high school.
"He always was a talker but he never tried to hurt me intentionally or hurt anybody else or try to do dirty things like that," Johnson said.
Offensive guard Cory Sullins said he's never been eye-gouged, but he's been attacked in a pile.
"Actually, one time in high school I had somebody try to, it felt like, break my ankle," Sullins said. "A lot of stuff goes on in there."
Safety Janzen Jackson once feared for one of his fingers.
"I thought it was just stuck in the facemask and I looked up and I saw him biting my finger," the freshman said, recounting a high school incident. "I was trying to get up out of there. I didn't want my finger to get ripped off. To the extreme of biting me? That's kind of crazy.
"There are no rules when it's a dog pile because the referees can't see. It's whoever wants it the baddest. What would you do to get the ball? We ain't got weapons out there. All you've got is your hands."
Linebacker Rico McCoy said he's been kicked, pinched and had his fingers stepped on. Some of it, he said, makes sense if a fumble is involved.
However, McCoy said he wouldn't appreciate such skullduggery happening to one of his teammates.
"I'd be very upset if something like that happened," the senior said. "I like it to be physical anyway but there's going to be some extra stuff going on (if that happened), trying to really hurt some guys out there.
"That's kind of crazy. I'd be upset. I'm pretty sure the whole team would be upset."
Safety Eric Berry said he's been attacked in his stomach, arms and "private areas". The key to avoiding such attacks is to not be in a pile any longer than necessary.
"I try not to be on the bottom of the piles," he said. "As soon as we hit the ground, we've got to get up. That's pretty much our rule on defense or you get a 'loaf' for it. If you stay on the ground, you're going to get a 'minus' on your grade sheet."
Injury Report: Kicker Daniel Lincoln (quadriceps) practiced and said he would play Saturday against Memphis. Defensive tackle Marlon Walls (ankle) and defensive end Chris Walker (back) practiced. Defensive end Gerald Williams (ankle) was limited.
Berry Good: Berry has been named a semifinalist for the second year in a row for two prestigious national awards.
The junior is one of 12 players recognized for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's best college defensive back. Berry was a Thorpe finalist last season.
Berry is one of 15 players named for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the outstanding national defensive back of the year. Berry was a Bednarik semifinalist during his All-America campaign of 2008.
Three finalists each for both awards will be named Nov. 23, leading to the announcement of the winner Dec. 10.
Tennessee Tickets: Tickets are still available for Saturday's game at uttix.com.
Sullins Salute: Sullins had a strong prediction for Kiffin.
"I think he's going to take them to two SEC championships within the next four years," the senior said.