Wes Brown diplomatically called it part of the game. Coach Lane Kiffin was at least glad Auburn was punished for it.
Brown, Tennessee's senior defensive tackle, was the victim of a chop block on Auburn's first offensive possession Saturday night.
Brown was just glad he was able to recover and get back on the field, even though he didn't like the outcome, a 26-22 Auburn victory.
A chop block is an illegal block. It occurs when a defensive player is engaged above the waist with one offensive blocker and a second blocker hits the defender in the legs.
Auburn junior Ryan Pugh was penalized 15 yards on the play.
"When I was running off the field . . . '' Brown said Monday, then caught himself and laughed.
"When I was limping off the field, I was pretty (angry). I'm a competitor just like every one of these guys, just like Auburn was. I was pretty upset. I didn't know if I'd be able to play the rest of the day.''
Or ever, he might have added.
Brown is almost playing on borrowed time now, with surgically repaired knees.
"It's unfortunate, especially who it happened to,'' Kiffin said. "I think it's very common knowledge that he's had a lot of knee issues, a lot of injuries.
"I thought the referees did a good job of picking it up. Sometimes that stuff gets missed.''
Saturday was apparently not Pugh's first chop block. He was penalized in Auburn's Chick-Fil-A Bowl win over Clemson to end the 2007 season. There's a replay on youtube.com.
Brown said getting chopped wasn't as great a threat when he played defensive end the first three years of his career. He moved inside to tackle this season.
"I know all about 'em now,'' he said. "I was rushing on the guard and the next thing I know my leg's in the air and my knee buckled on me.
"It was tough, but that's part of football. When you decide to play the game that's going to happen.''
Brown, who is from Athens, Ala., said he looked at Pugh but didn't say anything.
"I know most of their offensive linemen from recruiting,'' he said. "They came up to me and said, 'We wasn't trying to do nothing.' ''
Brown sat out one series and rode an exercise bike until his knee loosened up.
"I was just lucky to get back out there,'' he said.
Lincoln Hurting: A quadriceps muscle issue was a factor in Daniel Lincoln missing a 39-yard field-goal attempt against Auburn.
Lincoln hadn't kicked all week in practice. Kiffin said the staff considered going with a back-up against Auburn but the back-up didn't perform well in practice.
"Guys not being able to practice during the week and then not playing well, we've seen that with a number of guys,'' Kiffin said. "Now we've seen it with our kicker.''
No Flag Day: Tennessee has one decisive statistical edge over Georgia - penalties.
The Vols rank No. 3 in the nation in fewest penalty yards per game. UT has been penalized 18 times for 144 yards, an average of 28.8 per game.
Georgia ranks 115th of 120 teams in total penalties - 48 for 373 yards. That's an average of 9.6 penalties for 74.6 yards per game.
A celebration penalty after a touchdown was critical in Georgia's loss to LSU on Saturday.
"We talk about it all the time,'' Kiffin said. "I don't know how you could talk about penalties more than we do. Playing smart and making good decisions.
"That's great to see our guys playing with discipline. This week is going to be a big challenge for us because of Georgia. We can't get in that kind of game with a bunch of penalties. We've got to continue to do what we've done.''