Hardesty has knee drained: Oku amazed by banged-up run

Few expected Tennessee tailback Montario Hardesty to lead the SEC in rushing a month into the season. Teammate David Oku is downright astounded.

“I don’t know if we can curse or not,” the freshman tailback told reporters Wednesday. “But I’m sure surprised. For a man to go through three knee surgeries, that is a helluva guy to be doing something like this still. Most people would give up. I ask him everyday ‘How the hell do you do it?’ ”

Hardesty continues to do it while battling persistent health issues. A sore shoulder slowed him last week, yet he still rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries against Ohio.

He had his knee drained early this week and was limited in practice but expects to play Saturday against Auburn.

Hardesty is tops in the SEC with 121.25 rushing yards per game. That’s good for ninth best in the country for the senior who was known more for injuries than carries before this season.

“I don’t think I should get all the credit for that,” Hardesty of his production this season. “I can’t do anything I’ve been doing without my o-line blocking, the receivers blocking downfield and the coach having confidence to give me the ball.

“I’m just out there trying to do my part of the job to help my team win.”

Hardesty’s ascension means less carries for his backfield mates. He has 84 carries this season. Highly touted freshmen Bryce Brown and Oku have 43 and 8, respectively. Despite a strong off-season, sophomore Tauren Poole has five carries.

The Vols’ offensive intentions are clear: ride Hardesty, who is averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Oku isn’t complaining. He has caught two passes for 13 yards and returned 10 kickoffs for an 18.7-yard average this season.

“I love my role,” he said. “My role is a good role. The role that you get, you have to accept and made the best of it. Not too many people get the opportunity to play right off the bat.”

Brown has proven himself a worthy featured back this season. He has 215 yards and is averaging 5 yards per carry. Hardesty has been there for Brown every step of the way.

“I’ve learned a lot,” Brown said. “Just the way that he carries himself, the way he stays calm, his leadership by example (and) vocally.”

UT coach Lane Kiffin said he was again impressed with Hardesty last week when he didn’t complain after three carries in the first half and was ready to go with 17 carries in the second.

“I love everything about him,” Kiffin said.

Wes’ World: Senior defensive tackle Wes Brown said his sore knees felt good on Monday, then there was an issue Tuesday when one of his knees gave out during a double-team drill.

UT’s coaches held Brown out last Saturday against Ohio.

“The coaches, that’s why they make the money,” Brown said. “They told me that they wanted me to sit that one out and get ready for Auburn.”

Brown was limited but practiced Wednesday.

Injury Report: Defensive end Chris Walker (back) was very limited during Wednesday’s practice, Kiffin said. Linebacker Herman Lathers (head) and Wes Brown (knee) got some work.

“Tomorrow will be a big day for a lot of guys,” Kiffin said.

Offensive guard Vladimir Richard did not practice. Kiffin said he didn’t look very good, adding he expected to play the same offensive line UT played last Saturday, which would be without Richard.

Center Josh McNeil said he’s ready to play after two weeks of practice. The senior was originally told he would likely be out for the season after exploratory surgery on his knee revealed extensive damage, which will require surgery.

McNeil, who has had severe knee and shoulder injuries, said he is roughly 75 percent of the player he was when he arrived at UT in 2005.

Last Word: Kiffin commended quarterback Jonathan Crompton and his receivers for their work in practice.

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Comments » 65

dvhill100 writes:

That is not good.

smokyredbone writes:

He'll be OK!

Down_The_Field writes:

i'll be accused of being an arm chair coach, but i would sit hardesty out saturday. he's a competitor and will say he can go, but i still wouldn't risk his health. he and brown are best thing going on our offense and we'll need him for the other 3 games this month.

start brown and let oku and poole get some work in the process.

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The worst thing about people like you is that you aren't even big enough to admit you aren't really a vol fan.Stop acting like it, go root for someone else. I don't care who, just stop acting like TN matters to you at all.

Razzle writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You really cherish this role of low IQ troll, don't you boob?

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

Play Hardesty! This is his year; there is no tomorrow. If he gets hurt, we have plenty of depth at the position. We need him for the hard yards. Brown can not get those, he is not tough enough yet.

Cldvols1 writes:

All will be okay, don't get frustrated!

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kind of like Urbie playing Tebow with a 24 pt lead in the 3rd quarter, no!

tractoronthepole writes:

Draining the knee makes it feel great. I had it done to my knee at his age at least 4 times. As long as the fluid is clear and not blood (which can indicate damage) it provides immediate relief from discomfort caused by swelling and restores motion.

Laydbakvol writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go ask Urbie about that. Rides Timmy like a rented mule and plays him three and a half quarters in a blowout when he has the flu. Or whatever else he had that he had to ride in a separate plane to KY.

prughj#1339542 writes:

Sorry, Delta Charlie...... it was late in the 3rd and the Gator D was a lock to keep the game out of reach. Tebow and the Gator D are why Fla. ranks so high..... to risk injury to the key to the season was pure idiocy, and your coach blew it. In college football Tebow is one of a kind - - a shame to waste him after the game was out of reach...... bad, bad, bad.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

If Hardesty looks like it's bothering him, put Brown in and get Oku and Poole some touches. The running game will be fine, and Poole could get some short yardage carries. Just don't let the trolls get you all turned around. They're going to do anything to spin your comments like O'Reilly would.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. At UF, a 24 point lead is peanuts. A 10-point win is humiliating. A loss is improbable. An undefeated season is imaginary.

golfballs03 writes:

"Last Word: Kiffin commended quarterback Jonathan Crompton and his receivers for their work in practice."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At least he can spell his own last name. KIFFIN is all over this website, yet you don't know how to spell it, or at least COPY it? Wow. Just wow. I'm almost at a loss.

acolvol#632266 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who are you praying to, TennesseeBigMouth? Even God can't help you on this one.

the10sevol writes:

in response to tractoronthepole:

Draining the knee makes it feel great. I had it done to my knee at his age at least 4 times. As long as the fluid is clear and not blood (which can indicate damage) it provides immediate relief from discomfort caused by swelling and restores motion.

second that. and it immediately increases the range of motion by a wide margin. scary? yes. painful? yes. but after it's over you wouldn't believe the difference unless you had experienced it.

GBO

murrayvol writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You need new writers dimwit.

Can't be a serious troll w/o fresh material.

Major_Magilicutty writes:

I've been posting this since the game, and I'll say it again...

HARDESTY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THE GAME THAT LATE AGAINST OHIO!!!!

I don't care if you're a Kiffin fan or a staunch opponent, the handling of substitutions during that game was amateurish, and keeping Hardesty in the game was incredibly irresponsible and greedy.

It's a young mans health we're talking about. Someone on this million dollar coaching staff should've stood up and said something.

the10sevol writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i am praying for the return of nick reveiz.

process that thought however your reptilian brain allows you to.

GBO

vol94 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Like BAby Urban playing Tbow next week, right?

There is NO way Tebow should play anytime soon.
Don't take my word for it, do the research yourself and watch the clip that Real sports had on HBO.

vol94 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess all the newsapapers, radio shows, and other media types do not know what the hell they are talking about, huh? They must all be stupid since they all trashed your cry baby of a coach
for playing T-bone with such a large lead when the game was NOT IN DOUBT!!

vol94 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess you are referring to your son's 6 year old coach because I don't know a Coach Kifen.

GET A life!!

The1 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Phil is retuning. He'll be replacing Meyer after Meyer goes to Notre Dame.

The1 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Phil is returning....He will be replacing Meyer after Meyer takes the Notre Dame job.

jst4tdyvols writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are an idiot,go play in the street.

calvolfromkingsport writes:

The boys are playing like they didn't last year. There is definitely a change of attitude. I applaude the coaching staff. Thanks CLK.

Major_Magilicutty writes:

in response to Major_Magilicutty:

I've been posting this since the game, and I'll say it again...

HARDESTY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN THE GAME THAT LATE AGAINST OHIO!!!!

I don't care if you're a Kiffin fan or a staunch opponent, the handling of substitutions during that game was amateurish, and keeping Hardesty in the game was incredibly irresponsible and greedy.

It's a young mans health we're talking about. Someone on this million dollar coaching staff should've stood up and said something.

Quoted for emphasis.

Ironcity writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I bet you pray every day and night for the return of Phil. Most Gator and Tide fans do.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We'll see if UM plays T-bow. It sounds like he wants to put him back on the field. T-bows brain is a lot more import to his well being than anyones knees. But you can't understand that. How does that go? Suppose I were a Gator Fan, now suppose I were a fool.. oh I repeat myself. IYF the true quote was by Mark T. about congress. But is applies to trolls

VolinCalif writes:

in response to the10sevol:

second that. and it immediately increases the range of motion by a wide margin. scary? yes. painful? yes. but after it's over you wouldn't believe the difference unless you had experienced it.

GBO

Been there, done that. You are correct.

rjrich#235198 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey DC

Trivia Question for You (Don't worry - we know you are a gatorbait fan, so we won't make it too hard)

What is the best thing to ever come out of Gainseville, Florida?

I-75, of course.

Go back home to Swampland and worry about Tim, and stay the H*ll out of our site!!

Go Vols

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

not sure who kiffen is?

If you drank the kool-aid, then you would know it Kiffin

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to rjrich#235198:

Hey DC

Trivia Question for You (Don't worry - we know you are a gatorbait fan, so we won't make it too hard)

What is the best thing to ever come out of Gainseville, Florida?

I-75, of course.

Go back home to Swampland and worry about Tim, and stay the H*ll out of our site!!

Go Vols

that's why they are here, to play football. That's why the are the atheletes and bums like you read the stat sheets and yap behind a computer.

piss off

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

that's why they are here, to play football. That's why the are the atheletes and bums like you read the stat sheets and yap behind a computer.

piss off

sorry Rich, that was for Deltadumbarse

asleep#212036 writes:

Am I the only one watching LSU going to pot? UF doesn't NEED Tebow to beat them. Brantley is a future NFL star who is more than capable of running the offense. LSU's offense ranks 11th in the league, 12th in rushing. There is no way they will beat Florida, with or without Tebow. In fact, they won't beat Georgia this week. Coach Meyer: Sit Tebow you idiot! As far as Hardesty, fluid on a knee is a far cry from a traumatic head injury (which is what a concussion is). Hardesty's knee will improve with rest but would immediately swell again with any stress so it likely isn't going to heal without surgery again to remove frayed cartilage and scar tissue. We need him and he isn't injured - the fluid is secondary to chronic inflammation from multiple surgeries and poor anatomy. Drain it, practice him light, play him hard, and repair surgically as needed after the season. Go Vols!!!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kiss the Crimson Trunk and perish.

cloudodust writes:

Knee Drainage 101 : If blood is present, there's a problem. If blood is absent I wouldn't declare his knee 100% but I can tell you it feels a whale of a lot better, good enough to go. As a senior with Tennessee's October schedule, he won't sit unless he has to. It's called being a man in the football world...

tennezz writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Could be, Is PeeHole going to play in the LSU game?

volvoice writes:

Hardesty has become the go-to guy for this offense. He needs to be out there as long as it s not risking permanent damage to the knee. Nick R. is lost for the season- he was to the D what Hardesty is to the O...catalyst, leader by example, durable and wanting to win...Bryce is talented but runs like a freshman without good field vision. No Hardesty, no win. We need his running prowess present Saturday night.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Dingle Crack! Since this remark was directed at my criticism of Meyer, let me say that draining a sore knee is nothing compared to the serious concussion that Tebow suffered against KY.
Tebow is a fine young man and his college coach should look out for the best interest of his health. If a FLA homer like Doyel can write articles saying that Tebow shouldn't play, then don't complain about the UT fans on this site, go to CBS Sports.com and complain to your gator brother Doyel!
And I love it when you call me Big Poppa...

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wormie Liar has no business even thinking about playing tebow next week but he will just because wormies ego is more important than tebows health.
It wasnt like those gayfors were going to go undefeated anyways.
so is wormie liar liable for more serious injury to tebow when it comes ?
you stupid troll

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

24 pt lead in the 3rd quarter to KY!LOL You must not have a lot of faith in your defense or your backups. Oh that's right they got exposed the week before!bahaha And UT is a big time program that is going through a rebuilding phase. Give us some time, look at Saban's first year. I've heard several sports analysts the last couple days have that same question, "Why was Tebow in the game?" But I guess I'm the crazy one.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sounds like Multi-Venereal needs to go to bed, goodnight troll.

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to TennesseeBigMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree Fulmer was a great coach...in the 90's! C'mon dude get over it this is the 21st century. Other teams are changing with the times and we NEEDED to do the same! I wish Fulmer nothing but the best but Tennessee is heading in different direction.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Run the ball Saturday night to set up the...

run.

Aubie's D is well, not too impressive.

And their punt return team, well, sometimes they catch it , usually not.

There is a reason we are favored.

xvolx writes:

If one has ever played football, they know that everyone out there is playing with some type injury. Some injuries can't be played through. I never played one game or practice that something wasn't painful. You just grin and bare it.

jdcvols#230433 writes:

Here is the deal, we lose this game...then NO bowl game. ALA, GA, SC. MS look to be major uphill battles. KY, Vandy and Memphis are never "easy". The players will have all the rest they want after Thanksgiving if we lose this game.

PennVol writes:

Hardesty is a great role model for the young backs.

carlsusanellis#574472 writes:

in response to prughj#1339542:

Sorry, Delta Charlie...... it was late in the 3rd and the Gator D was a lock to keep the game out of reach. Tebow and the Gator D are why Fla. ranks so high..... to risk injury to the key to the season was pure idiocy, and your coach blew it. In college football Tebow is one of a kind - - a shame to waste him after the game was out of reach...... bad, bad, bad.

If your afraid to play your best players then you better find another job.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

Run the ball Saturday night to set up the...

run.

Aubie's D is well, not too impressive.

And their punt return team, well, sometimes they catch it , usually not.

There is a reason we are favored.

"Run the ball Saturday night to set up the run."

Then run some more.

J Majors ball is back.

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