This isn't the same ol' Tennessee defense.
For the better part of two decades and through two coaching staffs, UT's defense has held a certain continuity.
Four down linemen, three linebackers and four defensive backs were the basic base.
The Vols were about as multiple as one could imagine in their most significant scrimmage of the spring on Saturday in Neyland Stadium. Under first-year defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, the Vols ran three and four man fronts with shifting more often the norm than not.
Wilcox, who isn't available for interviews as per UT's media policy with assistant coaches, even lined up 317-pound defensive tackle Montori Hughes off the line so he could get up a head of steam to rush the passer.
"I love it," the sophomore said with a big smile when asked of the play. "I get to get that momentum up and run into an offensive lineman.
"He's sitting there waiting on me to run into him. It doesn't get any better than that."
Hughes said one of the first times Wilcox called the play this spring, it resulted in a sack.
"I get in real easy on that one," Hughes said, still smiling. "They weren't expecting that. I would have killed the quarterback, but obviously I can't do that in practice."
The multiple defensive alignments aren't shocking. Wilcox did the same at Boise State before head coach Derek Dooley hired him.
It is, however, a little surprising that UT's defense would throw the kitchen sink at an inexperienced offensive line still trying to find its way.
Dooley said there's a balance in how much he wants to challenge his offensive front.
"There's been times where we've let it fly and there's parts flying everywhere and those guys look at the defense and it's like looking through a kaleidoscope," he said. "And then there's times where we've controlled what we've done certain periods where we say 'Play real basic here. Play vanilla.'
"Certainly you want it to be a little simple for them so they can build confidence and develop continuity. But at the same time, the other team, they're not going to be simple for you.
"At some point you've got to throw them in hot water and see if they can survive."
Surprisingly, many of UT's defenders have said the defense they're learning isn't very challenging to master, despite all the variations.
"It's just really simple stuff that we can do that affects the way the offense looks at us and messes their head up which is good because they don't know where they're going to be," defensive end Chris Walker said.
Walker sees the change as fair play.
"It's really confusing for a defense when you see an offense do a lot of shifting," Walker said. "For us, it's going to be really hard for offenses because we're starting in one front and moving into another front. So it will be really hard for offense to figure out what we're doing."
However, there is a downside.
"The downside is we always have to know what we're doing," Walker said. "On offense, one person doesn't do something right, it's second-and-ten. On defense, if one person doesn't do something right, it's a touchdown."
Poole Time: Tailback Tauren Poole turned in a spectacular long touchdown run in which he cut back, broke two tackles and outran the rest of UT's defense to the end zone.
"I got a little something something," the 5-foot-11, 211-pound junior said. "I've got to show something because I'm a little smaller. When I got past the line of scrimmage and saw that green, I got happy and thought 'I have to score.'"
Dooley said he was concerned that UT's defense has given up too many long runs recently, but was pleased with Poole's performance.
"The good backs break tackles," Dooley said. "That's just the way it is. I've always felt that a good back makes an offensive line and not vice versa."
Freshman Connection: Receiver Matt Milton caught the most passes for the Vols on Saturday, four for 17 yards, and was clearly a favorite target of fellow freshman Tyler Bray, who quarterbacked the Vols' second team most of the day.
"What Matt brings is Matt's a big target (6-5 and 207) and a real accurate thrower likes guys like that because they can put the ball away from the defender's leverage with precision and complete balls easier," Dooley said.
Dooley Noted: Dooley said he didn't think there were any significant injuries coming out of Saturday's scrimmage. ... Dooley said Daniel Lincoln has locked down the placekicking job coming out of spring camp and that fellow senior Chad Cunningham has punted well ... Dooley said UT has yet to find a player to adequately handle kickoffs.
Visitors: Several prospects visited campus for UT's scrimmage. Tight end Rory Anderson from Mceachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga. and offensive lineman Lamont Hardy from Lovejoy High School in Hampton, Ga. were the notables.
The Vols also hosted over 100 high school coaches and UT quarterback commitment Nash Nance from Calhoun (Ga.) High School.