For some Vols, LSU game is like heading home
Nobody on Tennessee's roster has played a game at LSU's Tiger Stadium.
And save for the handful of Vols who are Louisiana natives or have seen it on recruiting visits, most will see it for the first time just a couple of hours before kickoff Saturday.
Despite teetering back and forth, UT coach Derek Dooley doesn't intend to take his team on a walk-through at Tiger Stadium on Saturday prior to UT's game against No. 12 LSU (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.).
"I've kind of changed on that because I used to like that," Dooley said. "They say go to the stadium because you get a feel for it. So you go and it's real quiet, and you see the field and you say, 'Boy, this is a nice stadium,' and you do your little walk-through."
But Dooley, who coached at LSU for five seasons under Nick Saban and played there twice while coaching at Louisiana Tech, knows what the Vols (2-2, 0-1 SEC) are up against.
"And then the next time you come out the next day, it's like a monster that came to life," he said. "I finally said we may as well just show up when it's a monster because you don't really get a feel for what it's like, even though they say go there and get acclimated.
"So we just go to the stadium when it's game day. We had a little better success that way."
UT's previous two coaches had different philosophies on the pregame walk-through for road games. The Vols did them under Philip Fulmer, but not under Lane Kiffin.
"I can see advantages to both sides," linebacker Nick Reveiz said.
"As a player, it's kind of whatever. It's all about when it's kicking off and that's when you're really feeling those emotions.
"It's not going to matter how I play on Saturday, it's not going to affect me. I know that when (kickoff) comes, I'll be ready to go."
Added linebacker LaMarcus Thompson: "I can understand why (Fulmer) did that, but it's not really a big deal if you go to the stadium or not because you know what you have to do."
And while getting to see what they're walking into could benefit UT's young team, Reveiz has a different view.
"They don't even have a basis to even judge it," he said. "Those young guys, they don't even know what to think.
"All they got to think about is that, you know what, it's still 100 yards long and 50 yards wide and the only difference at LSU is they number every (yard line)."
Good Response: Dooley was happy with the way the Vols responded after an extra day off from practice Monday.
"The last period was really good," he said. "Competitive, pads popping, helmets flying - and that's what we need to do and that's what we need to develop on a consistent basis."
The Vols did the Tennessee Drill during an early portion of practice to get the energy level back up after the day of rest.
"Even though when you get a little rest, you've got to get them going," he said. "I was real pleased how the team came out today. We got a lot done."
There's That Law Degree: Given the positive day of practice, defensive end Malik Jackson suggested the Vols should take every Monday off from practice.
Dooley had other ideas.
"Yeah . . . him playing well would help me," Dooley said. "You ever heard of quid pro quo? Tell him quid pro quo."
Status Update: Tailback Tauren Poole (thigh) wore a red non-contact jersey at Tuesday's practice, and Dooley said Poole was limited.
Cornerback Art Evans (knee) also wore a red non-contact jersey, but also said he's just "banged up" and expects to play against LSU.
Linebacker Herman Lathers (leg) practiced in a red non-contact jersey as well. Center Cody Pope did dress but did not practice.
Patrick Brown is a freelance contributor.