Recap: Florida at Tennessee
Tennessee starting free safety Brian Randolph appears to be done for the season, dealing a blow to the Vols' defense.
Randolph was helped from the field in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss to Florida. He seemed to be favoring his right knee.
Well-wishers flooded his Facebook page, and Randolph responded appreciatively. "Thanks for all the support from everyone," he said. "I'll be back next year!"
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is expected to discuss the injury during his regular news conference on Monday. On his Sunday television show, Dooley said the injury "didn't look good."
Randolph made the SEC all-freshman team last year after making 55 tackles in his rookie season. He played in every game, starting eight. He entered the Florida game with a team-leading 15 tackles.
If Randolph is out, the Vols would likely start junior Brent Brewer or senior Rod Wilks in his place. Junior Byron Moore is the starter at the other safety position.
* Could Wildcat quarterback A.J Johnson, a starting linebacker, be the answer to the Vols' short-yardage woes?
Dooley said Johnson was a "big help" on Tennessee's lone third quarter touchdown drive.
The 6-2, 240-pound Johnson offers more size than any other Tennessee back. Johnson said his goal was to "get in, go a couple yards and don't fumble."
* Linebackers Herman Lathers (shoulder) and Curt Maggitt (toe) showed no apparent effects from their injuries. Lathers briefly left the game when he landed on his sore shoulder, but he said it was never an issue during the game.
* Another true freshman made his debut Saturday, meaning 10 players in the Class of 2012 now have seen the field for the Vols.
Receiver Alton "Pig" Howard did not catch a pass but played as a slot receiver.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Christian Harris also played for the first time. He was returning from an ACL injury suffered in the spring.
* Akron, Tennessee's next opponent, broke records in a 66-6 win against Morgan State Saturday.
The Zips set or tied school records for points (66), first downs (43), passing yards (565), passing attempts (59), completions (44), completions by a quarterback (37), according to the Akron Beacon-Journal. The 565 passing yards (combined between quarterbacks Dalton Williams with 446 and Kyle Pohl with 119) was the most in Mid-American Conference history.
Akron (1-2) was blown out 56-14 by Central Florida in the season opener, but lost a nail-biter to Florida International, 41-38 in overtime, in Week 2.
It was the first win at the school for Terry Bowden, who was head coach at Auburn from 1993-1998.
"I'm just so happy for our players," Bowden told the newspaper. "I've been so down after last week because I wanted them to have a big win, but that was something that happened that was beyond my imagination."
* Only one team in the Bowl Subdivision has had as many problems with extra points as the Vols, who have missed one in each of the first three games.
UCLA's Ka'imi Fairbairn missed three extra points in the Bruins' first two games. But he kept his job and was perfect Saturday in a win against Houston.
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.