Tennessee running back Rajion Neal was criticized after the opening game for bouncing outside rather than shooting through holes up the middle. Running backs coach Jay Graham said he's seen noticeable improvement since then.
UT's running game will be a key for the Vols (3-1, 0-1 SEC) on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.) at Georgia (4-0, 2-0).
"He's done a lot better with it," Graham said Wednesday. "He's been more consistent. He's starting to understand running through the edge of defenders, taking a half-man, all those things that are important to breaking tackles. It's not always easy in a game situation."
Neal has 356 rushing yards this season, including 151 last Saturday against Akron.
First-year Tennessee offensive line coach Sam Pittman watched last year's Tennessee-Georgia game on film and found a clear culprit for the loss.
The lack of any Tennessee running game gave Georgia the green light to blitz with impunity.
"We don't want to let those guys pin their ears back and call every blitz they've got in the playbook without the threat of us hitting them for a big run," Pittman said. "We're going to go into the game trying to be balanced. If we can do that, our chances are going to be a lot better."
Sophomore cornerback Justin Coleman will hold on to the starting job he earned a week ago. Cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley said he was pleased with his first game back in the lineup.
"Justin's doing really well. He's a competitor. We knew that from Day 1," Ansley said. "He's started to master his craft."
Senior Prentiss Waggner split time at both corner and safety in 2011 before returning to corner, his natural position, this season.
Last Saturday, however, he shifted over to safety in certain dime situations, helping the Vols fill gaps in secondary depth.
"He's done it before," Ansley said. "He's proven he can play multiple positions in the SEC, so you don't worry as much about putting him back there."
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.