Defense showing signs

Justin Coleman

Although tackling is something most football teams can always improve upon, coach Derek Dooley seemed fairly pleased with the play of his defense in the first preseason scrimmage. Sign in or subscribe now to see the latest scrimmage report and view the most recent video footage provided by InsideTennessee.com.

As concerning as Tennessee's offense was to coach Derek Dooley, he appeared to be quite pleased with the effort on the other side of the ball in the first scrimmage of preseason camp at Neyland Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

"There weren't a lot of mental errors on defense, which was good," Dooley said. "The fit was pretty good, which means there weren't these gaping holes. They did a great job against the run. We didn't run the ball very well and that was disappointing. That was a good job by the defense. Our tackling needs to keep improving. We hit guys and they fall for three yards instead of hitting them and it's zero. The defense won the line of scrimmage. Usually when that happens, you're going to be all right."

UT running backs were held to 87 yards on 22 carries and didn't find the end zone once.

Senior linebacker Austin Johnson led the Volunteers with eight tackles. Sophomore linebacker Raiques Crump was the next closest with four stops. Freshman cornerback Justin Coleman came down with the one interception.

Defensive pressure up front and an ever-improving secondary held the Tennessee quarterbacks to a completion rate of just 40.9 percent (25 for 61). The longest gain through the air was a 30-yard reception by sophomore wide receiver Justin Hunter.

View the video interviews below to see the thoughts of Johnson and junior defensive back Prentiss Waggner.

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