Good news, bad news for UT

Gerald Riggs

The good news: Tennessee cornerback Brandon Johnson will be back from the injured list in time for Saturday's game with Duke.

The bad news: Safety Rashad Baker and tailback Cedric Houston won't be.

Head coach Phillip Fulmer is tickled that Johnson will be back in gear this week.

''It looks like we'll get Brandon Johnson back, and that'll help,'' the head man said. ''He can help us at both safety and corner.''

With Baker sidelined by a knee strain, freshman Corey Campbell will get his first career start. That has Fulmer a bit worried, of course.

''Corey Campbell being a new safety is a concern,'' the head man said. ''With all of the shifting Duke does, if one guy lines up wrong, you've got points.''

The loss of Houston should not be too difficult to withstand. The Vols still have three adequate tailbacks in Jabari Davis, Corey Larkins and Gerald Riggs, Jr. Wide receiver Derrick Tinsley, originally signed as a running back, can help at tailback in a pinch.

''I think we'll play all three -- Jabari, Gerald and Corey,'' Fulmer said. ''And Tinsley can play there some, too.''

UT fans wondering why Riggs has played so sparingly this season -- even Larkins played ahead of him last week at Alabama -- might consider this: Riggs has been late for three of the last four Friday afternoon ''walk-through'' practices.

If the Vol coaching staff can't count on Riggs in a relatively meaningless workout, how can they count on him in a meaningful game?

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