Head coach Phillip Fulmer conceded that the wideouts were inept against the
Hurricanes but recalled that the same group was most impressive three games
earlier vs. Auburn.
''After the Auburn game everybody had 'em written up as All-Americans,''
Fulmer said. ''There's plenty of time to rectify the mistakes we made
Saturday. We've not been as consistent as we need to be at wide receiver.''
Whereas the wideouts were duds, the defensive linemen were studs vs. the
Hurricanes. Ends Parys Haralson and Constantin Ritzmann put tremendous
pressure on Miami QB Brock Berlin, while tackles Mondre Dickerson and J.T.
Mapu held their own in the middle of the line.
''They've just kept getting better,'' Fulmer said of the D-linemen. ''J.T.
Mapu has really worked hard to learn defensive tackle. Nobody thought he'd
play against Miami (because of a hyperextended elbow) but he told me on
Monday he was going to be ready to play. In time, he's going to be a really
good defensive tackle.''
The line had to play well for Tennessee to shut down the high-scoring
Hurricanes, who averaged 32.5 points per game entering Saturday's play. In
fact, the entire Vol defense played well against Miami.
''Defensively, I see us continue to improve,'' Fulmer said. ''It was our
best effort of the year with the (four) turnovers.''
Tennessee's offense wasn't very productive but at least it didn't lose the
game with turnovers and penalties, as happened in an earlier game with
''Offensively, we're still fighting to find a balance of run and pass,''
Fulmer said. ''We ran a little better at times in the Miami game. We
struggled to complete passes but we took care of the ball really well.''
Tennessee was roundly criticized after squeaking past Duke 23-6 a week
earlier. That win began to look a little more impressive after the Blue
Devils hammered Georgia Tech 41-17 this past Saturday. Fulmer wasn't
terribly surprised by that development.
''Duke is playing much better football than their record indicated when they
played us,'' the head man said. ''Watching film of their game with North Carolina State (one week prior to facing UT), they scared you.''