Scrimmage highlights
UT Coach Lane Kiffin

Posted Aug 29, 2009


After four weeks of preseason camp, nothing surprises Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin anymore - least of all Saturday's situational scrimmage.

Just one week shy of the 2009 opener, a dozen or so freshmen were playing prominent roles in the final dress rehearsal. This was no big deal to Kiffin, who figured a bunch of rookies would contribute when he secured their services last February.

"I thought we signed a number of players that would have significant roles as freshmen for us," the head man said. "With injuries, that (role of freshmen) has become even more significant, especially with the receivers.

"There are a lot of (first-year) guys in there but that's good. It's good for the competition, and it shows these guys have worked really hard."

Just as Kiffin was not surprised by the number of rookies in key roles, he was not surprised that the No. 1 offense drove to a quick touchdown on its first possession of the scrimmage.

"I'd love to say it felt great but I understand it wasn't a live (full-scale) day and the defense wasn't throwing a ton of stuff at 'em," Kiffin noted. "So, I would've expected they'd score on every series with the setup today."

Two key Vols - first-team guard Vladimir Richard and second-team tight end Jeff Cottam - missed the workout due to minor injuries. Both will be back at practice on Monday, Kiffin said.

What follows are the scrimmage highlights:

Coming off the goal line, No. 1 tailback Montario Hardesty was dumped for a one-yard loss and a safety by the No. 1 defense.

Chad Cunningham boomed a 55-yard punt from his 1-yard line.

Safety Eric Berry intercepted an overthrow by scout-squad quarterback Nick Lamaison and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.

No. 1 quarterback Jonathan Crompton hit No. 1 tight end Luke Stocker with a 21-yard touchdown strike to cap the first-team offense's first possession of the day.

Defensive end Gerald Williams ran down walk-on Matt Fromke from behind and sacked him for a six-yard loss.

Daniel Lincoln nailed a 47-yard field goal.

Cunningham booted a high kickoff to the 5-yard line, pinning a walk-on return man against the West sideline so effectively that he was swarmed under after a mere 14-yard return.

Freshman cornerback Eric Gordon stormed into the backfield to dump a scout-squad tailback for a two-yard loss.

Cunningham, the No. 2 place-kicker, missed a 41-yard field goal try.

Freshman David Oku showed great acceleration in returning a Lincoln kickoff 35 yards to the 40-yard line.

Tight end Luke Stocker dropped a pass from Crompton.

Crompton hit freshman Marsalis Teague for 20 yards on a deep slant.

Lincoln nailed a 29-yard field goal.

Rod Wilks, switched from safety to wide receiver earlier this week, made a nice adjustment and catch on a 10-yard pass from Lamaison.

Running for his life against a ferocious pass rush from the No. 1 defense, Lamaison made a nice scrambling throw to a scout-squad receiver for a 12-yard gain.

Gordon made a nifty end-zone interception of a Lamaison pass intended for Wilks.

Freshman Nu'keese Richardson muffed a nice punt by No. 2 punter David Harrington.

Defensive end Chris Donald, dropping into coverage, batted and nearly intercepted a Crompton pass.

Defensive tackle Chase Nelson batted down Crompton's next pass.

Freshman cornerback Nyshier Oliver got a little too animated after the scout-squad defense forced the No. 1 offense into a three-and-out, incurring a 15-yard penalty for taunting.

Lincoln hit a 37-yard field goal.

Cunningham boomed a kickoff that carried five yards deep into the end zone. The scout-squad return man who tried to advance the kick was dumped at the 11-yard line by Tyler Wolf.

Lincoln kicked off to the 7-yard line, and Oku returned it 20 yards.

Crompton found freshman Zach Rogers for a 20-yard gain.

Cunningham kicked off to the 10-yard line but the ball bounded into the end zone when the two scout-squad deep men couldn't decide which should field the ball.

Cornerback Art Evans picked off a pass by walk-on QB Mike Fromke and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.

Crompton connected with Nu'keese Richardson on a 20-yard touchdown strike.

Defensive tackle Andre Mathis sacked Lamaison for a 10-yard loss.

Marsalis Teague made a nifty catch of a ball thrown slightly behind him by Crompton.

Freshman defensive tackle Marlon Walls batted and nearly intercepted a Crompton pass.

Crompton hit Teague with a quick hitch for a gain of 20 yards.

Teague dropped a perfectly thrown 40-yard pass from Crompton at the North end zone's goal line.

Lincoln missed a 46-yard field goal.

Freshman tailback David Oku rambled 45 yards against scout-squad defenders.

Brandon Warren went to his knees to spear a 14-yard pass from Crompton at the 6-yard line. Crompton then hit Warren with a 6-yard quick hitch for the touchdown.

Backed up at his own 2-yard line, Crompton came off the goal line with a 20-yard strike to Warren, then hit Stocker for 34 yards on the very next play.

Freshman linebacker Robert Nelson sacked Crompton for a loss of 7.

Defensive tackle Chase Nelson tipped a Crompton pass.

Crompton scrambled 12 yards for a touchdown against scout-squad defenders.

Linebacker Savion Frazier sacked Lamaison for a five-yard loss and a safety.

Cunningham boomed the ensuing free kick from his 20-yard line to the opposing 16 - a distance of 64 yards - with superior hang time.

Safety Derrick Furlow picked off a Lamaison pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown.

Cornerback Brent Vinson made a nice move to break up a sideline pass from Lamaison.

Chris Donald raced into the backfield to bat down a Lamaison pass shortly after he launched it.

Rolling to his right, No. 2 quarterback Nick Stephens hit walk-on tight end Ben Lehning for a gain of 15 yards.

Oku bounced outside for a gain of 15 yards.

Stephens found Nu'keese Richardson on a go route for a 41-yard gain.

Stephens hit Zach Rogers with a four-yard touchdown pass.

Freshman safety Janzen Jackson tipped a Lamaison pass on a safety blitz.

Freshman Darren Myles sacked Lamaison for a 10-yard loss on a safety blitz.


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