Vols practice twice Wednesday, QB battle continues

Tennessee passed the halfway point in its two-a-day practice work week, splitting time Wednesday between a morning session on Haslam Field and an evening one shifted mostly inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center because of lightning.

Five practices down since early Monday in the a.m., four more to go.

“I thought the guys practiced extremely well,” head coach Lane Kiffin said. “I thought the quarterbacks were really good. They threw a number of touchdowns in the red zone and guys made some plays. It was good to see and I thought they executed extremely well.

“I think there was a good feeling by the offense that they had a really good day.”

Kiffin thinks that unit’s positive vibe from last Saturday’s game situations carried over into the current week, especially for quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton and Nick Stephens.

“They’re both playing really well,” he said. “Their team feels some confidence about them because they played so well and they continue to play well. They have their ups and downs, but it’s not as many downs as in the spring or in our first five practices (this fall).”

Kiffin touched on the team’s injury situation after 10 practices, acknowledging that players have been sidelined by the camp’s physical nature. But he reiterated the coaching staff’s plan for long-term success.

“When you’re establishing a personality of a team in a first year, I think that’s part of it, unfortunately,” he said. “We’ve got to continue to push our guys. If we slow ourselves up to the guys who are injured, then we are not maximizing the potential of guys who are healthy.

“We’ve got to continue to push our guys, continue to install, continue to practice at a high level.”

Tennessee practices again Thursday afternoon, and then holds its final two-a-day session Friday. Saturday’s schedule likely includes another round of scrimmage play before the team takes Sunday off.

Tennessee Football 2009 Dates to Remember
Wednesday, Aug. 19 -- Fall Semester Classes Begin
Friday, Sept. 4 -- 3rd Annual Big Orange Blast, World’s Fair Park
Saturday, Sept. 5 -- Tennessee vs. Western Kentucky in Knoxville (12:21 p.m. Eastern time, WVLT-VOLUNTEER-TV)