Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tyler Bray, Justin Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson should return for senior year, ESPN analyst says


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter will have to make a choice after this season: Leave early for the NFL or stay for their senior seasons?

ESPN college football and NFL draft analyst Todd McShay has some advice for all three: Stick around.

McShay made the comments on a media conference call Friday.

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Erik Ainge defends comments as AJ McCarron’s mom angrily takes to Twitter


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A few throw-away lines on a Knoxville radio show got host Erik Ainge in hot water with Alabama fans.

Ainge, a former Tennessee quarterback, suggested that the Vols should target the injured knee of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. When the quotes were picked up by blogs and other media outlets, the story — and the backlash — started spreading.

Read how it unfolded below.

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Tennessee’s 2013 schedule: Ranking the toughest games

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — There weren’t many surprises for Tennessee when the SEC released its 2013 schedule.

The SEC East opponents remain on the same home-away rotation. The Alabama game is still in October — although it’s the fourth Saturday — and the 2013 game will be played in Tuscaloosa, as planned. Games against Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Kentucky retain their normal spot on the calendar.

The big difference? Mississippi State is out. Auburn is in.

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Phillip Fulmer on returning to coaching: ‘Never say never’


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer has been away from the sidelines since being let go in 2008.

But the 62-year-old Fulmer says he’s “much too young to be retired,” and he hasn’t closed the door on a returning to coaching.

“There’s nothing like the smell of the grass of an SEC stadium in the fall,” he said during an interview with the News Sentinel this week.

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Peyton Manning preparing for return to Knoxville this weekend

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer will be honored before Saturday’s game against Alabama for his upcoming induction into the College Hall of Fame. We’ll have a big story on Fulmer in Thursday’s News Sentinel (linked here as soon it’s online).

Fulmer’s most prominent former player, quarterback Peyton Manning, is making the trip to Knoxville for the ceremony. Tennessee will also honor the 1997 SEC championship team on which Manning was a senior star.

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Tennessee defensive lineman Omari Phillips not practicing

omari-phillips.jpegKNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Omari Phillips, a  late addition to Tennessee’s 2012 recruiting class, is not currently practicing with the team.

Tennessee said the defensive lineman is focusing on academics.
Phillips originally signed with Florida but was not admitted to the school. He signed with the Vols in July. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound defensive tackle from Venice, Fla., was ranked a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service.
He has played in only one game this season.

Sal Sunseri emotional as he describes challenges of facing his son this week (video)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Sal Sunseri is not only Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, he’s also the patriarch of a close-knit Italian family. And like any proud dad, he gets emotional when talking about his kids.

Vinnie Sunseri is an accomplished defensive back for Alabama, which means he’ll be on the other sidelines on Saturday.

“Let me just say this: It’s been very, very hard this whole week for both of us,” said the elder Sunseri, who was on the staff at Alabama before joining Tennessee after last season. “Emotionally for the family, it’s been very tough. I didn’t imagine it would be this hard, but it is very tough. We’re both going to be professionals about it and do what we have to do.”

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Verbatim: Darrington Sentimore speaks on Nick Saban, Alabama and more…

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Darrington Sentimore has a knack for providing bulletin-board material largely because he a penchant for being honest.

The Tennessee defensive end doesn’t act out of maliciousness. Of that, I’m fairly sure. But he tends to answer any question posed to him without much of a filter.

That makes him great for reporters, although I fear we may not hear as much from him after today.

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Tennessee players call meeting after loss: ‘Things are going to change this week’


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Trying to maintain unity and stave off conflict after an 0-3 start, Tennessee veterans called a players-only meeting Sunday after returning home from a 41-31 loss at Mississippi State.

Linebackers Herman Lathers and A.J. Johnson helped organize the meeting.

“We pulled some of the guys together and we said, ‘If you don’t want to play, go down to the scout team. We’re tired of losing here and things are going to change and things are going to change this week,'” Lathers said. “Guys that weren’t doing it right, we’re going to kick them off the field.”

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How did Derek Dooley break his hip? ‘That’s a great question’

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — “That’s a great question,” said Tennessee coach Derek Dooley when asked how exactly he fractured his right hip.

Dooley underwent surgery last Tuesday. He missed one practice and coached from the press box Saturday at Mississippi State. He’s likely to the do the same this week at Neyland Stadium against Alabama.

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