KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee coach Butch Jones challenged the defensive line on Friday after early-practice struggles during team work.
When the offense plowed into the end zone on a running play, Jones bellowed, “We can run all day! Soft!”
Later, he challenged nose tackle Daniel Hood to exhort his teammates and insisted the unit raise their fists after a third-down stop.
“We’re going to stop the run around here,” Jones said.
We’ll have some more later tonight and Saturday morning after post-practice interviews.
* We saw some punting on Friday. As expected, Michael Palardy worked with the ones, while Matt Darr worked with the second group. They called out the “get-off time” for each punt, which the Internet says should be about 2 to 2.1 seconds. I heard UT’s time range from 1.98 to 2.01 seconds. My sense is that Palardy is well ahead in this race.
* First-team quarterback Justin Worley had a scheduled non-throwing day, going through the motions but resting his arm. Redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman took reps with the first team, while freshmen Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson worked with second and third teams.
* Jacques Smith sported a hard-cast from hand to elbow, protecting his surgically repaired right thumb. The Vols’ senior defensive end still donned a jersey, working the sidelines as a cheerleader. Jones is expected to address the injury to Corey Vereen after practice today.
* Running back Tom Smith, linebacker Curt Maggitt, tight end Justin King and strong safety Byron Moore all wore green non-contact jerseys. Receiver Paul Harris and tight end Alex Ellis worked on the sidelines.
* Media heard a new addition to the motivational stylings of Butch Jones. Following 11-on-11 action, the UT coach uncorked this one: “Taking someone’s soul – that’s how you play football!”
* A few walk-on roster moves: Longtime walk-on fullback Austin Bolen of Farragut has moved on. New additions are quarterback Tyler Page and defensive back Tyler Coombes. Both were with the unit in the spring and had planned to join the team when rosters expand in two weeks. Instead, they’re here now.
Reporter Brendan F. Quinn contributed to this blog.