Talking Points: Lane Kiffin's careful handling of the Nuke

Football

  • True freshman wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson is back and will play against Memphis Saturday. According to Kiffin, the issue with Richardson was overblown. Kiffin had a nice chat ($) with Richardson on Monday, and it sounds like Kiffin's handling whatever the non-situation is quite well, actually. There's a video of Kiffin's comments on Nuke below.
  • Kiffin was not satisfied with the 31-13 palindrome of a win over South Carolina Saturday:
I had to keep reminding myself that that was a big win, and the largest win over Spurrier by a Tennessee team in 19 years. Those things, I have to keep reminding myself of them, because I didn't think we played well. I didn't think that game should have been very close at all.
He means it, too, as has six positions open for competition this week: left guard, fullback, backup defensive tackle, nickel corner, third-down left defensive end, and middle linebacker.
  • Some mysterious coach has broken down Kiffin's offense. Which mysterious coach? I don't know, because it never says. That's why it's a mystery, see?
  • After eight games in 2009, Montario Hardesty has piled up 841 yards. Travis Stephens' single-season rushing record in 2001 was 1,464 yards. That would seem a bit out of reach for Hardesty except for the fact that three of the Vols' final four opponents rank in the triple digits against the run: Memphis (105th) (it hasn't always been that way), Vanderbilt (102nd), and Kentucky (104th). Ole Miss is 60th.
  • A whopping 4,117 fans packed the stadium to see Memphis play East Carolina Tuesday night.
  • Basketball

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