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Talking points: Saturday scrimmage roundup edition

Tennessee football

  • We won! Tennessee had another game-like scrimmage on Saturday, and depending on which article you're reading, the offense/defense got the better of the defense/offense, which is a good thing, I guess. If you're the offense/defense.
  • QBs. Jonathan Crompton went 9-16 for 90 yards in seven possessions against the first-team defense, and four of those possessions ended with punts or interceptions. He also fumbled once when Chris Walker hit him, but he recovered the ball. B.J. Coleman was 17-of-22 for 112 yards with no interceptions, but he didn't have to contend with Walker and the rest of the 1st team defense. The numbers for the both quarterbacks aren't great, but they're not bad, either, considering that they were throwing mainly to tight ends and running backs on third-down and long situations by design.
  • WRs. Hmm. They said they were throwing mostly to tight ends and running backs, but the stat sheet doesn't really bear that out. Denarius Moore had four catches for 45 yards. Tyler Maples had 3-26, and then you get to the running backs. I don't see any tight ends with catches, unless Ben Lehning (?!) is a tight end. (NOTE: I just learned that he actually is a tight end, so there, me.) Anyway, Ahmad Paige has fallen behind the rest of the receivers due to having to recover from sliding head-first into a brick wall at an earlier scrimmage. The coaches are trying to help him get caught up. One of the main goals for the coaches with respect to the receivers is to make the best use of Quintin Hancock and Brandon Warren, as the system relies on a lot of short passes into traffic and therefore requires big, strong guys to outfight everyone else for the ball. That's what they say, anyway.
  • RBs. Montario Hardesty ran ten times for 29 yards before the coaches took him out just so they could get more looks at the second-string guys. Tauren Poole ran for 81 yards on 14 carries , but fumbled twice, one of which went out of bounds and the other of which was recovered by the defense. He recovered nicely, though, ripping off runs of 21, 19, and 16 yards after the fumbles. Toney Williams's first run went for 42 yards, and he had two touchdowns of four and two yards each. He finished with 84 yards on 14 carries. And yes, for those keeping score, that's 194 yards on the ground, which is 194 times the number of yards we gained against Georgia last year. And no, that joke will never get old.
  • DTs. Kiffin made a point of telling folks that 6'4", 312-pound Montori Hughes looks a lot like Albert Haynesworth, who observed practice from the sideline. Tip: Hughes doesn't have money growing out of his pores.
  • DBs. Demetrice Morley missed the scrimmage. Kiffin told the media that "[s]omething came up" and that he would fill them in on Tuesday after he talked with Morley. Rumor is that the issue "is related to discipline," which has to be the inside scoop of the year. Actually, there is more: Morley will apparently be allowed to return to practice on Tuesday, but will bat the rest of his Tennessee career with a full count.
  • The turnovers. Yeah, four fumbles and an interception = not good. But considering the emphasis the defense is placing on creating them, perhaps it's not as bad as it sounds. Plus, the offense was apparently at least moving the ball. Even the defense said so. So it must be true. Right? Right? . . . Right?
  • Mental mistakes. Kiffin believes that simply barking at someone for brain freeze penalties doesn't get the job done, so he punishes such things as false starts and offsides with think-about-it laps. He has data to back up the assertion that it will work: The New York Jets went from about 30th in the NFL in penalties to second in one year after implementing the rule. The rule only applies to mind fog, not to interceptions, drops, or fumbles, but Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore are doing it (with push ups on top) for dropping catchable passes.

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