The offense dominated the team's first scrimmage on Saturday. NOT A TYPO! The first team offense drove 70 yards for a TD on its first drive, and Jonathan Crompton started the game 9-for-9 and finished it without any interceptions. NOT A TYPO, SERIOUSLY! In fact, both quarterbacks were hot ($). Crompton led the team to three TDs in seven possessions, and Nick Stephens got the team three TDs in five possessions. I'M NEITHER KIDDING NOR WRONG.
And the QBs really weren't even the main story. There was also running back Tauren Poole, who ran for TDs of 75 and 44 yards and caught a 20-yard screen pass for a score to boot. Oh, and don't forget wide receiver Gerald Jones, who Lane Kiffin says has been "phenomenal," catching everything despite playing with one hand in a cast.
Of course, none of this happens without the offensive line, which Kiffin says is the most improved offensive unit. Kiffin's crediting seven of those points to right tackle Jarrod Shaw's 24-lost pounds. Josh McNeil, the guy who'd started 35 games and found himself in a battle for the starting center position with a former walk on, thanked coach Kiffin for the competition and the motivation to put on some good weight and work especially hard during the summer. It's paying off, as the team ran for a first down on third-and-two on Saturday. YES, I'M TALKING ABOUT TENNESSEE. And still, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney wants more aggression and violence ($).
And the freshmen! The freshmen are a never-ending source of amusement. They have counted the legs of the returning players and are not afraid. They may be saying prayers about not getting hurt, but they're not afraid. David Oku is a quote machine and a diverse talent like Derrick Tinsley. Nu'Keese "size doesn't matter" Richardson is doing standing back flips when he's bored. Jerod Askew is guaranteeing that he'll steal former teammate QB Phillip Sims from Alabama and get him to sign at Tennessee. And that doesn't even get to Bryce Brown, who made SI.com's list of impact freshmen for 2009. And Marsalis Teague would like to remind you that most of these guys were probably headed somewhere else before the Kiffin Chimera got here.
It's only one day. But it's a new day, and so far the forecast is good.