[Note from Will 10:21 PM - Updated with video highlights & interviews from UT's official site]
The Vols went into Neyland Stadium for their first fall scrimmage of the Lane Kiffin era, and came out with the offense feeling a lot better about itself than it had all week in practice.
Playing with the ones against the first team defense, Jonathan Crompton finished 11 of 14 for 178 yards (KNS), including a 9-for-9 start. That's right kids, it's good news about our man under center for a change, and what a great way to start his first live action under Kiffin's watch. Nick Stephens also filled the stat sheet with the second team offense, going 9 for 13 for 100 yards.
Several players saw limited action: Rico McCoy and Brent Vinson did not participate as they nursed injuries, and Eric Berry and Montario Hardesty played only a few plays; I would assume both of those guys are considered to be ready.
In Hardesty's absence, it wasn't Bryce Brown or David Oku who got the most publicity, but Tauren Poole, who was the star of UT's official scrimmage release. He pulled in a 20 yard screen pass TD from Crompton, then ripped off a pair of touchdown runs of 44 and 75 yards against the second team defense. Clearly, his leg "injury" from yesterday was no big deal.
You're going to continue to hear the names Nu'Keese Richardson, Marsalis Teague, and of course Brown and Oku as camp progresses, as all four continue to see significant action with the offense. Hooper attended practice first hand on Friday and mentioned how much fun it seemed like the guys were having, and with the offense showing some spark today, it makes us all feel better about our chances of having some fun too this fall.
Lastly, to build on a theme that won't go away this offseason...are those just practice unis we're seeing in the picture from today up there, or are we actually going to have something new on the field this fall?
The new stripes on the jersey down the side are new and an adidas touch, they weren't used in spring practice, and nothing has been said about them...but if they do make the field on September 5, hey, I kinda like 'em. The white road ones also look kinda like our RTT Create Your Own Uniform contest winner from devildogutk...
The team gets Sunday off for UT Media Day, so you're sure to hear plenty more about this team in the next 24 hours...quotes of interest and updates as we get them...