KNOXVILLE (UTSports.com) -- To hear Derek Dooley explain it, the only thing missing from Neyland Stadium will be 102,000 screaming fans.
The Tennessee head coach described after Tuesday’s practice the schedule for Wednesday night’s “mock game,” an event officially marking the close of fall camp. Included on his checklist for all UT players and coaches is nearly every detail from the Vols’ arrival on campus the day of a game, to pregame routine, halftime arrangements and postgame responsibilities.
All in preparation for the Sept. 4 season opener against UT Martin.
“We’re going to do a walk-through of everything to get ready for the first game,” Dooley said. “We’re going to do a real dry run-through as best we can simulate, and that includes the message board and getting used to all the distractions.”
There will be a Vol Walk, a virtual pregame locker room schedule, reading of Gen. Neyland’s Game Maxims, running onto the field, halftime arrangements for seating talking to the team, followed by the postgame media setup -- just as the team plans to do it 10 days later.
Mixed into the actual on-field practice schedule will be a set of game situations including substitutions, punt and field goal responsibilities, sideline adjustments and coaches’ communication on the headsets.
“We’ve got all these new faces on our team, so we’ve just got to try to simulate the environment as best we can,” Dooley said. “That will be our final hoorah before we recover physically and mentally and get ready for our first game.”
Dooley sounded Tuesday as if the Vols are ending camp on a positive note.
“We have had two really good days and I’m pleased with how it ended. I told the players on Sunday that it was very important that we pick one or two things and lock in to improve on these next two practices, because this is an easy time to say, ‘Let’s hurry up and get this over with.’
“And they really responded well so I was pleased with them. We had a good two days of practice and got better as a team.”
Dooley also announced Tuesday that 2010 signee Martaze Jackson has been admitted to UT just ahead of Friday’s deadline to enroll. The Demopolis, Ala., linebacker still must be approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse before he can begin practicing.
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