Vols Go Thru Kicking Scrimmage, Cal Week Now Just 2 Days Away

August 25, 2007

Knoxville -- Play a college football game 2,134 airline miles from home, and a few logistics need to be handled.

Tennessee flies to the San Francisco bay area late Thursday afternoon in preparation for next weekend’s season opener against California. The fact that the Vols depart Thursday, one day earlier than normal, is just one adjustment team officials are working through to make sure 15th-ranked Tennessee arrives fit and ready to play against the 12th-ranked Golden Bears.

“The (departure) rule is 48 hours from kickoff,” said Bruce Warwick, UT’s assistant athletics director for football operations. The Vols and Bears are set to kick next Saturday at 5:13 p.m. Pacific time, or 8:13 p.m. Eastern (Vol Network radio, ABC Sports telecast).

“In order to get there at a decent time of the evening, we asked for and were granted a waiver by the NCAA. It’s just a three-hour difference in our leaving. There is no additional missed class time, it more getting used to the time change as well as the climate change. It’s 15-20 degrees cooler there than it is here.”

Tennessee is flying most of its equipment on the team’s Boeing 767 Delta Airlines charter, but the Vols familiar equipment truck -- plastered all over with Volunteer highlights from the camera of local photographer Patrick Murphy-Racy -- embarks on the cross-country road journey Tuesday afternoon.

Scheduled arrival? Hopefully, Thursday night or no later than Friday morning.

The road mileage works out to 2,474 -- more than 2,000 miles all of it on Interstate 40 -- or 35 hours and 22 minutes of non-stop driving time. Charlie Harris and Butch Caldwell of BP Express are taking turns manning the 18-wheeler.

The Vols will sleep late Friday before meetings and a 5 p.m. walk-through at California Memorial Stadium, site of next Saturday’s only weekend matchup of top 25 teams.

Tennessee held its annual kicking scrimmage Saturday in front of an audience of Junior Vols members and their parents, trying to fine tune final adjustments to special teams play on a special day for the UT head coach.

“To me, this is one of the best days we have,” head coach Phillip Fulmer said. “Having come through the Tennessee tradition of how important the kicking game is, we come out here and basically devote a whole morning to it.

“We look at the fundamental things from games that are important, but also things that might be unusual to happen in a game to make sure our antennas are up and we are aware.”

Fulmer said Saturday’s film study shows a lot more than playing abilities.

“It tells you a lot about guys and their attention span, their football awareness; it’s just a really good day for us and I know it was a successful day.”

Tickets to four Tennessee home football games and a pair of road dates are available through the UTsports.com Web site, by phone or in person at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Game tickets can be purchased to see the Vols play Southern Mississippi (Sept. 8, $50), Arkansas State (Sept. 22, $40), Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 3, $40) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 17, $40) at Neyland Stadium. Tickets in the Vols’ cheering section for road games against Mississippi State (Oct. 13, $40) and Kentucky (Nov. 24, $30) also are available.

Construction reigns at the corner of Phillip Fulmer Way and Lake Loudoun Drive, but ticket office access through the street-level glass doors is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each business day.

“Vol Calls,” the University of Tennessee’s weekly, statewide call-in radio show, began its 20th season last week and continues Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern time from Texas Roadhouse across from West Town Mall in Knoxville. The program can be heard on approximately 70 stations making up the Vol Radio Network across the state of Tennessee and the Southeast.

Bob Kesling, voice of the Tennessee Volunteers and UT’s director of broadcasting, serves as the show’s host and head coach Phillip Fulmer appears on the show each week during football season.

“Vol Calls” is the exclusive radio program where Tennessee fans can call in and talk with the head coaches of the Volunteers. Vol Network veteran Brent Hubbs teams with Kesling to answer questions and provide insight on UT athletics. During football season, former Vol standouts Tim Priest (1968-70), Jeff Francis (1985-88) and Mike Stowell (1989-91) join Kesling as rotating special guests.

Patrons visiting the Texas Roadhouse location have the opportunity to register for prizes and tickets to Tennessee home football games and Tennessee’s bowl game.

“Vol Calls” runs for 36 straight weeks through April 2008. Fans can place a “Vol Call” anywhere in the United States by dialing 1-800-688-8657, or Tennessee customers of Verizon Wireless can dial *UT.

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