Vols Arrive In Northern California

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Berkeley, CA. (WVLT), Your Sports Overtime crew has wrapped up it's second day in Northern California. Much of it was spent in beautiful San Francisco. Be sure to click on video links to our coverge here in California on volunteer.com's Sports Overtime page. As UT AD Mike Hamilton put it to us yesterday, it is incredibly motivating to see all the orange out here.

Vol fans from all across the country have made it to the Bay area for Saturday's shown at Berkley. When asked about his favorite team's chances, Vol fan Mark Jernigan of Knoxville told me he thought both team might be a little anxious early on, but he expects the Big Orange to prevail in the end. I also encountered UT fans from Nashville and even a family from as far away as New Jersey.

Our tour of the world famous city by the bay revealed lavish architecture and those amazingly hilly streets. Our vantage points also included picture postcard views of the Golden Gate Bride and Alcatraz.

Certainly a memorable day which concluded with a visit to the UT team Hotel, the Clairmont resort in Berkeley.

The vols arrived just before 1:00PM ET Thursday. While awaiting luggage and room assignments, the players were afforded an opportunity to check the breathtaking view out behind the hotel. The team will walk through it's final preparations for Saturday's opener, tomorrow at approximately 6:30PM ET at Cal's California Memorial Stadium.

As for the match-up, Erik Ainge, who practiced back in Knoxville on Thursday and is still expected to start against the Golden Bears, says another quick start like last year would be nice, but it's usually a couple players here and there which decide the outcome. He says how his team finishes will be key. As for the defense, Junior Vol DT Demonte' Bolden is anxious to get after cal quarterback Nate Longshore saying, at 6'5" he's a big target."I feel like a kid at Christmas."

The Vols are hoping Christmas comes in September in the form of a win over Cal. By the way, if you're wondering how close this group is, the players all wore t-shirts which read, Together We Will. Our coverage from Berkeley continues tomorrow with reports at 5:30, 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 on Volunteer-TV. See you then and Go Vols!

by Rick Russo


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