Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer's words walking off the practice field Wednesday were along the lines Vols fans have been hoping to hear: "We have made ourselves a better football team in the last two days."
Fulmer said his team, which fell to 1-2 Saturday after its second loss to a road ranked opponent in as many tries this season, has had consecutive afternoons of improvement.
"I'm proud of the way our coaches and our players have gotten themselves ready," Fulmer said. "We're still addressing areas we need to work on. We just have to take it from the practice field to the game field and play well. The team seems very focused and I like that."
Tennessee's next opponent, Arkansas State, stands 1-1 after a narrow loss at Texas and a convincing 45-28 victory over SMU. A third game against Memphis was postponed from Sept. 8 until next Thursday because of severe storms that night in Jonesboro, Ark. That has limited somewhat the Vols' scouting of ASU.
"We don't have much film, but they are a big zone running team," Fulmer said.
The Vols coach added that the Indians remind him of Southern Mississippi in their offensive scheme.
"The quarterback's very talented, a guy who can pull it out and make you miserable running the football. Also, they have an exceptional passing game and can spread you out. They are very capable offensively."
Fulmer announced that captains for Saturday's 7 p.m. kickoff (Vol Network, VideoSeat pay-per-view) are linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive end Xavier Mitchell, tight end Chris Brown, quarterback Erik Ainge and punter Britton Colquitt.
Junior wide receiver Josh Briscoe is Tennessee's CAREacter Star Athlete of the Week. A Lawndale, N.C., native, Briscoe is one of the team's representatives to the UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was involved in the first-ever Volscars, a student-athlete awards show held last spring.
On the field, Briscoe is tied for the team lead with 17 catches for 126 yards and one touchdown. He set a pair of career game highs this past weekend at Florida with eight receptions for 76 yards.
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information