Tennessee Vols morning report: Josh Heupel talks bye week

Tennessee fans cheer during an SEC football game between Tennessee and Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.Kns Tennessee Ole Miss Football
Tennessee fans cheer during an SEC football game between Tennessee and Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.Kns Tennessee Ole Miss Football /

The feeling among Tennessee Vols fans is nice right now. They can sit back, relax and watch a weekend of college football games with their team undefeated and not playing. At the same time, they can gear up for the excitement surrounding basketball season approaching.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with more coverage surrounding the football bye week. Multiple press conferences took place Wednesday with the coaches and the players. Meanwhile, one player is up for an award that we need to cover.

Still, basketball continues to make news, as another men’s basketball interview and a women’s basketball scheduling update hit the presses Wednesday. We’ll close things out with an award in women’s golf, so there’s plenty to get to. Let’s start with football.

Josh Heupel talks bye week – Jack Foster, SI.com

On Wednesday, Tennessee Vols football head coach Josh Heupel talked about the bye week. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“I think this is a great time to be in Knoxville. The passion of our fanbase is obviously felt by our football program, but it is felt by everybody. There is a ton of excitement that surrounds Knoxville, the state of Tennessee, and Vol Nation.”"

SEC teleconference features Josh Heupel again – SECSports

Despite Tennessee football not playing this week, head coach Josh Heupel spoke at Wednesday’s SEC teleconference anyway. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“For us, a bye week — opportunity to get a bunch of our guys healed up here a little bit and continue to grow fundamentally and with our technique, in particular with young guys, here this bye week. That’s been one of the main focuses. Excited that we’ve got a chance to rest up this weekend and obviously push towards LSU the following week.”"

Players talk bye weekBrent Hubbs, VolQuest

In addition to Josh Heupel, Tennessee Vols football players Bryson Eason, Roman Harrison, Javontez Spraggins and Ramel Keyton spoke Wednesday about the bye week. Harrison talked about the depth built up on the defensive line. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“Not everyone is too tired to play a drive or play half of a drive, whichever. So, the energy is up for all of us coming in and we are ready and excited to play, so that is pretty much what it is.”"

Eason said he has been surprised by how physically he is through four games. This is a bit of what he said on that front.

"“I thought it was going to be a little more banging, more rough and tough on the inside, playing against the guards and center, things like that. Personally, I feel like I have been handling it well and holding my own.”"

Spraggins, who was SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week Monday, talked about the goals of the offensive line as a unit. Here’s how he explained them.

"“As o-linemen we want to be physical, we want to be smart, and we want to attack every day. That has just been our motto from Week 1 up until this point now and we haven’t let up yet.”"

Keyton talked about the connection he has built with Hendon Hooker over time. This is how he described them together.

"“I’ll say that more last year, we didn’t really work as much – all of the quarterbacks and receivers. But this year, this offseason, everyone was really working together and really putting the time in. It’s just natural for any quarterback to throw to any receiver. It just makes it better.”"

Paxton Brooks a Campbell Trophy semifinalist – FootballFoundation.org

Senior punter Paxton Brooks of Tennessee football is one of 156 finalists for the 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy. The trophy recognizes the player with the best combination on-field performance, academic success and leadership.

"The NFF will announce 12-14 finalists on Oct. 26, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the 2022 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Presented by Fidelity Investments. The finalists will travel to Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 6, where their accomplishments will be highlighted in front of one of the most powerful audiences in all of sports."

Rick Barnes talks start of preseason practice – Grant Ramey, GoVols247

Two days after previewing the start of preseason, Tennessee Vols men’s basketball head coach Rick Barnes dove into the start of practices Wednesday. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“Overall I just like the way the chemistry has been really good and the work ethic, maybe as good as we’ve ever had, which is a good thing. But that comes from, I think, leadership from our older guys.”"

Lady Vols SEC TV schedule released – UTSports

Almost all of the tipoff times and TV schedules have been released for the 2022-23 Tennessee Lady Vols basketball season. The SEC revealed its women’s basketball TV schedule Wednesday.

"The Lady Vols have 16 contests confirmed for linear television, including six on SEC Network, three on ESPN2, two on ESPN, one on ABC and one on the Big Ten Network. Three others are considered netflex options and will be carried on SEC Network or ESPN2. Those decisions will be made 7-10 days ahead of those games. UT also could make a 17th linear TV appearance at the Bad Boy Mowers Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis, if it advances to the championship (ESPN) or third-place game (ESPNU)."