Tennessee Vols morning report: Assistants, players talk Alabama

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 /

There are only three days left until the Tennessee Vols football team kicks off against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the most anticipated matchup of this series in at least two decades, probably more. Preparations for the game continued on Tuesday.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with more people affiliated with UT discussing the game. Two assistant coaches and three players spoke about the matchup Tuesday, and we’ll cover a bit of what all of them had to say.

Beyond football, there were also events in men’s and women’s golf that drew to a close Tuesday. No other events were ongoing at UT, though, so it made for a light news day in a week with a huge game coming up. Let’s dive into that news.

Jerry Mack, Rodney Garner discuss Alabama – Ben McKee, GoVols247

Ahead of the Tennessee Vols football team’s matchup with the Crimson Tide this weekend, running backs coach Jerry Mack and defensive line coach Rodney Garner spoke with the media Tuesday. Garner spoke about the progress of the defense. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“The kids, they are young men that are buying in, but it is still going to come down to the details and doing the little things right. Like I tell them, the reasoning behind all the madness and the things we put them through and the things that we try to stress, is for moments like this, because every week is going to get better.”"

Mack talked about the variety UT has shown in the running game throughout the year. This is what he said on that front.

"“Any time you can present eye candy or different ball carriers to a defense, it always kind of keeps you off-balance. That doesn’t mean just the person back there standing next to the quarterback is always going to carry the ball, so it always presents a different picture for those guys. Also, having (Hendon Hooker) as a threat as a runner, too. That’s always going to be really one of the best things that we do.”"

Players discuss Alabama – Brent Hubbs, VolQuest

In addition to Jerry Mack and Rodnery Garner, Tennessee Vols defensive lineman LaTrell Bumphus, linebacker Aaron Beasley and offensive lineman Cooper Mays all spoke with the media Tuesday. Bumphus talked about the recent success of the program. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“I am definitely taking it all in, especially with it being my last year. Through all the ups and downs, at times it has been hard, and a lot of times you might ask yourself, ‘what am I still doing this for?’ Now it’s just been nice to finally see all the hard work pay off, and just sticking things out because in life, it’s not going to always be easy, so when it gets hard you got to just stand up tall and keep fighting.”"

Mays talked about going up against Alabama’s front seven when the teams face off Saturday. This is how he described it.

"“Alabama is always going to have a really good front seven as far as I’m concerned, and especially with the recent history and everything. They’ve just got a lot of big guys that can run (and are) athletic. Just being able to fly around, they’re disciplined and they’re big guys that can play sideline to sideline.”"

Beasley talked about his development at linebacker from last year to this year and how he’s improved. Here’s the way he explained it.

"“I’m obviously more comfortable (and) more confident at the position. I have to say my routines and my preparation throughout the week prepares me for the game on Saturday.”"

Men’s golf wins Purdue Invitational – UTSports

For the second time this season despite just three competitions, the Tennessee Vols men’s golf team won an event. UT came in first at the Purdue Invitational, shooting eight-under par.

"Redshirt junior Bryce Lewis completed the sweep for the Vols, capturing the individual title by four full strokes, shooting 8-under for the tournament.The team title marked Tennessee’s seventh under the direction of head coach Brennan Webb and second occurrence of back-to-back title wins after the Vols won the first two tournaments of Webb’s tenure in 2018-19."

Women’s golf wraps up Illini Invitational – UTSports

The Tennessee Lady Vols finished in 10th place at the Illini Invitational on Tuesday. UT shot 10-under par for the event.

"After logging her first collegiate under-par rounds Monday, freshman Caroline Patterson shot +2 in round three to finish tied for 19th place at -5, the best finish of her young Lady Vol career."