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August 14, 2013
Quick HiTs: Vols under the lights in Neyland
Tennessee finished their third two-a-day Wednesday night under the lights. With Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra viewing from the sidelines in Neyland Stadium with head coach Butch Jones' wife, Barb, the Vols hit special teams again hard with kickoff return and kickoff coverage.
But the early notes from practice were 3rd and goal situations where the defense stopped the offense on 7 of 8 snaps from the 9 yard line, 7 yard line, the 4 yard line and then the 2 yard line.
On the first snap, Pig Howard dropped a wide open touchdown in the middle of the endzone. Worley's second pass was a throw a way out of the endzone. Then linebacker Kenny Bynum knocked a ball away from tight end Alex Ellis and on the first team offense's final snap, running back Rajion Neal was gobbled up by defensive tackle Mo Couch thanks to a hole created by Dan McCullers who beat Alex Bullard on the play.
The offense's lone score came from the second team as quarterback Nate Peterman hit Devrin Young for a score from the 9 on what looked to be a defensive bust. Peterman was sacked by Danny O'Brien after pressure from defensive end LaTroy Lewis. Riley Ferguson got the last two snaps. His pass to Devrin Young at the one fell incomplete on a Young drop with Devaun Swafford in close coverage. Then on the final snap, running back Tom Smith was tackled by linebacker John Propst.
The Vols also worked on some live kickoff coverage and the first the unit Wednesday night was made up of a group of veterans with Byron Moore, Greg King, Jaron Toney, Geraldo Orta, and Brent Brewer. Also on the unit was Tom Smith, Tino Thomas, Christian Harris, and walk-on Max Arnold.
As for kick returner, Devrin Young was on the first-team return unit and Johnathon Johnson was with the second-team return unit.
Tennessee finished the practice Wednesday night with situational scrimmage work after the media viewing portion of practice was over.
Earlier in the day the Vols were treated to hearing Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talk to his team and his message was one the Tennessee program can resonate with.
Spoelstra talked of rebuilding the Miami Heat as he took over after an abysmal 2007-2008 season that saw the Heat win only 15 games. Those in attendance said he talked about doing things right in the moment as they may not pay off tomorrow, but they will in the long run and that he and his team did things that may have not paid off immediately, but has helped them win back-to-back NBA Championships.