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September 4, 2009
Across The Field-- Tennessee
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Inside Hilltopper Sports will be visiting with WKU's upcoming opponent's beat writer each week to give our reader's more insight on the game. This week, IHS caught up with Volquest.com associate editor Rob Lewis for his thoughts on the Volunteers.
What are some things to look for on offense and defense from Tennessee?
Watch out for safety Eric Berry, probably the top defensive player in the SEC if not the country. He's being used in a variety of ways and will have a chance to make plays all over the field.
How would you assess Lane Kiffin thus far through camp?
He's been very NFL like in his approach, different than in year's past. Very intense, lots and lot of contact and very detailed preparation.
Has Jonathan Crompton taken a firm hold on the starting job?
Kiffin named him the starter last week and has firmly said on several occasions that he won't rotate quarterbacks, so yes.
How are the WRs looking without Gerald Jones?
That will be a big issue to watch this week. Tennessee will have three true freshmen in a five-man rotation, and one of the presumed starters, senior Quintin Hancock has missed some practice time this week.
Will true freshman RB Bryce Brown factor in much this weekend?
He'll be a huge factor. Brown is bracketed as the first team factor and will get carries early and often.
Aside from Eric Berry, is Rico McCoy the next defender to watch?
The next guy to watch is probably defensive end Chris Walker. He's had a huge camp and is poised to become an explosive rusher off the edge.
There's been a lot of question as to what defense Tennessee will show under Monte Kiffin. Tampa Two or another look?
Some Tampa Two will certainly be part of the scheme, but they'll also play plenty of man on the corners and mix in a lot of zone blitz.
How big is this game for Lane Kiffin and Tennessee?
It's huge, after replacing a legend losing your first game wouldn't be a good way to start.
Is it any more important with UCLA and Florida the following two weeks?
Early season games are always important, but especially now with the team learning a new system on both sides of the ball. Tennessee plays Florida in the SEC opener every year, so the 'bigness' of that game early on is nothing new.
Realistically, where will Tennessee finish this season?
8-4 or 7-5 and third in the SEC East seems like a reasonable projection.
InsideHillltopperSports.com would like to think Volquest.com associate editor Rob Lewis for taking time to help us dissect our season-opening opponent a little better. After the game, catch InsideHilltopperSports.com's extensive post-game, with a full game wrap and audio from coach David Elson
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