Vols focus on Roadrunners

Published 2:24 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

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After evaluating and self-scouting the team’s performance in the SEC opener at Florida, No. 23/30 Tennessee (2-1) has turned the page to Week 4 and begun on-field preparations for Saturday’s home non-conference tilt with UTSA (1-2).

Both coordinators fielded questions from media after Tuesday’s practice on Haslam Field, looking back on the trip to Gainesville and ahead to the upcoming matchup against the Roadrunners (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network).

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“It’s the fact that those guys didn’t give up,” defensive coordinator Tim Banks said Tuesday. “They continued to fight and claw for each other, first snap to the last snap. Those are all things that you can build on. At the end of the day, you’re never going to be happy when you don’t come out 1-0, but there are definitely some pillars that we can build upon to try to make sure we’re 1-0 the next week.”

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle’s media availability concluded with a question on wide receiver play and what that group has done specifically to show promise for a successful 2023 campaign.

“I think (the receivers) are a group of guys that works really hard,” Halzle said. “They’re intelligent, they’re athletic and they want it really bad. So, I have no concern that we are going to operate at a high level in the passing game. They’ve done a bunch of really good stuff. You watch in practice, those guys are flying around the field. It’s a really good thing to see.

“It’s coming along and getting there. We need to get there faster, that’s on us. I have no doubt in my mind that this is going to come together at a high level.”