(On spring drills) "Well, just to open a few comments obviously came off a very unusual season for us. Spring practice actually went very well for us although we had a number of players that were unable to participate because of surgeries. We're looking forward to the summer workouts and obviously getting to two-a-days. We made some significant progress during the course of the spring. Defensively, we've got our work to do replacing six out of the front seven people. Again, made some significant strides during the spring."
- Phillip Fulmer
2005 IN REVIEW
2005 Record: 5-6 (3-3 H, 2-3 A, 1-4 vs. Eastern Division) SEC
Record/Finish: 3-5 (1-3 H, 2-2 A) / T4th Eastern Division Bowl: None National Ranking: N/A
SEC/NCAA Statistical Rankings
Total Offense: 326.3 (8th - SEC / 90th - NCAA)
Rushing Offense: 128.3 (9th - SEC / 80th - NCAA)
Passing Offense: 198.0 (9th - SEC / 8th - NCAA) Scoring Offense: 18.6 (10th - SEC / 101st - NCAA) Total Defense: 298.2 (3rd - SEC / 6th - NCAA)
Rushing Defense: 82.5 (1st - SEC / 2nd- NCAA)
Passing Defense: 215.7 (10th - SEC / 54th - NCAA)
Scoring Defense: 18.6 (5th - SEC / 16th - NCAA)
"These kids came into to spring practice with a sense of determination, hard work, and anxious feeling into this year's season. Last season is behind us," said Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer.
The Tennessee Volunteers, if nothing else, are playing to get the pride back into this football program. This past season was the first year that this team has not been to a bowl game in thirteen years after a horrible 5-6 record. Tennessee appears to of had a productive spring with good talent coming back in the skilled positions at running back, wide receiver, quarterback, and four starting defensive backs from last year are returning. But nowhere do the questions seem to be as large as at the line of scrimmage for this team. Phillip Fulmer said at the close of spring practice that he was heading into the summer with two players, Arron Sears and David Ligon, having nailed down starting positions on the offensive line. But the state of things is so unsettled that the head coach also conceded that he didn't know where either Sears or Ligon would line up. With the front defensive seven that lost six starters off of last year's squad, it's reasonable to expect another drop off from the Tennessee defense in '06. What you expect may not be what you get though. If the young talent, that this team does have, can step up at the defensive and offensive lineman positions, then this team could very well be back to challenging the east in the talk of the SEC championship hunt.