Some notes and observations from the open portion of Tuesday’s practice.
Non-contact jerseys: Tennessee continues to practice with RBs Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara and WR Josh Malone in green, non-contact jerseys. That’s been a consistent pattern the last few weeks and seems to be more precautionary/protective than injury-related, though Butch Jones did say on Monday that Kamara is a little banged up and “they’ll pick their spots.”
Offensive tackle Brett Kendrick was at practice, though he was also at practice last week before the South Carolina game and didn’t play. WR Marquez North was at practice as well as he’s been the last few weeks. Jones said he’s dealing with a muscular issue that has made him a game-time decision the past few weeks.
Punt team: We only saw two periods of practice on Tuesday and one of them was the punt team getting some work in. We haven’t seen Tommy Townsend do a lot of punting in practice this year, but we got to see one on Tuesday and it was not a good one at all. It’s unfair to make a huge judgement on him based off of that one kick, but it certainly was not a great effort there.
Trevor Daniel, on the other hand, had a very impressive punt, again showing why he’s been one of the best punters in the nation this year and why he’s been nominated for both the Ray Guy Award (top punter) and the Burlsworth Trophy (top walk-on player) this season. Daniel is currently second in the SEC with a 46.2-yard-per-punt average.
“Neyland focus”: Butch Jones said an overall home focus was a big point of emphasis for the Vols this week after a closer-than-many-expected home win over South Carolina on Saturday. The team appeared to be focused on the practice field Tuesday despite an incredibly weak North Texas (1-8, 1-5 C-USA) team coming into Neyland this week.
“This week is about improvement, going back to the fundamentals and fine details, Butch Jones said on Monday. “We need to get back to our ‘Neyland Focus.’ I didn’t think we had 60 minutes of collective focus. I am talking about collective focus as an entire football team with all 11 players on the field at one time. We talk about one out of 11. That is in direct correlation to doing your job. We need to get back to our discipline.”
Tennessee is currently a 41-point favorite over The Mean Green.
Griffin stripe removed: Freshman safety Stephen Griffin had his helmet stripe removed.