Monday Update from UT Sports



VolNation's Grand Poobah
Staff member
Oct 22, 2003
Vols Return to Practice 'Excited About Their Opportunities'
Prugh Released From Rehab Center

KNOXVILLE (Oct. 27) -- Tennessee made its way back to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center practice field Monday an upbeat bunch.

The Vols improved to 5-2 Saturday following their epic 51-43 victory at Alabama that was not decided until the fifth overtime. Head coach Phillip Fulmer said a ton of plays from countless players left unforgettable memories in his head late into the evening.

“This has to compare somewhere at the top,” Fulmer said of his most memorable victories. “It was just a valiant effort by our football team and by the Alabama team. I’ve had 50 calls today from friends and acquaintances around the country talking about how incredible it was to sit there and watch it.

“Getting back to work today was a real pleasure. The kids had some pep in their step and I think they’re excited about their opportunities. Looking back at that football game Saturday, the spirit of our team was just incredible.”

Senior linebacker Robert Peace has jumped to the top or near the top of several SEC defensive categories. The Ruston, La., native had 16 tackles Saturday at Alabama, including a league high for the year of five tackles for loss.

Peace now leads the conference in tackles for loss per game at 1.64 (11.5 TFL in seven games) and his 7.00 solo tackles per game trails only teammate Kevin Simon (7.14) among league leaders. Peace has 67 total tackles, 49 solo, and two sacks. Simon leads the Vols with 70 total tackles, 50 solo stops and 3.5 sacks.

Nearly a month after the onset of an acute illness, Tennessee senior center Chuck Prugh was released Sunday from Knoxville’s Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center and returned to his Maryville home. The UT Sports Medicine Staff said Prugh’s rehab is ongoing and they expect continued progress toward his recovery.

“Chuck and his family are excited he is home and are very appreciative of everyone’s prayers and support throughout the last month’s hospitalization,” UT Team Physician Dr. Val Gene Iven said. “Moving home is another step in the recuperation process.”

Prugh is continuing physical therapy from his home as an outpatient.

“We’re obviously happy about his return home,” Iven said. “We will continue to watch him closely.”

The Big East Conference announced Monday that Tennessee’s Nov. 8 football game at Miami is being televised regionally by ABC and kicks off at noon Eastern time from the Orange Bowl.

The Vols and Hurricanes both are among the nation's top 20 in the latest national rankings. Miami maintains a No. 2 ranking it has held most of the season while the Volunteers moved up to No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll and 19th in the Associated Press rankings released Sunday. The Big Orange improved to 5-2 following Saturday’s memorable 51-43, five-overtime victory over Alabama, while the Hurricanes took the weekend off.

The Vols' trip to the Orange Bowl marks UT's first visit to the historic stadium since the 1968 Orange Bowl Classic in which Tennessee suffered a 26-24 setback to Oklahoma. Tennessee has played three times in the Orange Bowl stadium, taking part in the 1939 (defeating Oklahoma, 17-0) and 1947 Orange Bowl (lost to Rice, 8-0) games prior to the 1968 Classic.


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