Entering their final week of spring practice, the Volunteers made strides on Saturday in their second scrimmage of the spring in Neyland Stadium.
    
After struggling in more than just the passing game in its first spring scrimmage, Tennessee was more consistent on Saturday and had another strong showing from the running game and junior wide receiver Justin Hunter.
    
Five running backs combined for 158 yards on 41 carries, highlighted by sophomore Marlin Lane’s 12 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. Rajion Neal had 75 total yards and a touchdown.
   
 But Hunter stole the show.
   
 In the first drive, Hunter caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Tyler Bray. The 6-foot-4 receiver, who is wearing a red, non-contact jersey while recovering from a torn left ACL he suffered last September, finished with three catches for 70 yards.
    
“It was good to see him go out there on the first drive and catch two passes and a long touchdown,” UT coach Derek Dooley said. “It just shows you the kind of impact a guy can have out there. He’s a good football player and we need him to be healthy all 12 games.”

The performance also gave Hunter confidence, as he is still working his way back to full health.
   
 “I feel good about how today went,” Hunter said. “I didn’t think about it a lot. I just went out there and played and was excited to be out there.”
    
Senior tight end Mychal Rivera and sophomore wide out Jacob Carter also impacted the receiving game. Rivera, who was second in receiving yards last season, caught five passes for 43 yards, while Carter finished with four catches and a team-high 103 yards.
    
Bray showed more consistency through the air this scrimmage and, despite throwing an interception, finished 13-of-23 for 180 yards and a touchdown. It was an improvement from the team’s first scrimmage, in which he completed only 13-of-32 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
    
“He had a little better day but didn’t execute well in the situations I didn’t think,” Dooley said. “Tyler needs to get better at the end-of-the-game situations and the urgency when a play’s incomplete to move to the next play and get it going.”
   
 Second string sophomore quarterback Justin Worley completed 10-of-22 for 138 yards but was sacked three times and threw an interception as well. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Page impressed teammates and coaches with a strong showing by completing 4-for-5 for 29 yards and one touchdown.
    
The Vols offense totaled 496 yards on 96 plays from scrimmage and scored four touchdowns and kicked three field goals. However, the defense held their own out on the gridiron as they came up with two interceptions and got to the quarterback three times.
    
Sophomore defensive back Brian Randolph was a playmaker in the secondary for the Vols, as he intercepted a pass in the second straight scrimmage and recorded five tackles. Three players tied for the team lead with six tackles, while seniors Steven Fowlkes, Willie Bohannon and freshman Jordan Williams all recorded one sack apiece.
    
“Everybody loves it,” junior defensive lineman Maurice Couch said of the Vols new 3-4 defensive scheme. “I think going into the fall we are going to scare a lot of teams with our defense. Everybody has a role and we just are going out there and having fun.”
    
Although there were improvements, there are still many things for the Vols to work on.
    
“The biggest thing that is holding us back right now is, number one, our discipline on the simple things,” Dooley said. “We had a lot of penalties and made too many mistakes that are really simple things. The second one is our attitude when the flow of the game begins to happen and how we get affected by things that shouldn’t affect us. Those are the things we really need anchoring us that we need to work on, but I’m pleased with the effort and toughness right now and how we are running the ball better.”
   
 The Vols will get back to practice on Tuesday and finish the spring on Saturday with the Orange and White game. The game, held at Neyland Stadium, will have free admission, and kick-off is at 2:30 p.m. EST.
    
“It’s a new year so we are going to be excited to show the fans what we have been working on,” Hunter said.