On Saturday, the Tennessee Volunteers' defense won the scrimmage to claim the orange jerseys from the offense. On Tuesday, not much changed, as the Volunteer defense retained the orange practice jerseys by besting the offense for the second consecutive practice.
"We were supposed to get them back today, but it was a tough one today and the defense got us, but I feel like we'll get them back before spring break," senior offensive lineman Ja'Wuan James said.
The Vols' defenders have no qualm about letting the offensive players know who has been better these last two practices.
"I told them to take a picture in the orange jerseys Saturday because it will be the last time they wear them before the spring," senior safety Byron Moore said.
During the middle of a situational scrimmage period, a surprising twist was made.
After the defense had stopped the offense, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones rewarded the defense for its efforts by making the quarterback "live," which means that the defense was allowed to tackle and hit the quarterback in the next series of plays.
"We want to make our quarterbacks live," Jones said. "You know, it's a little bit different feeling when you're standing in the pocket and you're live. We have to find out who our quarterback is. And I also wanted to see not only how the defense would respond, but how our offense would respond. Particularly our quarterback, I wanted to see if he (Nathan Peterman) would flinch at all and he didn't."
Jones' tactic of making the quarterback live had an effect on the practice, especially on the offensive line who said that they felt the pressure to raise their level of play.
"It definitely makes you want to step it up," James said. "We don't want them hitting our guy. (Jones) likes to raise the tempo of practice and I like that."
A significant adjustment for the Volunteers under the new coaching staff is playing at a faster pace to wear down opponents. Because the Vols are switching to this style of play, conditioning is a priority. A major part of that conditioning is practicing at a fast pace.
"To play an up-tempo style you have to live it everyday," Jones said. "I don't like walking on the field. So it's a mindset you have to condition the mind to play the way we want to play and it all starts at practice. We want to be physical. For us to take strides this year with this football team we have to be a much more physical football team both mentally and physically."