Vols Pass Rush Could be in Jeopardy With Injuries

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Updated: 8/08/2013 2:36 pm

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee already is encountering a couple of obstacles in its attempt to revitalize a pass rush that has been dormant for several years.

Senior defensive end Jacques Smith has a fractured right thumb that is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks and freshman defensive end Corey Vereen is undergoing an MRI on his knee. Those injuries could wreak havoc with Tennessee's plans to put more pressure on the quarterback.

Tennessee had just 17 sacks last year and 16 in 2011. The Volunteers haven't ranked in the top half of the Southeastern Conference in sacks per game since 2005.

The Vols insist the arrival of a new coaching staff and the return to a 4-3 scheme will help them apply more pressure this year.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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