Vols Defense Needs Focus and Intensity to Prepare For Clemson in Orange Bowl

(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Continuing to build up to next Friday’s clash with Clemson, bowl practice continued for the sixth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers Tuesday morning at Haslam Field.The Vols certainly have a lot left to prove and a lot to play for. Every game is an opportunity to get better and playing on such a big stage in a historic game and venue, it means something to the members of the team, to the community of Knoxville and to Vol Nation who has stood by their side through every snap along the journey.Redshirt-sophomore defensive lineman Bryson Eason commended the team for the commitment and intensity the Vols are showing in getting geared up for the Tigers when he took the podium after practice Tuesday.“The way we prepare and how we go about the practice to prepare to play this game,” Eason said on the goals of bowl practice. “I feel like everybody is dialed in and focusing and we’re ready to have a big game and show the world what it is. We are blessed to be in this opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six bowl. I feel like a lot of the guys are excited and ready.” The game is a sign of growth for the team. A sign of ascension. That feeling is felt and has created a drive to perform at the highest level for the players. “It just says that we’re moving in the right direction moving forward for the years to come and the guys that coming in behind us,” Eason said on the opportunity to play in a New Year’s Six bowl. “Just trying to strive and move forward and be one of the best teams in the country moving forward. Just blessed to be there, like I said.”That focus and intensity to practice is also something that prepares the team for more than just the one game, but the years ahead. The NCAA allows teams who are invited to participate in a bowl game added practices that are not afforded to those who don’t qualify for postseason play. This gives not only the major contributors on the team time to refine their skills, but the practices are a chance for young players to show their talent and get reps on the field that can pay off down the road as they have a furthered level of coaching.Tamarion McDonald has seen that pay off big time for the Big Orange.“The time we have in between our last game of the season that leads up to the bowl game, they say treat it like spring or like fall camp,” McDonald said at the podium Tuesday. “Get better at all the things we didn’t do so well that year. Just touching up on everything.”“This time is huge, there’s no school so it’s all football,” McDonald continued. “You are just locked in strictly on football. After practice, you don’t have to rush and get to class. There is just a lot of time to work on whatever you really need to work on.”The Vols return to the practice field tomorrow morning to continue their preparations for No. 7 Clemson as well as build on their individual growth in the added practice sessions.

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