Playing on the road in football can be challenging, especially in the SEC.
"I've been in six or seven stadiums in this league where you could make the argument this is the toughest place to play in college football," Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said.
The Volunteers will travel to one of those stadiums on Saturday for their first road game of the season. Home of the Florida Gators, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is better known as The Swamp.
"It is going to be a challenge," Dooley said. "All you can do (is) you have to go down there, you can't be scared and you have to be prepared mentally, and you can't be held hostage to anything that has happened in the past. That's how we are going to approach it."
Dooley said there is no real way to simulate the environment of playing on an opponent's home field, noting that Cincinnati played Rocky Top throughout its practices last week in anticipation for last Saturday's match-up with the Vols.
"You can't really prepare for it," sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray said. "It's something you kind of just have to show up and just relax and go through with it."
Freshman Devin Young practiced taking contact for the first time on Tuesday. The Knoxville native and Bearden High School graduate had been limited after returning from a broken collarbone he suffered just before fall camp began.
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Young was expected to contribute in UT's return game this year and also have designed plays out of the backfield and in the slot. Dooley did not dismiss the possibility that Young could return punts against Florida.
"I told him I'd probably be called the dumbest coach in college football if I put him back there in The Swamp," Dooley said. "I'm thinking about it, yeah. I'm not scared. I'm not the one who has to catch it."
Thomas "on pace"
Junior left tackle Dallas Thomas dressed out for practice Tuesday but was limited due to a sprained right knee.
"They helped me out just 'cause they wanted me to rest up and get ready for tomorrow," Thomas said. "I'm feeling real good."
Thomas was injured on an extra point attempt against Cincinnati.
"I just heard something go 'pop' and I was like 'oh no,'" he said. "I was like 'dang.' But we did the MRI and the next day, I felt it was good. Everything just worked out for the best."
Dooley said the veteran lineman was "on pace" to play Saturday against the Gators.