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Wes Rucker

Stories by Wes

KNOXVILLE — A bizarre finish didn’t deter University of Tennessee football coaches and players from understanding how far the Volunteers came in year 1 of the Derek Dooley Era.

KNOXVILLE — Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox told several people in the University of Tennessee football program Thursday night and Friday morning that he planned to stay with the Volunteers, and not take a similar position

Despite the controversial finish to Thursday's Music City Bowl, Vols players and coaches say they should have beaten North Carolina.

NASHVILLE — Da’Rick Rogers nearly made a major mistake in the second quarter and late in the third quarter Thursday night, but the former Calhoun (Ga.) High School All-American more than made up for it.

NASHVILLE - After further review, college football finishes can be crazier than LSU and Tennessee earlier this season.

By its own merits, tonight’s Music City Bowl is a mediocre bowl game between two teams nowhere near the nation’s elite.

NASHVILLE -- On a cold Christmas day down in Calhoun, Ga., with three inches of snow covering the ground, Da'Rick Rogers layered up and ran sprints around his neighborhood's Cul-de-sac.

NASHVILLE -- The forecast is less than perfect -- a high of 46 degrees, low of 44 and 30 percent chance of rain showers.

NASHVILLE -- With all major college football programs now playing 12-game regular seasons, bowl games counting toward statistics and some teams playing 14 games, rushing for 1,000 yards may not mean as much to some.

Things have changed drastically in the 20 years from Derek Dooley’s college football-playing days to now.

Despite inclement winter weather throughout much of the Eastern United States, the University of Tennessee football team reported for Sunday's start to on-site, Music City Bowl practice without major incident.

Three close losses didn't signal the end for the University of Tennessee men's basketball team any more than Thursday's one-point escape over Belmont corrected them.

KNOXVILLE — Building a big lead against Belmont hasn’t been a problem for the Tennessee men’s basketball team. The Volunteers have done it twice this season. Holding that lead has been another matter. But losing hasn’t been.

University of Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox met with the media after Wednesday morning's practice, but he didn't disclose his level of interest in a similar position at the University of Texas.

The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team is doing several things better than it’s typically done.

Vols skid extended; USC wins

The Trojans prevail 65-64 when Harris’s long shot rattles off the rim at the final horn.

Same inbounds spot. Different shooter. Same result.

University of Tennessee football players and coaches would be pleased to keep avoiding the cold and practicing in their posh indoor complex.

The University of Tennessee still has a confident men’s basketball team.

Wilcox talk no worry

Dooley downplays departure rumors

Derek Dooley approached the typical hoard of reporters after the University of Tennessee football team’s Monday morning practice inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee men's basketball players were more in shock than anger late Friday night in Time Warner Cable Arena.

Vols lose again

Charlotte clips No. 7 Tennessee 49-48

Is it, “How did Tennessee lose to Oakland and Charlotte?”

Vols show little rust

Football team returns to practice for bowl

The University of Tennessee football team returned to practice Thursday for the first time in nearly three weeks, and coaches and players were surprised at the Volunteers’ relatively low rust level.

If any other Tennessee men’s basketball player scored seven points in a game, it wouldn’t be a big story.

KNOXVILLE -- Jeronne Maymon has been cleared to play games with the University of Tennessee men's basketball team. No, really.

KNOXVILLE -- Most of the University of Tennessee football team will resume practice today in preparations for its Dec. 30, Music City Bowl date with North Carolina.

KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee men’s basketball team was due a night like this. So was Oakland. The seventh-ranked Volunteers, one of the nation’s hottest teams, fell victim to a team that had been sneaking up on the nation’s elite.

KNOXVILLE — Days after the Tennessee men’s basketball team beat then-No. 7 Villanova in Madison Square Garden for the NIT Season Tip-Off title, Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl pleaded with this team to avoid a letdown against Middle Tennessee State.

Fans happy with Vols

Most say a Music City Bowl would be a nice end to season

The good vibes around the Tennessee Volunteers football program have been impossible to ignore.

Vols try to upset Pitt

Tennessee is ranked 11th but is visiting the No. 3 team in a marquee basketball matchup.

The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team has a mighty big opportunity today.

University of Tennessee quarterback commitment Justin Worley was given one of the nation’s most prestigious high school football awards Thursday, but he isn’t considered one of the nation’s best college prospects.

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team has gotten along just fine without Jeronne Maymon. Still, no one seems to be upset that the big-bodied, former four-star recruit could suit up for UT in Saturday’s game.

KNOXVILLE -- A wild weekend full of rumors, albeit most of them legitimate, ended Sunday night where it started. The University of Tennessee football team will end its season with a Dec. 30 Music City Bowl game against border-foe North Carolina.

KNOXVILLE -- The University of Tennessee football program formally accepted a Sunday night invitation to play North Carolina in the Dec. 30 Music City Bowl at Nashville's LP Field.

The University of Tennessee football team will end its season with a Dec. 30 Music City Bowl game against border-foe North Carolina.

Despite a 6-6 record, the University of Tennessee football team could find itself invited to a New Year’s Day bowl game.

It was no great surprise that Auburn’s defense keyed all Saturday on Alshon Jeffery.

Tennessee's Scotty Hopson has helped the Vols start the season 6-0, including a big win over Villanova in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Vols win by 30

Harris, Hopson lead rout of Middle

Standing just in front of the midcourt line Tuesday night in Thompson-Boling Arena, Skylar McBee let it fly.

Bruce Pearl has grown so accustomed to adversity the past few months that he struggled to say the word “success” Sunday night.

Vols seniors play on

UT stretches streak against UK to 26

Definitely more than 30 and probably more than 40 entered as scholarship or nonscholarship players. By Saturday afternoon, there were 15 seniors left in the University of Tennessee football program.

Tennessee never had hopes of stopping Randall Cobb on Saturday.

Streak drives UK, UT

Wildcats try to end 25 years of losing

In many ways, including the competitiveness of the games, the gargantuan gap between the Tennessee and Kentucky football programs has narrowed in recent years.

Cobb back in Neyland

Former local fan visits as Kentucky star

Most college football fans in Tennessee and Kentucky know the Ballad of Randall Cobb.

KNOXVILLE — As the University of Tennessee athletics beat writer for The Chattanooga Times Free Press, one of my constant assignments is following the careers of players from our three-state coverage area. Typically, by the time a tri-stater is a senior, I know them pretty well. Baylor School graduate Kevin Cooper is no exception.

Derek Dooley likes to joke.

Tauren Poole knows exactly what David Oku has been dealing with.

KNOXVILLE — Bruce Pearl doesn’t enjoy spending every out-of-town interview, and many in-town interviews, explaining why he misled the NCAA with inaccurate responses when college athletics’ governing body peppered him with questions about his recruiting tactics.

Bray gets lesson

Vols’ freshman quarterback still developing

Tyler Bray isn’t Superman, after all. Not yet, anyway.

Tennessee’s coaches and players didn’t need an outside opinion to know that senior middle linebacker Nick Reveiz was one of the country’s best players who came to college without an athletic scholarship, but he has been validated nonetheless.

The University of Tennessee football team has endured enough losses the past few seasons, some on the very last play of the game, to appreciate every win.

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