Tigers Prepare for Vols and Own New Defense

Just how long does it take to prepare for one of the Top College Football Programs in the Nation?

An Open date has given the Memphis Tigers an extra week to get ready for the 15th ranked Tennessee Vols...but, that's not all they've been working on.

Tommy West's grand experiment as both head coach and defensive coordinator will get it's first big test this week, against 15th ranked Tennessee.

"To say it's a work in progress right now would be an understatement. But to be honest with you I'm really looking forward to this game.">says West.

West relieved Joe Lee Dunn of his duties as defensive coordinator last week after East Carolina scored 28 points in the second half to beat the Tigers.

He says it will take several weeks to get his defensive system fully installed.

'We're going to keep it as simple as possible. We can't have a lot of missed assignments and busts because we sent two guys in the gap and then somebody comes running through a big hole.'

The players say West is focusing on moving players around to to take better advantage of their strengths.

Now for the challenge of facing Eric Ainge and his two deadly receivers Jason Swain and Robert Meachem.

U of M Free Saftey Wesley Smith says..

'The two receivers are great, what can I say. Watching film on them, they are really good. They make their team go this year.'

Add Cornerback Brandon McDonald..

'Right now in our frame of mind, it don't matter who comes out there. We're going to do what we have to win the game. It doesn't matter if Vick come out there.'

Despite having an extra week to rest up, the Tigers defense will come into this game banged up. Safety Wesley Smith has a strained groin and hasn't practiced since Wednesday. And defensive end Corey Mills has a shoulder that keeps popping out of socket. Both are expected to play Saturday.