Seiber aims to make amends
Kentucky kicker Lones Seiber returns to his hometown of Knoxville on Saturday night for his third crack at the Volunteers, and Seiber hopes to put a nice finishing touch on what has been an inconsistent season.
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Seiber, who has made just eight of 15 field-goal attempts this season, needs one more field goal to tie Taylor Begley for No. 2 on UK's career list.
Seiber has struggled in his two games against Tennessee, missing a key third-quarter field goal in a 17-12 loss in 2006 and having a potential game-winning kick blocked in the first overtime of a 52-50 four-OT loss last season. While Seiber would love to make amends by kicking a game-winner Saturday, he said he's more concerned about turning in a consistent performance.
"This is a game I circle on the schedule, and I'd like to perform a little better because this game's in my hometown, but it's really not about me; it's about the team," Seiber said. "I've just got to do what I've got to do to help the team win. I try not to think about the game-winner. I just want to take advantage of any opportunity I get. It doesn't have to be a game-winner. You could miss a kick in the second quarter that could leave the game tied in the fourth quarter instead of you up by three. It's just a matter of staying focused the entire four quarters, not just waiting until the end of the game."
When asked if his confidence was still intact, Seiber said, "There won't be any confidence issues with this game."
Player to watch: Eric Berry
While the Vols are enduring one of their worst seasons in school history, Eric Berry is in the second year of one of the best-ever stretches by a Southeastern Conference defensive back.
A year after picking off five passes for 222 yards as a true freshman, Berry is leading the nation in interceptions with seven and has already set the all-time SEC career record for interception return yards (487). Berry has also taken snaps at quarterback and wide receiver and has returned kicks.
"He's a guy that when you put the film on just jumps out of the film at you," UK Coach Rich Brooks said. "He looks like he's playing a different game than everybody around him, and that includes the people he's playing against and the people he's playing with. He's obviously very talented, and he's got great instincts. He's around the ball all the time, and his ball skills are such that he can get it and do something with it. He's a very special player. For a team that's struggled, he's had an All-American year."
Berry needs just 15 yards to break the NCAA record for interception return yards, but Brooks said he doesn't want to handcuff his freshman quarterback Randall Cobb by avoiding Berry.
"You've got to be aware of where he is and what he does, but you can't say, 'OK, we've got to eliminate that part of the field,' " Brooks said.
Depth chart update
Kentucky senior Nii Adjei Oninku will make his first start of the season at defensive end in place of Jeremy Jarmon, who is out with a knee injury. Starting free safety Marcus McClinton (leg laceration) is also out, replaced by junior Calvin Harrison. Sophomore Shane McCord will move up to No. 3 on the depth chart at defensive tackle in place of sophomore Ricky Lumpkin, who's out with a high ankle sprain.
For Tennessee, defensive tackle Chase Nelson (knee) and fullback David Holbert (knee) are out. Cornerback Brent Vinson (leg) is probable.