UT's Mitchell deals with another concussion
BY Bucky Dent
After watching the film of his second concussion in two weeks, Tennessee defensive end Xavier Mitchell’s wit obviously wasn’t affected. "It looked like Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield got hold of me," he said as a horde of media chuckled. However, Mitchell’s visit to dreamland during the fourth quarter of the Volunteers’ 45-31 loss Saturday at California means he might not be cleared to play this week when UT hosts Southern Miss. Mitchell was chasing down Cal tailback Justin Forsett when he collided with freshman cornerback Eric Berry. Crumpling to the turf immediately, Mitchell was knocked out for 10 minutes before being carted off the field. He said Tuesday that the headaches cleared on Monday and that he was feeling "better." Mitchell was hoping to practice no later than today. Asked whether two concussions in a short period of time worried him, Mitchell quickly shot that notion down. "It doesn’t concern me at all," he said. "If I play, I play, but if not, I’ll keep my faith. I know someone out there has a plan for me." Mitchell said he doesn’t remember much about the loss at Cal but that he had a dream while he was unconscious. "That I played better," he said, drawing more laughter. Mitchell finished with only one tackle, a solo, last week.
* * *
Tennessee fell to 24th in both polls after losing at Cal. The Vols are the only ranked team which lost its opening game ... Tailback LaMarcus Coker, who will make his season debut this week, turned down interview requests yesterday. Coker was suspended last month for three weeks and was reinstated on Aug. 25, but didn’t play at Cal. Fulmer reiterated yesterday that Coker is working on his "last chance" at UT ... Saturday’s game marked just the third time in 55 games that the Vols had scored 30 or more points with David Cutcliffe as their offensive coordinator and lost.