KNOXVILLE — Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer said Thursday he is counting on this week’s rough and tough practice agenda translating well for when the Vols host Mississippi State this Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

UT’s coaching staff added a much more physical tone to the week in hopes of stopping the team’s first-half slide to a 2-4 start, including 0-3 in the SEC.

“I think our team responded extremely well to what we asked them to do,”” Fulmer said. “We explained it to them on the front end that we’re making too many mistakes in the game from the standpoint of things we could control. And the best thing for us to do was go play more full-speed in practice.

“I’m really happy with the way they responded and, hopefully, we’ll take that from the physical practices and play physical in the game.””

Fulmer recalled the Vols grinding out last year’s 33-21 win at Starkville.

The Chattanoogan