KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Tennessee kicker Robert Loudermilk will miss the rest of the season because of a stress fracture in his lower back.

The fifth-year senior had tests Wednesday showing damage to one of his lower vertebrae. Loudermilk has a condition called scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, and kicking apparently aggravated it.

He has been receiving treatments but the pain got worse on Monday, his father, Bob Loudermilk, told The Tennessean.

Coach Phillip Fulmer said freshman Alex Walls will take over the place-kicking duties and punter David Leaverton will kick off.

Loudermilk, who is from Brentwood, Tenn., walked on at Tennessee because he had grown up a Volunteers fan. It took him five years to win the starting job and he got to kick in two games.

He missed his only field goal attempt, against Wyoming, and was perfect on nine points-after against the Cowboys and Florida.

``It's just very tough, to work as hard as Robert has and then get into the first two games of the season and have this happen to him,'' Bob Loudermilk said. ``It's a broken dream, but life goes on.''