Monthly Archives: November 2013

Joshua Dobbs and receivers warm up before Kentucky game (video)

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — Will Nathan Peterman get a chance to play in the final game of the season?

Butch Jones reaffirmed this week that Joshua Dobbs was his starting quarterback, but if he struggles as he did in the first half last week against Vanderbilt, Jones might be presented with some interesting decisions.

Watch the video above in your highest HD settings for best results.

Vols-Kentucky game day hourly forecast: Cold, but perhaps not as cold as last week

Tennessee players stretch before a practice this week (photo by Evan Woodbery)

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — If this game had kicked at off at noon, players and fans would have enjoyed a sunny fall day of football.

Instead, when the Vols (4-7, 1-6 SEC) and Wildcats (2-9, 0-7) kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday (TV: ESPNU), it should be chilly.

Here’s the forecast from The Weather Channel.

7 p.m.: 43 degrees, feels like 39.

8 p.m.: 41 degrees, feels like 36.

9 p.m.: 39 degrees, feels like 33.

10 p.m.: 38 degrees, feels like 32.

Throughout the night, it should be clear with no chance of rain. Winds will be out of the south at 8 mph.

In a simpler time, the winner of the Tennessee-Kentucky game got a wooden beer barrel

Tennessee players celebrate with the beer barrel (photo from UTSports.com)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Remember when the winner of the end-of-season Tennessee-Kentucky football game got bragging rights and a wooden beer barrel?

Neither do I. But plenty of people do, including my brother’s father-in-law, who looked it up online during after our Thanksgiving meal.

Sure enough, starting in 1925, the winner earned a large beer barrel painted half orange and half blue. According to UT, “(The barrel) was rolled onto the field that year with the words “Ice Water” painted on it to avoid any outcries over an alcohol drum symbolizing a college rivalry.”

The tradition ended in 1998 after two people were killed, including a Kentucky football player, in an alcohol-related car accident just before the Tennessee game. Understandably, officials decided not to use the barrel that season. The following year, they decided to discontinue the tradition permanently.

The Vols (4-7, 1-6 SEC) play Kentucky (2-9, 0-7 SEC) on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.)

Butch Jones uses radio show to speak out on critical replay call in Vanderbilt game

Butch Jones watches quarterback Joshua Dobbs throw in practice last week (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After Tennessee lost to Vanderbilt last Saturday, Vols coach Butch Jones told reporters he didn’t want to talk about the officials.

On Wednesday night*, Jones did just that.

On the pre-Thanksgiving edition of Vol Calls, Jones needed little prodding from host Bob Kesling to address the controversial fourth-and-1 play at the end of Tennessee’s 14-10 loss. Officials on the field spotted the ball short of a first down, but Vanderbilt was awarded the first down after a review. Two plays later, Vandy scored the game-winning touchdown.

Jones’ objection was that in the jumble of players, it was impossible to see the ball and thus the replay couldn’t have met the high standard needed to overturn the call.

“The definition says indisputable video evidence,” Jones said to Kesling. “To answer your question, I could not see the football.”

Jones was careful not to be critical of officials. He said UT and other schools routinely submit game video to the league office with questions or comments, and this week was no different. He said, in general, he thinks officials do a great job.

* Yes, this story is a day old, but I figured no one would read it yesterday, anyway. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. 

Tennessee’s seniors have endured 4-year SEC record of 6-25

Ja'Wuan James

Senior Ja’Wuan James talks to reporters at SEC Media Days in August (AP photo by Dave Martin)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee’s seniors are rallying around the idea of finishing the season 1-0.

The alternative is too depressing to think about.

The Vols (4-7, 1-6 SEC) play Kentucky (2-9, 1-6) on Saturday in Lexington (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.)

Win or lose, Tennessee’s seniors will leave with the worst four-year record in school history.

You can read my full story in the News Sentinel’s HUGE Thanksgiving Day paper.

As of today, Tennessee is 20-28 overall and 6-25 in the SEC since 2010.

The numbers are so astonishingly bad that I double-checked just to make sure that I wasn’t miscalculating. I wasn’t.

What’s even more remarkable is this: Tennessee’s signing class was ranked No. 7 nationally in 2009 and No. 8 in 2010 (according to the 247Sports Composite ratings, which aggregate all major recruiting services).

That’s an important reminder that recruiting is only one part of the equation. Developing and retaining the most talented players when they arrive on campus is equally important.

Tennessee football practice report: Phillip Fulmer visits with Butch Jones (with practice video and photos)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer was a guest at Tuesday’s practice at the Anderson Training Center.

Fulmer, who was on crutches, spoke with Jones before the start of the workout.

The Vols moved indoors because of heavy rain (and expected snow later tonight).

Tennessee (4-7, 1-6 SEC) plays Kentucky (2-9, 1-6) on Saturday (TV: ESPNU, 7 p.m.)

Check out some photos (above) and videos (below) from Tuesday’s session.

A look at Tennessee’s recruiting class after adding its 32nd and 33rd members

Butch Jones

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — How does Butch Jones plan to squeeze still more players into this signing class?

See above.

The Vols added their 32nd and 33rd verbal commitments of the 2014 class over the weekend.

As a defensive tackle, Owen Williams fills an area of extreme need for Tennessee. And linebacker Jakob Johnson‘s rating will likely increase as he is evaluated by all the recruiting services.

Still, you can’t help but notice that for now the two new prospects are ranked 31st and 33rd in the 247Sports Composite ratings, which are based on all the major recruiting services.

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Makes you wonder if 30 really is the ironclad limit for this class. We’ll look into that idea in a blog post later this week.

If you’re on a mobile or tablet device and can’t view the charts, click here and here.

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Butch Jones offers no doubt: With 1 game left, this is Joshua Dobbs’ show

Butch Jones in Monday’s press conference (photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Freshman Joshua Dobbs will finish the season as Tennessee’s top quarterback, Vols coach Butch Jones said Monday.

Once spring begins, however, the four-man competition is back on.

Jones confirmed during a speech before the Knoxville Quarterback Club later Monday that Riley Ferguson, the Vols’ other freshman quarterback, fractured his tibia before the Alabama game.

Jones had previously acknowledged Ferguson’s injury, but not described its extent.

Even now, Jones said Ferguson is only “85 percent” healthy.

Josh Dobbs warms up before the Vanderbilt game (photo by Evan Woodbery)

What about redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman? He had a disastrous debut at Florida earlier this season and injured his thumb. But he’s back and appears healthy. Could he play against Kentucky?

“Joshua Dobbs will be our starting quarterback,” Jones replied.

Dobbs completed 11 of 19 passes for 53 yards against Vanderbilt. He threw two interceptions in the first half.

“I thought Saturday he showed his age a little bit,” Jones said. “Everything was kind of happening very fast for him.”

Jakob Johnson, 3-star linebacker originally from Germany, verbally commits to Tennessee

Jakob Johnson (photo from 247Sports)

KNOXVILLE, TennesseeJakob Johnson, a linebacker from Florida who grew up in Germany, became the second player to verbally commit to Tennessee on Sunday.

Johnson, listed at 6-foot-3 and 233 pounds, plays at Jean Ribault High in Jacksonville, Fla. He also had offers from Wisconsin, UCF and others.

Earlier on Sunday the Vols added a commitment from junior college defensive tackle Owen Williams.

Johnson’s addition gives the Vols 33 verbal commitments in the 2014 class. Tennessee has 30 scholarships to offer, with five early enrollees counted against the 2013 class.

Johnson had played American football in Stuttgart, Germany, and moved to Florida for his senior year of football in the hopes of securing a college scholarship.