Dual-threat quarterbacks similar were part of the reason Tennessee put so much of an emphasis on defensive speed in the last year. Whenever the Vols faced a quarterback who could beat them with both his arm and his feet, it was glaringly obvious that they didn’t have the ability to contain him.
The Vols had problems with just about every quarterback they faced who could move, starting with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (456 passing yards, four touchdowns, one rushing TD in a 59-14 Ducks win) and continuing through Auburn’s Nick Marshall (214 rushing yards and two scores.). In between they saw Florida’s Tyler Murphy rush for 84 yards and a touchdown and Missouri’s Maty Mauk throw for 163 yards and three scores while rushing for 114 yards. Even Georgia’s Aaron Murray, not necessarily known for his speed, rushed for 553 yards on three carries against the Vols while also throwing for 196 yards and three scores. That rushing figure accounted for more than a quarter of Murray’s season total.
The Vols have since undergone a major defensive makeover with perimeter speed being much of the emphasis. That speed gets tested immediately against Utah State and quarterback Chuckie Keeton, who blew out his knee last year but threw for 3,373 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 619 yards and eight scores in 2012.
Plus, the Vols know that dealing with an athletic quarterback requires more than just speed.
“There’s no question we’re more athletic up front, at the linebacker position and in the secondary,” Vols defensive coordinator John Jancek said. “Hopefully, Chuckie doesn’t get to the secondary, If he does then we gotta get him down. Yeah, we’re more athletic, but really, this first ball game, we don’t know what to expect with such a young defense.” Continue reading
Will be a full story on this in tomorrow’s paper, but here’s the release from UT sports info.
Fan Experience Initiatives Outlined for 2014 Tennessee Football Season
VIDEO: Fan Experience Initiatives
The Tennessee Volunteers open their 2014 football season on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Neyland Stadium against Utah State before a sellout crowd of 102,455. There are many new and exciting initiatives for fans and students at the stadium this season, and a detailed explanation is listed below, as well as updated traffic information and fan reminders for gameday. Continue reading
Tennessee coach Butch Jones has said repeatedly throughout the preseason that the Vols highly-regarded freshmen class will have to play a major role in the 2014 season. On Wednesday, however, he raised eyebrows when he told the Southeastern Conference media exactly how big a role they would play.
Jones told reporters on the season’s first SEC coaches teleconference that he expected to play 28-30 true freshmen and 30-45 first and second-year players this season. The Vols brought 28 true freshmen in on scholarship, so that number includes first-year walk-ons as well.
“There’s not very many that will be redshirted this year,” Jones said.
The depth chart released Monday strongly suggested that with 15 freshmen listed in the two-deep, but more will get playing time on special teams.
“It’s kind of exciting,” Jones said, but there’s a growth and maturation process involved in that as well.”
As you may have noticed from the abundance of stories about it that either are or will be on the main site, Butch Jones held his first game-week press conference. I got sidetracked with writing for the paper and some other responsibilities, but still wanted to discuss that here. There will be a full transcript posted below, but here or some basic thoughts on what we learned.
- That Monday depth chart wasn’t all that final, which of course, you suspected. It was obvious even from that depth chart that a few spots are still up for grabs. Jones said he hasn’t decided on a backup quarterback yet and that there are “packages” for sophomores Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs. He mentioned again when discussing Chuckie Keeton there is a “Josh Dobbs package,” which makes sense considering he’s the only one of the three quarterbacks with any real degree of mobility. The kicker spot is very much up in the air between George Bullock and Aaron Medley, and the nickel back position is also an ongoing battle between Emmanuel Moseley and Michael Willliams.
Tennessee will play Georgia State in a home football game on Sept. 7, 2019, a UT spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
The Vols last played Georgia State on Sept., 8, 2012, winning 51-13. That was GSU’s third season of football after a long hiatus from the sport. The Panthers were then a Football Championship Subdivision school, but have now joined the Football Bowl Subdivision as part of the Sun Belt Conference. They went 0-12 last season in their first year in the FBS.
Financial information on the contract was not made available by UT.
For the beginning of your Utah State reading, here’s the transcript from the Aggies press conference today as posted on the Utah State athletics website.
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State football head coach Matt Wells, along with senior running back Joe Hill and senior linebacker Zach Vigil, held a press conference Monday to open the 2014 season and preview its season-opener at Tennessee. A complete transcript of Wells, Hill’s and Vigil’s remarks can be found below.
Head Coach Matt Wells Opening Statement: “Welcome back. It’s game week! The kids walked in early this morning, excited to start our meetings off with Tennessee and game week. We as a program, as a staff and a team, are excited to go play in as historic a venue as Neyland Stadium. Some prime players and coaches have played there. Just to go play in that checkerboard end zone is pretty cool for these kids to go in there. They’ve seen plenty of SEC games on TV and heard about them, so it’s pretty neat. Not lost is the fact that Utah State has only had one win against an SEC team, and that was before I was born. We understand what kind of challenge we’re going up against. Knowing that, we’ll prepare to play our very best.”
“Tennessee, as I look at them on offense starting out, Justin Worley is a kid that is one of the most experienced returning quarterbacks in the league. I know they’ve had some attrition at quarterback, but the kid has had a lot of starts. This won’t be his first rodeo. He’s very accurate and can distribute the ball. He’s got a lot of guys to distribute it to. Tennessee is known as `Wide Receiver University’ and I don’t think I’d argue that. They have 11 first-round draft picks in the last 40 years, at wide receiver. That’s unbelievable. There may be four more on this roster. We talk about Marquez North. Von Pearson is a very talented slot, similar toJoJo Natson. Josh Malone, it goes without saying is tremendously talented. He had 180-some yards in the spring game with three touchdowns. He lit it up, unstoppable. The guy is Mr. Tennessee Football. That’s a big time honor in a very good state of high school football. There are two Mr. Tennessee Footballs, the other being Jalen Hurd from two years ago. You watch that kid in their spring game and the guy looks like Eddie George. I mean that sincerely. He’s a tall, strong, powerful back. When he runs behind his pads, he’ll be a load to bring down. Marlin (Lane) will probably start, or at least get a lot of playing time. He’s an experienced player for them on offense. He’s a good back. I’m sure they are happy with their running back and receiver situation. That is a strength for them.” Continue reading
Hey, I’m the new guy, Dustin Dopirak, and we just got the blog open and functional again. I had meant to write some form of introductory post to get this started, but Tennessee just put a depth chart out today so you all are probably much more interested in that anyway. So the short story is this, I’ve covered Indiana football, basketball and baseball the past five years, was in Harrisonburg, Va., covering James Madison basketball for five years before that. Went to Penn State, grew up outside of Pittsburgh. There, now we’re introduced.
So anyway, let’s talk about this depth chart, which was posted on the Tennessee athletics website today and is also posted below. Some things I thought were interesting follow. Keep in mind, I haven’t watched any of these guys play a game yet, so forgive me for now if it seems obvious that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Continue reading