Found October 08, 2013 on
PLAYERS: Justin Worley
Justin Worley drops back to pass in his best performance of the season Saturday vs. Georgia (Photo Credit: Since his hire in December of 2012, Butch Jones has seemed to be a good fit for a Tennessee football team that had seen better days compared to the collapse the program has gone through the past five years. Jones has given the team what they have lacked since hall of fame head coach Phillip Fulmer’s departure in 2008. Jones has been known as a “players coach,” since his early coaching days at Central Michigan. His players will tell you he knows how to push you to your furthest limit, and get the absolute best effort out of you play after play. The problem doesn’t lie on the sideline for Tennessee, rather it lies out on the field. The Vols lack on-field leadership. Junior linebacker A.J. Johnson is the consensus leader on the Vols defense which is much improved from last year. In fact, the Volunteer defense held Georgia’s Aaron Murray to his worst performance of the season this past Saturday, only allowing him to throw for 196 yards (previous low 298 yards), while he came into the contest averaging 334 yards passing per game. The problem lies on the offensive side, where a leader has yet to be born. While the saying “defense wins championships,” may be true, the offense still has to put points on the board. In most cases the quarterback is viewed as the leader of each offense. Think back to each national championship team over the past several years. A.J. McCarron and Greg McElroy led Alabama to their three national titles in their respective seasons as starters, Cameron Newton led Auburn to their first in 53 years, and Tim Tebow was without a doubt the best thing to happen to Florida since Danny Weurffel and Jesse Palmer. Still yet to be mentioned are Vince Young, Ken Dorsey, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. Tennessee’s Justin Worley is far from being a leader for his team at this juncture of the season. The junior quarterback out of Rockwell, S.C. is only in his first season as starter for Tennessee, but has yet to build any confidence in himself and it shows on the field. Take Our Poll While he had his best game of the season against Georgia, Worley has shown a lot of instability when out on the field by forcing passes into triple coverage, and drastically over and under throwing wide open receivers. Not only in the passing game, but in the rushing game as well Worley lacks confidence. In Butch Jones’ newly implemented read option offense the quarterback is required to read the defensive end and decide to hand the ball off to the running back if the end stays put, or keep it and run if he crashes to the inside. So far this year, no matter what the defense has given him, Worley has kept and ran the ball only a handful of times. That, in turn, has allowed defenses to overload the middle knowing they don’t have to worry about covering the outside for a quarterback run, and allowed them to virtually shut down the Volunteers rushing attack in general. The upcoming bye week may be just what Worley needs. Coming off the best performance of his collegiate career he has a chance to harness any confidence he may have gained, build on it and carry it forward through the second half of the season. The Vols still have a tough road ahead, but at 3-3, with a team building momentum from week to week, they still stand a chance to pull off an upset in 2013 beginning against South Carolina and play their way into a bowl game for the first time since 2010. In order for it to happen, though, a leader must be born.  

Tennessee and Virginia Tech to play at NASCAR track in 2016

A new college football attendance record is primed to be set when the Tennessee Volunteers play the Virginia Tech Hokies at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016. The half-mile race track, nestled between the two campuses in eastern Tennessee, boasts 158,000 seats, and it is completely plausible that everyone of them will be filled for this monumental game. Even if the game doesn'...

Vols' Howard emerging as leader, not dwelling on past

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Alton Howard trudged out of the sports complex, staring at his feet as he approached a hungry mob of media. He knew what would be asked. So there he stood, fidgeting, shifting his weight from foot to foot and feverishly twirling an orange rubber bracelet around his left wrist. The bracelet read relentless. Its the approach Pig is taking the rest of the season...

Virginia Tech and Tennessee to play at Bristol, according to reports

Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most exciting tracks on the NASCAR circuit, and according to reports, it could be one of the most exciting college football venues in 2016. According to Bruce Feldman and Joe Schad, Tennessee and…Read more →

Volunteers' all-gray uniforms vs. Georgia prove to be a hit

By Riley Blevins KNOXVILLE -- Back in August, Tennessee players and coaches gathered inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex. It was business as usual. Speeches, film, Xs and Os. Then there was a rasp at the door. Stares darted to the entrance. Players crawled to the edge of their vinyl-covered chairs. The door flung open. Curt Maggitt entered, donning the...
Volunteers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.