Vol Report: Dobbs To Start Vs. Missouri - WNCT

Worley out indefinitely with injured thumb

Vol Report: Dobbs To Start Vs. Missouri

Knoxville, Tn -

After leaving Tuscaloosa, Ala. with a sour taste, Team 117 started preparation for the University of Missouri on Tuesday evening.

"I thought we had a great start to the week," said head coach Butch Jones. "I thought our players came out and I liked the way they attacked the day. Now moving forward we're going to have to follow that up with another great practice."

Saturday's matchup against Missouri will be the fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent. The Tigers welcome Tennessee into Columbia, Mo. as the #10 team in the country.

It is the second time in school history and the first time since 2005 that a Volunteer team has played four ranked opponents on the road, all consecutively. The Vols have traveled to #2 Oregon, #19 Florida and #1 Alabama in their first three road appearances.

"Our players have a lot of pride in their performance and I know that our players were extremely disappointed in their performance at Alabama," said Jones. "It doesn't get any easier with a great opponent in Missouri."

Tennessee looks to knock off their second top 15 opponent of the season after having previously defeated South Carolina. Missouri is coming off an overtime loss to the Gamecocks.

"Coach Pinkel has done a tremendous job and I've said it," said Jones. "He's built that program over time and they're tough and they're physical and they've got great team speed and it makes it exceptionally challenging.

"Now you throw in a young quarterback and the speed of the game is going to be fast. That's why we have to do a great job of mixing things up, mixing tempos up, different personnel groupings and making the quarterback a factor in the running game as well."

Behind the center for Tennessee will be freshmen Joshua Dobbs who is making his first career start for the Volunteers. Junior Justin Worley went through surgery Tuesday to repair an injury to his thumb and will be out indefinitely.

Jones also had big news revolving around Team 117's Academic Progress Rating (APR).

"I'm really, really proud to tell you that we've been informed by the NCAA that we have made the APR and that we will have no APR issues moving forward and this is an issue since day one when we walked in here as a coaching staff that our opponents have used against us in the recruitment process and we were informed by the NCAA that we made that," said Jones.


If anyone had anything to fear about freshman Joshua Dobbs being too young or inexperienced to start on the road in an SEC game, rest assured.

According to senior offensive lineman Ja'Wuan James, Dobbs is locked in.

So much so that he is already taking charge in the meeting rooms.

"Dobbs came to us as an offensive line in our meeting and just talked to us and told us that he believed in us and that he feels comfortable going out there and playing behind the best O-Line in the country," said James. "I like how he is confident and how he approached today."

Dobbs didn't knock and wait for an answer on the door. He came in and asked offensive line coach Don Mahoney if he could wait for a second because he wanted to address the team.

"I was surprised, that takes a lot of confidence and belief in us for him to do that," said James. "That takes a lot of guts and I like that about him."

Dobbs' confidence also exudes on the field, a lot of which starts with knowing the playbook.

"The freshmen have been here for five or six months," said James. "For him to know the playbook like he does and all of his progressions and to be able to stand there confident in the huddle and telling us the plays, going through his reads and everything like that, it is a lot for an 18-year old."

"I remember having to play as a freshman and he is more locked in than a lot of us," said James. "That shows in the game, his preparation. He played well, he didn't look frightened, or scared or anything."

Courtesy: Tennessee

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