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Vols Gilliam done for season with torn ACL

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Vols Gilliam done for season with torn ACL

Posted on 02 September 2014 by Allen

Vols

Every sport has its risk of injury.

Unfortunately for Team 118, Jacob Gilliam has seen his senior season ended following just one game after suffering a torn ACL.

Gilliam began his career as a walk-on. Over five years, Gilliam worked relentlessly to prove to coaches his skills as on the offensive line. After all of the work and the May prior to this season, he fulfilled a career dream. He earned not only a scholarship, but a starting role at left tackle.

“Here is a young man who walked on and earned a scholarship,” head coach Butch Jones said. “He earned it. It is very unfortunate, but that is football. … I love him and I love his family. I love everything that they stand for.”

Both senior Marlin Lane and redshirt junior Marcus Jackson along with Jones have seen the journey for Gilliam who went from a scout teammer to a starting role on the team.

“He is disappointed,” Jones said. “He has put in a lot of hard work, effort and commitment into it. It will serve him year down the road with handling adversity. He will be better from it. Obviously you would expect him to be down after putting so much work into it.”

“I’ve been with him for four years,” Jackson added. “It’s tough to see that. He did come in here as a walk-on and worked his way up. I’m real proud of him, but everything in life happens for a reason and he’ll be a stronger person because of it.”

When losing Gilliam on an already young offensive line, Lane sees one important factor that the team will lose.

“He’s always smiling and knows his stuff,” said Lane. “He fought through adversity since I’ve been here my freshman year.

“Jacob is a great guy. I love Jacob. I feel sorry for him losing his career, but we have people that practice hard. I’m very confident in whoever takes his spot.”

Despite the difficulty of the situation, the team wants Gilliam to remain an influential part on the team.

“Unfortunately things like that happen in football,” senior and fellow lineman Mack Crowder said. “He’s going to be there with us every step of the way coaching these guys up and just being there to support us because he’s still a part of the offensive line.”

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Vols smash Utah State 38-7

Vols smash Utah State 38-7

Posted on 01 September 2014 by Allen

Justin Worley UT

Chuckie Keeton won’t be winning the Heisman this year. Utah State fell behind Tennessee, 14-0, in the first five minutes of the game and never recovered as the Volunteers rolled to a 38-7 win in the first-ever meeting between the two teams here Sunday night at historic Neyland Stadium.

Vols QB Justin Worley threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns, and the Volunteers beat Utah State 38-7 in a game matching two quarterbacks returning from injuries.

Worley completed his first 13 passes of the second half in his first appearance since missing Tennessee’s final four games last season. He was 27 of 38 overall, connecting with 10 different receivers.

In his first action since a knee injury forced him to miss the final eight games of the 2013 season, Aggies senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed 18-of-35 passes for 144 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while adding 12 yards on the ground on eight carries. Junior wide receiver JoJo Natson was USU’s leading rusher as he had 47 yards on two carries, while added three receptions for 18 yards. Fellow junior wide receiver Brandon Swindall had a team-best five catches for 37 yards.

Utah State’s only points in the game came early in the fourth quarter as Natson rushed for 38 yards and Keeton hit junior wide receiver Hunter Sharp from 37 yards for the score to cap a 2-play, 75-yard drive that took all of 30 seconds.

Utah State’s defense took the field first and forced Tennessee into a three-and-out to start the game, however, USU followed with a three-and-out of its own on its first possession. UT then drove 70-yards in just six plays on its following possession for the first score of the game and then scored two plays later as the Aggies fumbled the ensuing kickoff at its own 12-yard line. Following the turnover, UT’s Justin Worley connected with Brendan Downs for the 12-yard score to make the score 14-0 early on.

Utah State’s defense keep the Aggies in the game throughout the first-half as it held the Volunteers without any points during its next five drives before UT kicked a 36-yard field with 1:00 to play in the half for a 17-0 halftime advantage.

Utah State had its best drive of the game on its first possession of the second-half as it went 34 yards in nine plays, but was unable to get any points as sophomore placekicker Jake Thompson just missed a 48-yard field goal.

Tennessee added another touchdown in the third quarter and then reached pay dirt again on the first play of the fourth quarter to push its lead to 31-0 before Utah State answered with its only touchdown of the game. UT finished the scoring with a final touchdown two series later to make the final score 38-7.

Tennessee will play Arkansas State next week at home.

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Venzell Boulware picks UT

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Venzell Boulware picks UT

Posted on 24 August 2014 by Allen

Butch Jones Vols

Butch Jones just keeps reeling them in to Knoxville. Yesterday blue chip offensive lineman Venzell Boulware announced he was going to Tennessee. Boulware tweeted the news after narrowing the field down to the Vols and Ohio State.

At 6’4 270 lbs. Boulware is ranked as the 10th best guard in the 2015 class according to Rivals. He had offers from Alabama, Auburn, and Florida in addition to Ohio State and UT. Boulware played with Evan & Elliott Berry so that may have helped tip the scales in the favor of Tennessee.

With the new commitment Butch Jones 2015 class is ranked #8 by 24/7 and it could get a little better if the Vols have a good year and can attract a few more solid recruits.

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Butch Jones takes the ALS Ice Bath Challenge

Butch Jones takes the ALS Ice Bath Challenge

Posted on 16 August 2014 by Allen

Butch Jones Vols

The ALS Ice Bath Challenge keeps on going. Today UT head football coach Butch Jones participated and also called out Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, ESPN commentator Jon Gruden (who will supposedly do it in all orange on national television), and Denver QB Peyton Manning.

The ice bath phenomenon has taken on a life of it’s own on social media. Everyone from Tim McGraw to Bill Gates has done it in recent days and it has shown no signs of slowing down. Yesterday Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason did it. The videos are being done to raise money and awareness for ALS. Lou Gehrig’s Disease is what most people know it by and it affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Hopefully enough celebrities will get behind it and someone can find a cure.

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Justin Worley UT

Butch Jones names Justin Worley starting QB for 2014 season

Posted on 14 August 2014 by Allen

Justin Worley UT

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones revealed the worst kept secret in Knoxville when he announced that Justin Worley will be the starting quarterback today at the Vols 2014 Media Day.

“Justin Worley will be our starting quarterback moving forward,” said Jones He’s earned the right to be the starting quarterback at the University of Tennessee.”

Worley started seven games last year and led the team to an upset over South Carolina. Unfortunately he got hurt against Missouri. Worley would have to have surgery on his thumb and Joshua Dobbs took over. Dobbs struggled leading the team to a 1-3 record to finish the year including losses to Missouri, Vanderbilt, and Auburn.

Worley beat out Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs to get the job.

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Former Vol Rajion Neal shines in NFL Preseason Debut

Former Vol Rajion Neal shines in NFL Preseason Debut

Posted on 10 August 2014 by Allen

Vols

Former UT Vol Rajion Neal made Packer fans sit up and take note last night against the Titans in Nashville. Tennessee defeated Green Bay 20-16 but as you know the games aren’t about the score it’s about getting as many guys you can on the field to see who has what it takes to make the roster.

Neal had 39 yards on 5 carries, including a 12 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately the former University of Tennessee standout had to leave the game due to an injury. Packer head coach Mike McCarthy mentioned it after the game but did not go into details.

Hopefully the injury isn’t too severe as Neal has had a good camp so far. With Eddie Lacy intrenched as the starter at running back the Packers are looking to add another back to the roster this year after Johnathan Franklin had to retire due to a neck injury earlier this summer.

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Vols receiver Cody Blanc done for the season

Vols receiver Cody Blanc done for the season

Posted on 06 August 2014 by Allen

Vols

Tennessee wide receiver Cody Blanc is done for the year after tearing his achilles tendon last Friday. It was thought he had injured his ankle but the doctors confirmed it was a ruptured achilles. Blanc was a backup who was expected to see more playing time this year. But according to Vols head coach Butch Jones he will miss the 2014 season.

“He’s out for the year. We got the results back. It’s Achilles’ tendon, and it’s torn, so he will miss this year.”

Blanc didn’t see much action as a freshman but did start against South Carolina last season.

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Butch Jones Pre-Camp Press Conference Video

Butch Jones Pre-Camp Press Conference Video

Posted on 31 July 2014 by Allen

Butch Jones Vols

UT head football coach Butch Jones and a few players met with local media today in Knoxville at Neyland Stadium. Jones wanted to do a press conference before camp opened tomorrow to talk about the state of the team.

According to Jones;

“A lot of individuals will be going through this for the first time. Again, it’s our approach, our daily approach and how we handle that. Really, it’s striving to be the best football team that we can possibly be. That’s our goal. That’s our only goal. We’ll see how far it takes us. But everyone must meet their full potential in our football program. And we are going to challenge them every day to meet that goal.”

It was a lot of coach-speak but it’s something to keep Vols fans busy with until the team opens camp on Friday. It was wort noting that Jones mentioned that receiver Alton “Pig” Howard is still on the team despite missing out on spring practice.

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Beating Vegas: Breaking down Tennessee Wins Prop

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Beating Vegas: Breaking down Tennessee Wins Prop

Posted on 26 July 2014 by Allen

Butch Jones

If you haven’t heard the bar isn’t set too high for the Vols this year. In Las Vegas and other offshore sportsbooks like Bovada the oddsmakers have set the over/under on Tennessee wins at 5 1/2. After a disappointing season with only 5 wins in 2013 outside of Knoxville there isn’t much enthusiasm about the football program under Butch Jones.

Tennessee showed they could be a good football team and did upset South Carolina last year. But inconsistent quarterback play late in the year cost the Vols as they limped to the finish line winning one of their last five games.

This season the Vols are a mystery. The offensive line that was highly touted last year that underperformed is gone and will feature five new starters. Justin Worley will likely be the starter if he can stay helthy. Worley led the Vols to their biggest win of the season in their upset over the Gamecocks. When he went out and Dobbs came in that’s when the season unraveled. Marquez North will look to become one of the best receivers in the league and if Pig Howard can figure out if he wants to play football or not. Jason Croom has a lot of potential and will likely be the #2 receiver. The Tight Ends have been dinged up and it’s thought a freshman Ethan Wolf or Daniel Helm will get the starting job. Marlin Lane and Jalen Hurd will split time at running back. Hurd had a ton of hype behind him and Butch Jones will give him a chance to be a focal point of the offense.

On defense AJ Johnson is the heart and soul of the squad. Johnson will play on Sunday next year but this time he and Curt Maggitt will have to help mentor all the freshmen that will see a lot of playing time this Fall. The secondary features four returning starters and that’s going to be a plus for the young defensive front. Cam Sutton was a freshman All-American last year and he will be the guy to cover Amari Cooper, Shaq Roland, and Malcolm Mitchell during the season.

Now we have to see if the Volunteers can get to 6 wins to beat Vegas’ line.

The schedule this year for Tennessee is pretty tough. When Dave Hart put the schedule together a few years ago a game against Utah State looked like an easy win. But last year the Aggies went 9-5 and won their bowl game against Northern Illinois. Tennessee should win this game at home but if Butch doesn’t have his guys ready an upset is possible. Count this one as a win. 1-0

Arkansas State in week two also could be a tricky game for the Vols. The Red Wolves are also much improved with a bowl game win in 2013 but Tennessee has a lot more talent and depth so I’d count this one as a win as well. 2-0

Tennessee is going to run into a buzzsaw in week 3. The Oklahoma Sooners are gunning for a spot in the playoffs and after a win over Alabama in their bowl game they have a lot of attention. And being the SEC you know Coach Stoops is going to want to run up the score on the Vols. I think Tennessee keeps this one close but in the end the Sooners get the W. 2-1

After an open date Tennessee heads to Athens to play Georgia. A bye could help the Vols with injuries and gameplanning but the Bulldogs will be ready. Todd Gurley is a monster at running back and UT will see a steady dose of him running up the middle all day. Georgia takes this one. 2-2

The Vols return home in week 5 to play Florida. The Gators were depleted with injuries last year and Coach Will Muschamp needs a good year to save his job. This game is a coin flip. I think Florida has more talent but Neyland Stadium will be packed and I think it is the X-factor as the Vols pull the upset. 3-2

In week six Chattanooga comes to Knoxville. It’s like a chainsaw fighting a marshmallow. Vols win big. 4-2

The Ole Miss Rebels will host the Vols in week 7. Hugh Freeze has been stockpiling weapons on offense and defense the past two years and many are picking the Rebels to be a contender in the West. I think UT plays Ole Miss close but in the end Ole Miss has too much talent at home and pulls it out. 4-3

October 25 is a date that many Vols fans have circles on the calendar. Lane Kiffin returns to Knoxville as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. I wish I could tell you that Tennessee gets the last laugh but Alabama has too much talent up front and the Crimson Tide roll. 4-4

Week ten has Tennessee going to Columbia to face the Gamecocks. Last season UT upset Carolina in Knoxville. South Carolina lost Connor Shaw and #1 draft pick Jadeveon Clowney and will have a pretty young team. I think Tennessee keeps this one close and find a way to win on the road against Spurrier. 5-4

After another bye week the Vols host Kentucky at Neyland. Kentucky did well recruiting this year but it will take the Cats a few years to get things going. Vols win. 6-4

In the second to last regular season game Missouri comes to Knoxville. Missouri lost a lot last year when James Frnaklin, Kony Ealy and Michael Sam graduated. Maty Mauck is a good QB and I think the Tigers will be a 6-6 type squad this year. UT wins. 7-4

In their final game of the regualar season Tennessee heads to Nashville to face Vanderbilt. The Dores are a much different team without Jordan Matthews and I think they will struggle on offense for much of the year. But fortunately for the Commodores new head coach Derek Mason is a Jedi on defense. I think Vandy pulls out a low scoring game at home. 7-5

I think Tennessee gets to 7 wins but if things bounce their way they could get to 8 or 9. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are winnable games on the road but this young Vols team has to figure out how to win. 5 1/2 wins is a low number. Go ahead and place your bets and take the over. Vols get to 6 or 7 and go bowling.

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Vols to play West Virginia in Charlotte in 2018

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Vols to play West Virginia in Charlotte in 2018

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Allen

Butch Jones Vols

Tennessee will open the 2018 season in Charlotte, NC against West Virginia at Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 1. Gametime will be announced at a later date.

According to UT AD Dave Hart;

“We are excited to formally announce our game with West Virginia in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2018. Will Webb and his staff manage a first-class operation. Playing in this venue and in a key recruiting footprint was very appealing to us. The respective fan bases will create an electric atmosphere.”

After it was announced last year that the Vols would play in Bristol against Virginia Tech in 2016 Hart teased that more games could be in the works and now the cat is out of the bag. Tennessee will open the 2015 season in Nashville at LP Field against UAB.

The game against the Mountaineers will be the Vols first time in Charlotte. Bank of America Stadium is the home of the Carolina Panthers and it holds almost 74,000 fans.

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4 Star Junior OL Prospect Ryan Johnson commits to Vols

4 Star Junior OL Prospect Ryan Johnson commits to Vols

Posted on 19 July 2014 by Allen

Butch Jones Vols

Butch Jones keeps on reeling them in. This morning 4 star junior offensive lineman from Brentwood Academy, Ryan Johnson announced he is headed to Knoxville to play for the Vols. Johnson made the announcement on 104.5 the Zone in Nashville then posted the news on Twitter.

Johnson had visited to the campus several times this year and it was no surprise when he committed this morning.

Johnson is considered to be one of the best prospects in Tennessee in the 2016 class. The 6’6 270 pound lineman had received offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, and a few other top programs. James Franklin was after his while he was at Vanderbilt but once he headed for Penn State it seems the Commodores fell off his radar.

In addition to playing football Johnson also runs track for Brentwood Academy.

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WKU’s Schwettman Selected To CFPA Place Kicker Trophy Watch List

WKU’s Schwettman Selected To CFPA Place Kicker Trophy Watch List

Posted on 16 July 2014 by Allen

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Junior kicker Garrett Schwettman became the third WKU Football Player to appear on a College Football Performance Award Trophy Watch List on Tuesday as the CFPA announced Schwettman to the 40-man Place Kicker Trophy Award Watch List.

Schwettman joins teammates Mitchell Henry (tight end) and Cam Thomas (defensive back) as Hilltoppers to land on CFPA Trophy Watch Lists. After stringing together two of the top single-season scoring efforts by a Hilltopper kicker as a freshman and sophomore, Schwettman is already fifth all-time at WKU in career points scored by a kicker at 156.

Schwettman is one of just three kickers representing Conference USA on the CFPA Place Kicker Trophy Watch List, joining Louisiana Tech’s Kyle Fischer and UAB’s Ty Long. He connected on 13-of-16 field goal attempts in 2013 and finished the season with 84 points overall after sinking 45 extra points.

For his career, Schwettman has knocked in 23-of-29 field goal attempts while converting 87-of-90 point after tries. The preseason honor is Schwettman’s third of the summer as he also picked up Preseason All-Conference USA recognition from Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.

The CFPA, founded in 2008, honors player and team performance in all three phases of the game — offense, defense, and special teams. The CFPA will announce its award winners on January 14, 2015.

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Johnson On Butkus, Lombardi Watch Lists

Johnson On Butkus, Lombardi Watch Lists

Posted on 15 July 2014 by Allen

AJ

Preseason All-American linebacker A.J. Johnson has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Butkus Award and the Rotary Lombardi Award. It is the third time he is on the Butkus list and second on the Lombardi.

The 30th annual Butkus Award® selection process honors the nation’s best linebackers at the high school, collegiate and professional level. Each watch list contains 51 candidates, honoring the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus.

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.

As a senior, Johnson has already been named to the preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, Bednarik Award, Lott IMPACT Award and CFPA Linebacker of the Year Award. He is a consensus preseason All-American, earning recognition as a first and second teamer from various outlets.

Johnson returned to Tennessee for his senior season after another stellar campaign as a junior. A 2013 AP and Coaches All-SEC first-team selection, Johnson became the first Vol to record 100 tackles in back to back seasons since Earnest Fields did so in 1990-91 finishing his 2013 campaign with 106. Johnson also notched 8.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards, tying a career high, while also recovering a fumble and breaking up three passes. Johnson notched five double-digit tackling efforts in 2013, bringing his career total to 18.

He currently sits in third place on the UT career assisted tackles list with 164. The Gainesville, Ga., native enters his final season on Rocky Top with 324 career tackles in 36 career games.

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Crowder, Johnson, and Maggitt representing UT at SEC Media Days

Crowder, Johnson, and Maggitt representing UT at SEC Media Days

Posted on 09 July 2014 by Allen

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Senior linebacker A.J. Johnson, junior linebacker Curt Maggitt and junior offensive lineman Mack Crowder will be Tennessee’s student-athlete representatives at SEC Media Days in Birmingham next week. Along with head coach Butch Jones, UT will meet with the media on Tuesday, July 15, starting at 1 p.m. CT.

Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.

Johnson returns to Tennessee for his senior season after another stellar campaign as a junior. As a senior, Johnson has already been named to the preseason watch lists for the Bednarick Award, Lott IMPACT Award and CFPA Linebacker of the Year Award. He is a consensus preseason All-American, earning recognition as a first and second teamer from various outlets.A 2013 AP and Coaches All-SEC first-team selection, Johnson became the first Vol to record 100 tackles in back to back seasons since Earnest Fields did so in 1990-91 finishing his 2013 campaign with 106.

Johnson also notched 8.5 tackles for a loss of 17 yards, tying a career high, while also recovering a fumble and breaking up three passes. Johnson notched five double-digit tackling efforts in 2013, bringing his career total to 18. He currently sits in third place on the UT career assisted tackles list with 164.

The Gainesville, Ga., native enters his final season on Rocky Top with 324 career tackles in 36 career games.

Maggitt returns to action for his junior year after taking a redshirt season in 2013 after recovering from off-season surgeries. Maggitt started nine games in 2012 at MIKE linebacker. The West Palm Beach, Fla. native recorded 30 tackles with two sacks and a team-high tying 5.0 tackles for loss. During freshman campaign played in 11 of 12 games, starting eight at SLB, tied for third on team with 56 tackles. With 56 tackles, recorded fourth-most for a true freshman in UT history ahead of Reggie White (51 in 1980). Ranked second among all SEC freshmen with 5.1 tackles/game behind teammate A.J. Johnson.

Crowder enter his junior season in 2014. The Bristol, Tenn. native finished his 2013 campaign playing in eight games, starting for the first game at center against No. 11 South Carolina.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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