Sep 21, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Alton Howard (2) catches the ball as Florida Gators defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy (15) tackles during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Today On Rocky Top: Vols Looking For Big Plays & Other News


Tennessee is missing its biggest playmakers from last season, and the Volunteers aren’t making nearly enough big plays without them.

Quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter now are in the NFL, and nobody has stepped up in their absence. No Southeastern Conference team has a tougher time delivering long gains than Tennessee.

Tennessee’s offense has two plays of at least 40 yards through its first four games. Last year, the Vols had three plays go farther than 40 yards in the first quarter of their season opener.


From The Times Free Press

Corey Vereen came close to registering a sack on the first snap of his collegiate debut.

Given the Tennessee freshman’s current trajectory, that first one can’t be too far away.

Six weeks removed from knee surgery, the defensive end only played seven snaps in the Volunteers’ loss at Florida last week, but he seemed to make his presence felt on a couple of them, including the first one where he flushed Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel out of the pocket, where linebacker Brent Brewer was waiting to bat down the third-down pass at the line.


From The Miami Herald

Former Lady Vols media director Debby Jennings can continue to include Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart as an individual defendant in her lawsuit against the university.

U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell granted Hart’s motion to drop the aiding and abetting claim that Jennings had filed against him, but his motion to dismiss was otherwise denied Thursday. Caldwell said Jennings’ allegations failed to state a claim for aiding and abetting discrimination, but she disagreed with Hart’s contention that he couldn’t be held individually liable for a retaliation claim.


From Bleacher Report

With great expectation comes great condemnation. That’s not lost on Tennessee’s vaunted offensive linemen, who heap as much of the offense’s burden and blame on their shoulders as anybody.

So when questions swirled around them all following last Saturday’s total of 66 rushing yards and fewer than three yards per carry against Florida, they didn’t mince words. Senior tackle Ja’Wuan James knows the Gators’ defensive line won more battles than the Vols up front.

“Right now, our offense isn’t doing a great job at all,” James said. “As a leader, as a senior, I’ve got to make sure to direct guys in the right direction and lead as I can so we can help the defense out.”



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