Sep 21, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Alton Howard (2) is congratulated by quarterback Justin Worley (14) after he caught the ball for a touchdown during the second half against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Vols Begin Preparations For Utah State; Other Notes

Team 118 will take the field on August 31 for their first game against Utah State.

The 2014 opener will be a little different for the Vols then in 2013, as Utah State possesses a potential Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Chuckie Keeton.

The Vols, on average, are currently favored by about a touchdown over the Aggies.

But all that means, essentially, is this could be a much tougher game than most Vol fans want to admit.

So it seems appropriate, on the last day of Vols training camp, that Tennessee began their preparations for the opener, which is less than two weeks away.

The Vols, according to sophomore linebacker Jalen Reeves-Mabin, watched some Utah State game film on Monday.

The Aggies are squarely on the Vols’ radar. There will be no overlooking Utah State by Tennessee.

Vols true freshman running back Jalen Hurd alluded to that on Monday by saying that he wakes up every single day and thinks about Utah State.

That’s the kind of attitude the Vols will need when they take the field on August 31, or they run the risk of being upset at home against an opponent they’re expected to beat.

A loss in the opener would be detrimental to Tennessee’s season, as it could seriously hamper their chances of making a bowl game.

And that’s the last thing the Vols and Butch Jones need.


  • Butch Jones said defensive lineman Trevarris Saulsberry, who injured his knee in Saturday night’s open practice, is not expected to be lost for the season. Jones said it could be a couple of days or a week. Jones said Saulsberry injured the knee on which he had surgery.
  • The Vols will take two days off, before returning to practice on Thursday.
  • Jones pointed out Elliot and Evan Berry as being very “cerebral”.
  • Jones cited a big improvement in team speed, but noted that fundamentals still need to improve.
  • Wide receiver Pig Howard said the secondary’s speed has improved greatly. He also noted the strong work ethic of wide receiver Josh Malone.
  • Running back Jalen Hurd said the chemistry between the offensive line and the running backs is “great”. He also said the offense is “really clicking”
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