After going 5-7 season ago, which included a 1-7 SEC mark Tennessee parted ways with Derek Dooley and hired Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones. The Volunteers hope the Jones can continue the success he started at Central Michigan.
A season ago the Vols had several close calls and actually started the season 3-1 before finishing 2-6 the rest of the way. Tennessee has another chance for a good start five of their first seven games at Neyland Stadium.
Jones welcomes back 13 starters eight on defense and five on the offensive side of the ball. Compared to playing in the SEC West being in the East should also help a bit but they face Florida in Gainesville to open conference play and host South Carolina in two important divisional games.
Junior Justin Worley looks to get the chance at quarterback for the team in limited action behind the departed Tyler Bray he went 15-of-23 for 134 yard with two interceptions. The running game returns their top two leading rushers in Rajion Neal (741 yards, five TD’s) and Marlin Lane (679, two TD’s).
Defensively Tennessee returns four of their top five leading tacklers from 2012. Leading tackler junior linebacker A.J. Johnson, who had 138 tackles is back as is senior strong safety Byron Moore and his 86 tackles plus five interceptions.
Fans in Eugene will get to see the Volunteers on September 14 at 12:30 pm with ABC or ESPN providing coverage. The teams last met in 2010 which the Ducks won 48-13, Tennessee led at the half before the Oregon onslaught.
Volunteers 2013 schedule: Aug. 31 v. Austin Peay, Sept. 7 Western Kentucky, Sept. 14 @Oregon, Sept. 21 @Florida*, Sept. 28 v. South Alabama, Oct. 5 v. Georgia*, Oct. 19 v. South Carolina, Oct. 26 @Alabama*, Nov. 2 @Missouri*, Nov. 9 v. Auburn*, Nov. 23 v. Vanderbilt*, Nov. 30 @Kentucky*
* = SEC Game
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