New coach Butch Jones has his starting quarterback.
The Butch Jones era at Tennessee will kickoff this Saturday against FCS opponent Austin Peay. And Jones ended the offseason speculation by picking junior Justin Worley as his starting quarterback against the Governors.
With the departure of quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter to the NFL, Tennessee’s offense is expected to lean heavily on its ground attack and offensive line to win games in 2013.
Worley started three games in 2011 and has thrown for 738 yards and one touchdown during his nine career appearances. The junior has good size at 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, but Jones prefers to have some mobility from his quarterbacks, and Worley has -22 rushing yards in his career.
With a cast of new receivers stepping into playing time, it will take Tennessee’s offense some time to jell.
If Worley stumbles, redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman is expected to be the backup, while true freshmen Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson are No. 3 and No. 4 on the depth chart.