Team Capsule: Tennessee Vols

“A lot of people have already made their assumptions. ‘Hey, this is what they’re going to do.’ But only you guys know what this team is going to be all about. Block out all the noise, stay in-house together.” Such were the encouraging words heard by Tennessee’s football players on Aug. 16. From some guy named Peyton Manning. The noise has been there indeed. A fan base that hasn’t been satisfied with its head coaching since for a dozen years, back to the Phil Fulmer heyday, is growing impatient with coach Butch Jones. A 4-4 finish (including a loss to Vanderbilt) after a 5-0 start didn’t sit well. And now the Vols must replace a quality QB, Josh Dobbs, with summer drills a tossup between Quinten Dormandy and Jarrett Guarantano. The starter may not be named until game week.  And the Vols must play Florida and Georgia in September. There always seems to be talented athletes at Tennessee, but they better make some noise or, well, you know what they’re going to do.

Head Coach: Butch Jones (fifth year at Tennessee, 30-21)

Coordinators: Larry Scott (offense), Bob Shoop (defense)

Social Media: utsports.com, @Vol_Football, @UTCoachJones

2016 Record: 9-4 overall, 4-4 in SEC, beat Nebraska in Music City Bowl

2017 Schedule:

  • Sept. 4 at Georgia Tech
  • Sept. 9 Indiana State
  • Sept. 16 at Florida
  • Sept. 23 UMass
  • Sept. 30 Georgia
  • Oct. 7 Off
  • Oct. 14 South Carolina
  • Oct. 21 at Alabama
  • Oct. 28 at Kentucky
  • Nov. 4 Southern Miss
  • Nov. 11 at Missouri
  • Nov. 18 LSU
  • Nov. 25 Vanderbilt

Circle The Date: The Vols visit Florida on Sept. 16, and Jones could make a job-saving – and maybe division-clinching – statement right there.

Top Returnees: OL Jashon Robertson, RB John Kelly, WR Jauan Jennings, RS Evan Berry

Will Win SEC East If…: The Vols can get decent QB play from somewhere, replace six NFL draft picks and don’t totally fold after a schedule where a 2-3 start is likely, compared to the 5-0 a year ago

What They Said: “I don’t view it as a disappointment. The way I view it is we didn’t accomplish everything we set ourselves out to. And, again, our goal every year is to win a championship and compete to win a championship. So, was it a disappointment? No. Did we not accomplish some of the things we set out to do? Absolutely. We have to learn from the things that went wrong that we could have done better.” – Butch Jones

What We Say: Fourth in SEC East, Liberty Bowl