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The Vols: Really, really young

Yup, I went there
Yup, I went there

RTT Talking Points, Barely Legal Edition

So! The Vols are young. How young, in fact?

  • We're bringing in freshmen by the boatload: Freshman offensive tackle Marques Pair, who the Vols were hoping to redshirt, has been brought into rotation. "We’re running out of guys," Dooley said. "Early on with him, it was maybe, ‘Get in there and take your time.’ Now it’s, ‘Look out, watch out, you could be in there.’"
  • And using them to replace other freshmen: Redshirt freshman LG JerQuari Schofield is out (replaced by James Stone), as is injured-so-many-times-we're-seriously-worried-his-arms-and-legs-and-head-are-going-to-fall-off center Cody Pope. "We have to do a good job of developing a plan so they can go out there and function and get hats on hats," Dooley said. "If we do that, we will be OK." Ummmmm... yeah. Hats! On Hats! I like it.
  • Everybody's hurt: Our Gerald Jones is still out, and will be for UAB. "We’ll know more next week on him," Dooley said. "He can run around, he just can’t do anything with his hand." Which does seem like it would be important for a receiver.
  • This has caused problems: Like -say- 3rd downs. We're really, really bad at third downs. (To be precise about it, we're ranked an impressive 118th in Division I, just barely ahead of San Jose State and the mysteriously-named Florida International)
  • But it's not all bad! Ja’Wuan James, for one, has been great so far. As Matt Simms said (presumably on his way to coupon-clipping and bingo in the day room) "For a young kid like that to go out there and play as well as he has, it’s impressive. I’m just happy that he’s got so much more talent and many more years to get experience and get better."

Obligatory coverage of sportwriters' obligatory opinion pieces- after the break.

  • "He’s 40 years old and he still looks like he could put on a helmet and get after a quarterback". Mike Strange admires the youthful virility of d-line coach Chuck Smith in this GVX interview. They also discuss crayons as a metaphor for talent and commitment, or something.
  • In what we can only kinda guess is a reaction to an unsettling sense of stability descending on the program, an oh-so-winsome Mark Wiedmer channeled his inner 14-year-old-girl-frivolity on Wednesday and decided he's taking back his campaign to ax AD Mike Hamilton in favor of Phil Fulmer.