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LINKS: Nebraska’s Passing Game Will Be Nearly As Busted As Tennessee’s Defense

Nashville promising a thrilling matchup of broke vs broker, recruiting updates, and more: it’s your Wednesday links!

NCAA Football: Illinois at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Morning gang. Tennessee held its eighth workout (they aren’t kidding about that extra practice time, folks) before the Music City Bowl yesterday, and afterwords Butch Jones talked with reporters a bit:

  • RS FR OL Venzell Boulware will miss the bowl game due to academic issues, though it doesn’t sound too serious, long-term. OLs Dylan Wiesman and Jack Jones are both healthy again and practicing.
  • The team is practicing with live tackling, a departure from previous bowl preparations.
  • The players will be given the next few days off- they’ll reconvene on Christmas Eve, with a final Knoxville practice on the 26th.

Bob Shoop also discussed his post-season review yesterday, saying “I literally watched every single game, and to watch our style of play from the beginning of the season to the end of the season, it looks like two different teams.” Us too, man. And... yes? Yes it did?

“We lost confidence and momentum, and there was a cumulative effect to a long season,” Shoop said. “We had devastating, devastating injuries — it wasn’t like it was a twisted ankle or a bruised hand.

“We had guys miss significant amounts of time, and therefore not only did guys have to play before their time, but they had to play more snaps than they were ready to play.”

Which is a fair point. Fun little nugget from that article: Tennessee had 27(!!!) different players start at some point on defense.

Nebraska, meanwhile, has had their own injury dumpsterfire this month: starting senior QB Tommy Armstrong has not practiced in pads since Nov. 12, due to a hamstring injury, and his presumed backup, senior Rebel Alliance officer Ryker Fyfe, is wearing a wrist cast and can’t take snaps under center. SR WR Jordan Westerkamp, who leads the Huskers in receptions, yardage and touchdowns, is also out for the bowl with a knee injury.

TEENTALK, Part 392348
With (//Googles “Days Until National Signing Day) 41 days until National Signing Day, Tennessee’s ‘17 class stands at 11th in the country with 25 commits, per 247. But the situation is still fluid, apparently, as evidenced by the recent commitment of 3* WDE Deandre Johnson of Miami and the addition of preferred walk-on 2* LB TJ Minnifee of Lebanon, TN. (sidebar: here’s an absolutely crazy and inspiring story about Johnson, who will now be playing big-time college ball after overcoming being randomly stabbed in the chest with a butcher knife while standing in a cafeteria line).

Jesse Simonton at SEC Country has a good rundown of Butch’s remaining targets, including 5* Cam Akers, the #1 RB in the country. Akers is thought to be a heavy Florida State lean; he’ll announce Dec. 27th.

Here’s a mostly rather dull and probably totally moot list of possible offensive coordinator candidates, should Mike DeBord retire. THAT LAST ONE THO

Maryville High School’s George Quarles is (finally!?) headed to college ball; he’ll join new coach Clay Hendrix at Furman, his alma mater, as offensive coordinator.

WOMP WOMP Reports are now saying no new Athletic Director will be hired until at least February.

If it’s Tuesday Wednesday, it’s POSSUMNEWS

Happy Wednesday.