Vols prep for variety of situations in second fall scrimmage - WSMV Channel 4

Vols prep for variety of situations in second fall scrimmage

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KNOXVILLE (UT) -- In the Vols' second scrimmage of fall camp, the coaches decided to throw everything they could at the team.

There were some base-offense drills, two-minute drills, four-minute drills and overtime.

The coaches also decided to see what would happen if starting quarterback Tyler Bray went down with an injury and threw Justin Worley into the starting role.

"This was different than the first scrimmage because we kind of mixed some things up and did some situations," Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley said. "We gave Justin Worley a lot of snaps, gave him some snaps with the ones just to do that and mixed up a couple of the offensive line. With the ones we were working on contingency plans.

"The one thing that I've learned over the years is that you better have two quarterbacks going into the season. I think we've got two pretty good quarterbacks heading into the season and I just felt like Justin needed to have a heavy day out there, so he got it."

Although the change didn't come with its usual element of sudden surprise, it was still a good dress rehearsal for the UT backup.

"That was just kind of a thing they threw out there trying to manufacture another different situation that could happen," Worley said. "We did [know it was coming] and Tyler said ‘don't jinx me with this one.' They told us before and everybody reacted pretty well."

Bray thought that his understudy performed well ‘under the circumstances'.

"Worley played great today," Bray said. "He threw for 208 yards or something. He had a great day. The No. 1 offense started a little slow, but once the scrimmage started picking up we played great."

Bray actually underestimated Worley's total for the night as he finished 15-for-28 for 229 yards and two touchdowns, an effort that Dooley was happy with.

"We have a real comfort level [with Justin], but I thought at some point he needed to get in there with the ones just so those guys could feel his command a little bit," Dooley said. "He's done a great job, he's made a lot of improvement, he's moving in the pocket better, he's making the throws he needs to make and he's putting the ball in those guys hands who can make some big plays.

With all of the different situations thrown at the quarterbacks, the second scrimmage of the year, held under the lights at Neyland Stadium, felt a lot like a real game.

"You have to be on top of everything," Worley said. "You're going from two-minute to four-minute to overtime to just running our base offense. You have to be on top of everything. Staying sharp and being able to lead in those situations is really key to the position that me and Tyler (Bray) play.

"I think we reacted well. Everybody was excited on the sidelines going out for each situation. We knew what we had to do and we tried to execute as best as we could."

And execute they did, with the offense generating eight plays over 20 yards, including seven through the air. The longest strike of the day was a 72-yard gain by Devrin Young as he snagged a short pass on a checkdown from Worley and outran four defenders down the left sideline for his first of two touchdowns in the scrimmage.

Worley started out on fire, completing his first four passes of the day, including one for 25 yards to Drae Bowles and a 16-yard touchdown strike to a wide open Quenshaun Watson in the right side of the endzone.

Bray, meanwhile, completed passes of 32 and 31 yards to Cordarrelle Patterson and Da'Rick Rogers, respectively, and freshman Nathan Peterman had a 32-yard pass of his own to Alex Ellis.

"I felt like the offense was explosive, had a lot of explosive plays and scored a lot of points," Dooley said. "We did a good job there. We have to do a little better job in the back-end. I think there were a lot of breakdowns in communication in the back-end that led to a lot of the big plays. It is going to be important for us to shape down what we do so we don't make many mistakes."

Despite all of the big offensive gains, it was actually a big play on the defensive side of the ball that ended the scrimmage.

After Bray completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Patterson in the first period of the planned overtime session, safety Byron Moore brought the second period to a close by picking off a pass from Worley in the end zone.

The interception was his second of the game as he and A.J. Johnson, who had a team-high 12 tackles and a forced fumble, led a UT defense that seemed to get better as the evening wore on.

The Vols were obviously not happy to see a number of miscues on defense throughout the night, but have a pretty good idea what caused them and how to fix them.

"We have a lot in on defense and we knew we'd be at this point where we have to go figure out what we are good at and tighten it down," Dooley said. "I think that will help our guys play better and faster."

Information provided by UT Sports Media Relations and UTSports.com.

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