Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
August 31, 2013After months of anticipation, the start of the Butch Jones era and team #117 is here as the Vols kick off the 2013 season in Neyland Stadium against an out-manned Austin-Peay team. For Jones and his squad, there are plenty of things to get done and things to identify as they start their fall journey.
Here are four keys for today as well as establishment for the season in what we call The Cheat Sheet.
1. Be intense for 60 minutes - It might seem like a no-brainer for a season opener, but for this team trying to establish an identity, it's important. Jones has challenged his team daily to move fast, to lock in, and to play with urgency. Some things will go bad during the game. How do they handle that? Do they lose their focus if the game is out of handle? Jones is trying to establish a standard of play and that standard is a full 60 minutes as one of General Neyland's maxim says. That standard starts tonight.
2. Find playmakers - It's been a never ending search since the spring and it's an on-going process. Jones will start the youngest most inexperienced set of receivers in the country Saturday night. How do they respond? Who comes to the forefront to make plays? How does this young group of receivers and the quarterbacks handle themselves under the lights and in front of thousands of eyes. The Vols need them to emerge quickly and Saturday night will go along way in establishing who they are and how they can make plays in this offense.
3. Football IQ - Or you can call it discipline. The Vols are often times going to be underdogs this season. They will out talent few teams. To upset people they have to keep games close they have to do all the little things because their margin for error is small. It's why being savvy is so important for this team and it's why the whole fall camp has been about football situations. Every scrimmage has been situational work. Both the young players and the veterans needed it. It will be on display tonight. Avoiding a sack, managing the clock, reading keys on defense. Seeing the little things and doing the little things in the kicking game. This has to be a smart football team this fall and they must keep growing in that area.
4. Establish dominance - There won't be another game this fall where Tennessee is this dominant in the trenches. The Vols outweigh Austin Peay across the board on both the offensive and defensive line. Tennessee's most veteran players are in the trenches. The trenches are where Jones has turned to try and create/develop leadership. That leadership needs to show Saturday night in the form of dominate play particularly on the offensive line.