Tennessee head coach Butch Jones ended what was very little suspense on Thursday when he announced that senior Justin Worley would be his starting quarterback on Aug. 31 when the Vols open the season on that Sunday night against Utah State.
"In terms of the quarterback situation, Justin Worley will be our starting quarterback going forward," Jones said at Media Day.
Jones stated on The Nation radio show Sunday night that he expected to name a starter this week and has also indicated all week that things were separating themselves. Wednesday night after the Vols second scrimmage where the offense got the best of the defense, Jones indicated that Worley was continuing to up his game.
"He did," Jones said. "I thought Justin, again, I see the confidence growing and growing and growing. And I thought Nate Peterman and Josh Dobbs' did some great things. But just the overall consistency. And I know they have word bingo going on, and you hear the word consistency all the time, because consistency is what separates average players from good players to great players. Consistency in our snaps. We're still no there with the accuracy of our snaps, of being perfect. To run our offense, our center has to step it up with their shotgun snaps. It's pre-snap timing. It's tackling. We did a lot of special teams live as well. We have great video evaluation to be able to go back and look at our coverage teams as well."
Last season, Worley started 7 games playing in 8 before breaking his thumb at Alabama. The South Carolina native finished 2013 with 1239 yards completing 56.2% of his throws with 11 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Worley's best play came the two weeks before the injury. Against Georgia and South Carolina, Worley threw for 394 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Jones has said all week that Worley has taken a step in consistency and praised Worley for his ball security a obviously keep point for Worley to win the job.
"I think it's important for our football team in moving forward that they know the quarterback is," Jones said this week. "And I've been pleased with all three individuals lately, they've done a very, very good job of handling the volume of the offense that we have in. But more particularly, taking care of the football and making great decisions with the football. Having command of the line of scrimmage."