User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Vols enter preseason camp relying on newcomers

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee coach Butch Jones says he occasionally feels as though he's running an expansion team because the Volunteers have altered their roster so much since the end of last season.

Advertisement
He can only hope the Vols don't produce the usual results of an expansion team.

Tennessee opens training camp Friday with a roster that features a 32-man recruiting class ranked among the top five in the nation by multiple services. Many newcomers will have prominent roles as the Vols attempt to end a string of four straight losing seasons.

''I don't know if there's ever been a roster flipped like this in the history of college football,'' Jones said. ''Sometimes I feel like we're an expansion team with some first- and second-round draft choices and some veterans. That's what makes it exciting.''

All that youth could make it tough for Tennessee to end the program's recent slump this fall, but the Vols believe they can withstand their inexperience and take a major step forward. Tennessee went 5-7 last year in Jones' debut season.

''Youth is not an excuse, that we'll be able to say that's the reason we lost the game on Saturday,'' junior center Mack Crowder said. ''We're just going to have to suck it up and have to play like vets.''

Jones plans to make an Aug. 16 practice at Neyland Stadium open to the public in an attempt to accustom his young team to game-like situations. The Vols have plenty of questions to answer before their Aug. 31 season opener with Utah State.

Jones must select a starting quarterback. Senior Justin Worley made seven starts last season before undergoing season-ending thumb surgery. Sophomore Joshua Dobbs started Tennessee's final four games and sophomore Nathan Peterman made one start.

Jones said he'd name a starter ''as soon as one person steps up and takes control of the offense and takes command of the program.''

Tennessee also needs to rebuild at the line of scrimmage The Vols don't have a single returning starter on the offensive or defensive lines. Tennessee exited spring practice with a former walk-on (Jacob Gilliam) as its first-team left tackle and a freshman (Coleman Thomas) as the No. 1 right tackle.

The Vols do appear to have more talent at the skill positions, thanks to that heralded freshman class. The Vols also believe they could have better teamwork this fall.

''I think our team chemistry, just the respect that everybody has for each other, is at an all-time high (since) I've been here,'' Worley said. ''We've really bonded as a team, I feel like. It sounds cliche, but I think it's true. We've got a good group of seniors - not many of them - but we've got a good group. And I think we can take this program to another level.''

To do that, Tennessee must overcome a difficult schedule. Even before it enters Southeastern Conference play, Tennessee has three straight games against teams that won bowls and went a combined 28-12 last season: Utah State, Arkansas State and Oklahoma.

The young Vols eagerly await the challenge.

''Our patience will be tried,'' Jones said. ''We all venture on a journey. The great thing is our great fan base, we get to raise this football team. It's like nurturing and having our kids grow up. We all get to be a part of that journey as (we) watch this football team mature week in and week out.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Nelson: Auburn at Kansas State
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 4
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 3
Rose: Top 25 Betting Recap - Week 3
Dobish: College Betting Recap - Week 3
Olsen leaves Miami after DUI arrest
Hogs enjoy resurgence under Bielema
Miss. State tries to end skid vs. LSU
Stanford using bye week to rest, recruit
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
6-1 Sat., 13-2 Run, +961 TY
+923 Picks This Year
3-1 Saturday, 9-3 L3 Saturdays
7-1 Guarantees, 14-7 Picks TY
4-1 Record Saturday
5-1 Last 6 College FB Picks
7-1 Over/Unders This Year
3-1 Last 4 CFB Totals
5-2 Week 3, 6-1 Guarantees TY
7-3 Record Last 10 Picks
5-0 Fridays This Year
7-3 L2 Saturdays, 10-3 L13 Picks
3-1 Saturday, 4-0 Guarantees TY
4-1 Fridays This Year
6-3 Week 3 Record
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 5-2 Totals TY
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Auburn Tigers at Kansas State Wildcats
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 961
Michael Black + 923
Stephen Nover + 600
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 595
Greg Smith + 390
Kevin Rogers + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Chip Chirimbes 75 %
Stephen Nover 67 %
The SportsBoss 67 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 590
Pat Hawkins + 490
Bruce Marshall + 485
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 590
Stephen Nover + 480
Paul Bovi + 290
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 366
Marc Lawrence + 290
The SportsBoss + 280
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest