Jim Harris' SEC Notebook: Power Poll Week 11, Dooley Counts On Young QB

by Jim Harris  on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 1:30 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Tennessee will put its quarterbacking in the hands of true freshman Justin Worley for the third week in a row when the Volunteers play at Arkansas at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Vols Coach Derek Dooley said his team continues to practice as if they won't have Tyler Bray, the prolific passing sophomore who broke his thumb more than a month ago. Though Bray is near the end of a 4-6-week timetable for being out, Dooley said he had no idea if Bray could even begin practicing next week.

The focus for Dooley and the Vols has been to bring Worley along after his redshirt was burned late in the 37-6 loss at Alabama. After a shaky outing in a 14-3 loss to South Carolina, Worley was steadier in the Vols' 24-0 win over Middle Tennessee last week.

"His first game he really struggled, and its fair to say the jitters, the nerves, the anxieties of a you first game in college, it kind of overwhelmed him a little bit," Dooley said. "But we were pleased to see him show a lot more confidence, a lot more command last Saturday. He really managed the offense as well as we could've asked him to do it.

"Now is the challenge to do it on the road against a Top 10 football team. That's a big jump but we hope he can continue to build on it."

The Arkansas-Tennessee game will be broadcast by ESPN2.

Dooley and the Vols, they are still looking for their first SEC win. He said the nonconference victory at home last week at least reminded the players of what winning is like and changed the mood around the program.

"When you’re losing it’s hard on everybody," Dooley said during Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference. "That’s the way it is, the way it’s always been. You start questioning, you start doubting, and nothing heals your sprit like a good win. It’s gotten in us a lot better place emotional. We’ll see if we can build on it."

Dooley called Arkansas a great team. The Razorbacks, who had become atrocious of late against opponents' running games, held South Carolina to 79 yards, and much of that was gained by Gamecocks quarterback Connor Show.

Tennessee has talented Tauren Poole at running back, but Dooley said, "We haven’t really run it well on anybody this year. We’re going to keep working on it and try to generate some run yards."

ArkansasSports360.com Power Poll Week 11

1. LSU (9-0). Better than Alabama at field goals.
2. Alabama (8-1). Not only did the kicking game fail the Tide, the OL was more banged up than anyone knew.
3. Arkansas (8-1). Hogs put it together for four quarters, finally.
4. Georgia (7-2). Bulldogs don't need tailbacks in last week's breather; now comes Auburn.
5. Auburn (6-3).
Tigers can break Georgia's heart.
6. South Carolina (7-2).
Gamecocks couldn't run or attack vertically with the pass vs. Arkansas, now must beat Gators.
7. Florida (5-4).
Gators were able to use their speed to an advantage against Vandy.
8. Tennessee (4-5). Vols go Greek with their kicking game, calling on frat boy walk-on.
9. Vanderbilt (4-5). Fighting, but still not able to take the biggest step and win a big game.
10. Mississippi State (5-4). Bulldogs worked out some offensive kinks against lowly UT-Martin.
11. Kentucky (4-5).
Better than Ole Miss.
12. Ole Miss (2-7). Rebels are a 30-minute team and will start looking for a new head coach.

BIG ONE IN ATHENS
In one of college football's leading all-time rivalries, Auburn holds a 54-52-8 mark over Georgia. Last year, Cam Newton led the eventual national champion Tigers to a 49-31 win.

 

 

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