The Dawg House
   Saturday the Tennessee Volunteers had their annual Orange and White Game at Neyland Stadium. Unlike most spring games at other schools, new Vols head coach Derek Dooley threw in a twist on which players would play on the two teams. For the first spring game under Dooley, the Tennessee seniors performed their own draft to select the rosters for each team. In front of an anxious around 36,000 fans, including myself, The White team defeated the Orange team 16-7. The two most impressive player in my eyes were RB Tauren Poole, who finished the game with 101 all-purpose yards, and WR Gerald Jones, who caught 6 passes for a total of 84 yards. As much as I would love to focus this blog on these two bright stars for Tennessee, I instead must focus on the QB position, something I've already had to do several times with my other team, the Georgia Bulldogs.

   Just like the Georgia Bulldogs, the QB who was supposedly the backup looked much better in the spring game. Freshman Tyler Bray went 18-for-40 for 200 yards and one touchdown, the only touchdown for the White team. Although Bray surprised many, apparent starter Matt Simms did not. Simms went 12-for-26, half of those to WR Gerald Jones, for 125 yards but threw three interceptions. Much like former Georgia QB Joe Cox, Simms failed to ever attempt to look off the Orange team's defenders. "I saw the quarterback looking at the receiver the whole time-", said DB Darren Myles Jr., who picked off Simms in the spring game, "That was his mistake"*. Myles Jr. was arrested the next day on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after a disturbance at a Knoxville restaurant and nightclub. Maybe proud papa Phil Simms made some calls to get a guy who helped make his son look terrible out of the way.

   I thought that maybe Saturday's performance could shake up the depth chart, but according to Tennessee's official website, head coach Derek Dooley said that Simms is still the guy. Maybe Saturday was an off day for Simms, or maybe it was a bright spot in a lackluster spring for Bray. All I know is Tennessee fans don't want to just sit around and wait to see the future of the program. They all want answers, and they want them quick.

   In my opinion, Tyler Bray should be the starting quarterback for the Volunteers. He's young (still young enough to be a high school senior), he's proven himself in high school (completed 61.2% of his passes for 3,321 yards and 41 TDs, and he looked impressive while Neyland Stadium looked on. Last year was a failed experiment for Tennessee, and, quite frankly, I don't think many Vols fans would be sad to see anything associated with Lane Kiffin leave the school forever. QB Matt Simms was brought to Tennessee by Mr. Kiffin. Like I said, Start Bray.

  My Grandfather, a diehard Tennessee fan since the days of Robert Neyland, had a humorous take on Matt Simms. "Hell, he's already been to two other colleges (Louisville and El Camino Community College). If he keeps this play up, he'll be lookin' for a fourth". Well said, Grandad, well said.           

* Quote from the Sunday Edition of the Knoxville News Sentinel.  


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