Butch Jones and several players spoke with the media after practice Tuesday. Here are a few of the highlights.
Owen Williams: Jones said junior defensive tackle Owen Williams, who missed last week due to a thumb injury that required surgery, will have his cast removed this week. “There’s a possibility he’ll be available this weekend,” Jones said. Williams has two sacks and 12 tackles on the season.
Jones & Worley Praise Ole Miss Defense: Ole Miss leads the SEC in interceptions, something Justin Worley said is due to their ability to disguise coverages pre snap and trick quarterbacks. Worley said both he and the receivers will have to be sharp this week in Oxford. Jones was quick to praise the Ole Miss defense as well, even saying “there are no weaknesses on their defense.” The stats back Jones up – the Rebels lead the SEC in scoring defense, rank 3rd in total defense and 1st in opponent yards per play.
Stripes Come Off: Freshman kicker Aaron Medley and freshman running back Derrell Scott both had their black stripes removed by the player staff. Medley is 9-12 on field goal attempts this year, 19/19 on extra points and is coming off his best day on kickoffs with seven touchbacks, his first touchbacks of the year, against Chattanooga. Derrell Scott made his Vol debut against UTC after struggling with injuries early this season. He carried the ball nine times for 42 yards Saturday and should see increased snaps as the season progresses.
Jones Praises Bo Wallace: “Bo Wallace is a playmaker. He’s very very confident. He expects to make plays and he’s a tremendous competitor,” Jones said. Wallace ranks 8th in the nation in passing efficiency (2nd in the SEC), second in the SEC in passing yards, completion percentage, touchdowns and yards per game.
Film Study Key For Sutton: Vol cornerback Cam Sutton said film study is one of the keys to his game. He keeps an extensive book of film notes and tries to vary his approach to receivers/QBs within every game in order to force turnovers. Sutton currently ranks second in the SEC with three interceptions this season. His play Saturday will be key to Tennessee’s chances. If he’s able to force a few turnovers, things could get interesting in Oxford.
Emmanuel Moseley: True freshman cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, who played significant snaps the last two games, said the defense is improving but that they haven’t reached their ceiling. “Chattanooga scored 10 points on us – that’s unacceptable. We’ve got to keep getting better,” he said after practice. Tennessee’s defense is giving up 10 fewer points and 100 fewer yards per game than last year. The Vols rank 4th in the SEC in total defense after finishing 11th in the same category in 2013.