Injury update: RB Marlin Lane (ankle), WR Marquez North (shoulder) and Jalen Hurd were all in green, non-contact jerseys. Butch Jones said he expects that trio to play on Saturday against Kentucky, so those should all be considered precautionary at this point.
RB Derrell Scott is practicing with a relatively heavy cast on his right hand/wrist area. RT Coleman Thomas appeared to be full go, but his ankle was still heavily taped. WR Von Pearson continues to work with a brace on his ankle as well. QB Justin Worley was at practice in street clothes with a heavy brace on his shoulder after undergoing surgery.
Offensive line: No changes as the offensive line worked in individual drills with the starting lineup looking like (L to R) Kyler Kerbyson, Marcus Jackson, Mack Crowder, Jashon Robertson and Jacob Gilliam. Behind them were Brett Kendrick, Austin Sanders, Dylan Wiesman, Marques Pair and Coleman Thomas. Dontavius Blair continues to work with the scout team.
Quarterback: All eyes continue to be on quarterback Joshua Dobbs as the coaches look for consistency from the new sophomore starter. He hit his first four passes against air, but only went 7-of-12 in the entire open period. About 9-of-12 were on target as Vic Wharton dropped one, Dobbs just missed Malone on a deep pass and Johnathon Johnson didn’t get his head around on another route. Butch Jones continues to demand perfection when throwing against air – something the Vols have honestly struggled with in Jones’ tenure in Knoxville.
Nathan Peterman and Mike Wegzyn continue to get snaps as the No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks, respectively. Walk-on Devin Smith gets the responsibility of simulating Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles on the scout team.
Butch on the mic: Jones was very active on the microphone at practice, dishing out some praise and constructive criticism.
• After the punt protection unit did a good job on one particular punt, Matt Darr shanked the punt, much to Jones’ dismay as the head coach said “everything was good except the punt.” Jones went on to tell Darr that he likely has 12 punts left in his career and that there are no punters in the arena league.
• Jones: “We went from (coaching) Antonio Brown to Vic Wharton”
• Jones also called Josh Malone out for being “too mechanical” when he ran a route poorly.