Tennessee Volunteers hope to compete with SEC

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MCT

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp shakes hands with Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, on Saturday, September 21, 2013. (Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Times/MCT)

Marquis Munson

In his third season as head coach, Butch Jones has the motivation and confidence that his team can compete in the SEC East and bring this Tennessee Volunteers football team back to prominence. Although they finished last season 7-6 overall with 3-5 record in the SEC, Jones and the Vols competed down to the wire with some of 
the SEC’s best.

“I always tell our team this: The team that can manage the natural adversities that a long football season brings about will be the team that wins championships in December,” Jones said.

Jones had to make a quarterback change in the middle of the season due to a shoulder injury to senior Justin Worley. Joshua Dobbs, a junior from Alpharetta, Georgia, stepped up under center and has shown prominence since. As a starter, Dobbs went 4-1 and averaged 431 passing yards per game. He was named the TaxSlayer Bowl MVP after throwing for 205 yards and three touchdowns, two rushing and 
one passing.

“My goal is to be the best motivator I can be for this team,” Dobbs said. “If I put in the extra hours, it will motivate them to do the same. So if we do that and take advantage of all our opportunities this year, we will be successful.”

Tennessee starts its season on Sept. 5 against Bowling Green in Nashville. Its first SEC opponent is against the Florida Gators in Gainesville, Florida on Sept. 26.