Tennessee has decided that experience is king in naming a starting quarterback, which is why junior Justin Worley was named the Week 1 starter against Austin Peay.
Tennessee Football revealed the news via Twitter:
Worley was Tyler Bray's backup the last two seasons and will have big shoes to fill in his new role. Tennessee's offense averaged 36.2 points and 315.6 passing yards per game last season. Worley had only 23 passing attempts and threw two interceptions.
His best season to date was in 2011 when he completed 48 passes for 604 yards. He has thrown for 738 yards in his career.
The other quarterbacks who were competing for the starting job include redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman and true freshmen Riley Ferguson and Joshua Dobbs. Considering those three candidates are short on experience, Worley was considered the favorite for the starting job heading into spring practice.
Worley is a big quarterback at 6'4", 222 pounds and does a nice job of throwing the deep ball. He's not as athletic as Bray was, but he is capable of avoiding pressure in the pocket and does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield. Despite the two turnovers last season, Worley completed an impressive 65.2 percent of his passes.
Tennessee should be able to handle the Governors this week regardless of who won the starting job, but it will be important for Worley to take command of the offense rather quickly. The difficulty in the schedule increases in Week 3 with back-to-back road trips to Oregon and Florida.
Butch Jones made his first tough decision as Tennessee's new head coach, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.