Tennessee Football: Is Tyler Bray the Key To Ending This Season on a Good Note?

Jared DonahoeContributor IINovember 15, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 30:  Tyler Bray #8 of the Tennessee Volunteers against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Since Tyler Bray broke his thumb back during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs, the Tennessee Volunteers have scored a measly 47 points over five games, with 24 of them coming from the win over Middle Tennessee.

Matt Simms and Justin Worley, filling in the for the injured Bray, threw for a combined 926 yards. That's an average of 185 yards a game. Bray himself threw for over 1500 yards in five games.

While the matchups have become considerably harder, there is no doubt that the loss of Bray for the five games was devastating to the Volunteer offense.

As it is widely known, Bray is the center of the offense,. Even without his top target, Justin Hunter, and having Da'Rick Rogers double-covered, Bray was still effective in every game.

While it is still questionable if Bray will be back for Vanderbilt, even the possibility of him returning has certainly been a positive in the locker room.

Some Vols players were were quoted saying as much in an article in the Chattanooga Free Times Press.

"That would be a good lift," said defensive back Prentiss Waggner. "We know the type of talent Tyler is. I saw him out there in pregame throwing the ball and looking like he was making all the throws."

"It'd mean a lot," receiver Rajion Neal said. "It'd definitely bring a spark. A lot of guys would be excited to definitely see him back out there with a new energy. It'd just be a guy we're used to, we're comfortable with, a guy that just knows his reads, this game, this offense.

"That swagger that he carries when he's out there -- he's fearless, he's not afraid to make throws into tight windows; he's just a playmaker. He feels that he really can't be stopped."

So what makes me think the Vols get their happy ending after all?

Just take a look at that stats. The whole offense was way better before Bray injured. There was not a running game really to begin with, but it certainly was a lot better when they had a passing attack to complement it. Hopefully this season will end on a good note. Only time will tell, though.