Vols To Start True Freshman At QB

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By Brian Rice

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the third time in nine games this season, Tennessee will have a new starting quarterback on Saturday when the Vols travel to No. 10 Missouri.

With Justin Worley, who started seven of the first eight games this season, on the shelf with a thumb injury, freshman Joshua Dobbs gets the call against the Tigers.

Ironically, the circumstances around Dobbs’ first start mirror those around Worley’s first nod two seasons ago. Worley came on late in Tennessee’s loss to Alabama in 2011 after an injury sidelined starter Tyler Bray and left the quarterback situation unsettled, with Matt Simms and Worley behind on the depth chart. Worley made his first-career start a week later against South Carolina.

Dobbs came on in relief after an injury to Worley, first suffered against USC, was aggravated in the first half against Alabama. Dobbs was 5-12 for 75 against the Crimson Tide and led a pair of second-half scoring drives. Now, he draws the starting assignment in an SEC game a week later.

“It’ll be a great challenge for him in a great venue against a great opponent,” head coach Butch Jones said of Dobbs’ opportunity. “I know that he’s looking forward to that.”

The guys charged with catching the passes Dobbs will throw aren’t expecting any fall-off at the quarterback position.

“He’s wired different,” Pig Howard said of Dobbs. “He’s a leader. He came in from day one working hard and knowing the playbook inside and out.”