The Tennessee Vols face the South Alabama Jaguars in Week 5, a game that should allow the Vols to resolve their quarterback problems. After a poor showing at No. 2 Oregon in Week 3, quarterback Justin Worley was benched in favor of Nathan Peterman in Week 4. Unfortunately for Peterman, the opportunity to shine was overshadowed by gator chomps in the swamp against No. 19 Florida. He went 2-of-5 for five yards and two interceptions, and was benched before the half, in favor of Worley. Although Worley didn’t have terrible stats, he hasn’t been the leader that the Vols need.
During the week, head coach Butch Jones stated that Worley would start, as Peterman suffered a hand injury and underwent surgery that would keep him out at least a month. That leaves freshman Riley Ferguson and Joshua Dobbs battling it out for the No. 2 spot behind Worley.
For Jones, the South Alabama game would be the best time to play either one or both of the freshman quarterbacks before tough competition against SEC foes Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama consecutively after Week 5.
So,what is the background between these two freshman?
Hometown: Matthews, N.C.
Ferguson was rated a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit by Rivals and Scout. He led his high school team to state championships in 2010 and 2012. He also was named MVP his senior season after throwing for 301 yards and five touchdowns. His junior season, Ferguson completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,345 yards and 48 touchdowns, and was named to the 2011 ESPNHS All-State team.
Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
Dobbs was rated a four-star recruit by ESPN and Scout and a three-star recruit by Rivals. His senior season, Dobbs threw for 3,113 yards and 29 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 419 yards and 10 touchdowns. Dobbs received several accolades throughout his prep career, including 2013 Franklin D. Watkins Award, 2013 Atlanta Journal Constitution Cup (Best All-Around AHS Senior) and 2013 Neighbor Newspaper Male Athlete of the Year for his senior season. He also earned Earned First Team All-State, First Team All-County, First Team All-Region, Second Team All-Area and First Team All-Conference his senior season. Dobbs was also the Offensive MVP of the Georgia Rising Senior Bowl.
Dobbs is the more decorated of the two, but Ferguson seemed to be a better game manager throughout practice. The hope is to see both quarterbacks get a shot to duke it out on the field in a game setting. After all, the Vols need to figure out which would be a good backup for the upcoming top 25 games in the next month. The pressure is on Jones to give a definitive answer as to who will be leading the Vols the rest of the season.