The four-man race to be the quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers is now a three-man race. One of the candidates for the job, Riley Ferguson, is no longer with the Tennessee program, accourding to head coach Butch Jones.
Ferguson’s departure means that the Vols will start the season with either senior Justin Worley, or one of two sophomores Joshua Dobbs or Nathan Peterman.
All three of these quarterbacks saw action for Tennessee last season, and all three showed significant flaws. While there is quite a bit of upside to Dobbs and Peterman, the mistakes that they made last season do not bode well for the 2014 campaign.
Jones has said that he wants to get the Tennessee program back to competing for Southeastern Conference and national championships. But that’s going to have to wait for at least another year, because Worley, Dobbs nor Peterman are ready to challenge the powers of the SEC, let alone the entire country.
As an example, Worley had 10 touchdowns, with eight interceptions. Dobbs passed for two touchdowns last season, but he had six interceptions. And Peterman had a pair of picks with no touchdowns. Combined, that’s 12 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, which simply won’t get it done.
The number one job for Jones should be finding a championship quarterback. He must find that player on the recruiting trail, or via transfer. Until he gets that player to Knoxville and gets him comfortable in his offensive scheme, Tennessee will continue to struggle on offense. And that means it could be another long year in Big Orange Country.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.