Tennessee has been rebuilding now for what seems like a decade. Every year more and more fans think that "the next year or two will be the year!" However, that sadly never seems to come true. The UT-Bama game may have finally found the missing piece for Tennessee. Joshua Dobbs, the true sophomore quarterback, came in for Peterman with Worley injured and played a great game. He was electric. He looks every bit the part of the future quarterback the Vols need to make the next step to winning close games.
His stats may not show it, as he went 19/32 passing with 192 yards, 2 TD's, and 1 INT, but Dobbs brought a new element to the Vols offense. Dobbs rushed 19 times for 75 yards. Josh Dobbs was rated as a top 10 dual-threat quarterback commit that the Vols were able to steal away from Arizona State near signing day.
He came in last season and played in relief of Justin Worley during the Alabama game and never gave up the job again. He's now a year older and a year more experienced. That experience showed last night with his command of the offense. Dobbs was able to scramble out of the pocket when trouble presented itself with the offensive line in shambles. He took the ball on many of the read-option plays which the UT offense runs so often. There were even designed QB runs that he was able to take and quite literally run with. Dobbs showed UT fans what Butch Jones' offense could do with a QB who didn't get sacked so often. It was productive. It looked to be the missing piece the Vols have been looking for.
So far this season Tennessee has shown its' youth in many aspects of the game. It has also shown the skill of the team. The defense has been terrific this year. Kicker Aaron Medley has stepped up to be the go-to kicker many Vols fans thought we would not get after Palardy went to the NFL. Special teams is worlds better as a unit than it was last year. The receivers are dripping with talent. Jalen Hurd at running back looks like the next great thing for Tennessee. All that was missing was the offensive line.
Justin Worley had not played bad this year. In some ways he did very well considering how much abuse he had taken all year. Josh Dobbs looks like he solves the offensive lines problems for them. As a mobile QB, he was able to evade the rush and help out the offense by keeping drives going with his legs when the line is not able to provide the time needed to complete passes. It has been obvious how much raw talent is at the receiver and tight end positions for Tennessee. The offensive line hindered the quarterbacks ability to get the ball to those playmakers. Dobbs looks like he can solve those problems and get the offense rolling. That in turn should help to open up more running lanes for Jalen Hurd.
It may not come to full fruition this year, but Dobbs looks every bit the answer for a struggling Tennessee offense. So maybe it is just a few more years until Tennessee is back.