But, Booch, you’ve recruited so well.

For all the buzz, there’s still a potentially serious Achilles heel for that juggernaut known as 2015 Tennessee.

With the season-opener against Bowling Green less than three weeks away, the Vols have yet to finalize a starting five in the offensive line. They’re not even close. And for all the talent and depth elsewhere on the roster, the uncertainties up front on offense are cause for caution…

… UT entered preseason practice with some uncertainty along the offensive front, and things have only gotten worse. Starting guard Marcus Jackson, a fifth-year senior, suffered a biceps injury that required surgery. Since then, other dominoes have fallen because of a series of relatively minor injuries.

Jackson’s absence is a big hit. He was the Vols’ most experienced offensive lineman. Jackson has started 17 games in his college career, including 12 of UT’s 13 games in 2014. He also could play multiple positions along the line.

Because of Jackson’s loss and other developments, the unit is in a state of flux. Offensive line coach Don Mahoney is trying a number of different combinations in order to find the right five starters plus a couple of backups who can fill in at multiple positions in the event of injury once the season starts.

So, all things considered, which problem to solve would you rather have right now, Tennessee’s offensive line or Georgia’s quarterbacks?



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

17 responses to “But, Booch, you’ve recruited so well.

  1. dawgtired

    It’s easier to find one gun-slinger than a posse of 5.


  2. Spike

    The UGA QB’s. Just my two cents.


  3. frowertr

    Butch should spend less time making appearances on the SEC Network and more on the practice fields with his players. Seriously, if you turn on the SEC Network any given day in the afternoon he is on there in some fashion.


  4. TnDawg

    Not to worry, here in TN fans say Dobbs doesn’t need a line. He is THAT good!


  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    Josh Dobbs….hmmm Part of the deal with Dobbs is that he is the only viable candidate they got…and he did beat, single-handedly, right…Kentucky and Vandy and so forth…. Could Dobbs be very good? Who knows, but he would be a whole lot better with a good offensive line, something he won’t have for at least another year.

    I don’t understand all the UT hype, but that lack of understanding is colored by not wanting to believe it is true.

    Judging only by first game opponents, I’d say we have a much better problem to have than doth UT.


    • Cojones

      Part of the up-tic on Dobbs consisted of a good line in front of him. “Course that was a couple months ago when the hype was up-to-your-ass wiregrass.

      Crap! Now you have me drooling while thinking of the D-line and LB fun that’s to be had teeing off before he even gets set. That’ll negate a fine hyped passing game right into the ground.


  6. 3rdandGrantham

    In fairness, just last year we finally got around to having a respectable OL for the first time since way back in ’02, with Kevin Breedlove and that senior laden group leftover from the Donnan era. There were so many years where we were counting on 3 star recruited players that didn’t get much else attention from other programs, in which we just knew we were in trouble yet seemingly never did anything to fix it. We also were of course snakebit as well with some of the injuries that occurred.


  7. The other Doug

    I’d rather be in our position. The line + Chubb takes a lot of pressure off the QB.


  8. ApalachDawg

    We will win the SEC East because of our OL & DL & our running game.
    UT can suck it. UT is the sizzle of a ‘mad cow’ marinated filet for the talking heads.
    Next year after we have won the SEC, the preseason hype for the Dawgs will be higher than the Stafford/Moreno level. I just look forward to meeting those expectations.
    Is it Sept 5th yet?


  9. SouthernYank

    There is no way the UT OL is worse than last year. In fact, it is unlikely any of their units will be worse than last year. Simply because there are a ton of young guys coming back who have all gotten a lot more experience. The question is, how much better will they be?

    Again, UT has no problems like UF (check out OL starts coming back and WR starts coming back) or Mizzou (I thought their WR situation was bad, but check out today’s Position Battles piece on ESPN – HOLY SHIT THEY HAVE NOT A THING COMING BACK AT WR, plus new guys on DL).

    UT AND SCar (still a major ? to me, no idea how they will be) are the two teams most likely to upset UGA’s apple cart.


    • Macallanlover

      Someone will beat us, I have no clue who that will be but it is almost a 100% certainty someone will beat every team, every year. Doubt it will be one of them but agree they look to be the two fighting for 3rd in the East.


  10. I think the answer to this is 1998. We welcomed a Payton Manningless UT team to Athens that year. We were feeling pretty confident with our fancy new QB Quincy Carter. The UT D line proceeded to turn our o-line into turnstiles and we only scored 3 pts that day. Some obnoxious young UT kid skipped up to us disappointed UGA fans as we slogged out of the stadium and just managed a mocking laugh with some mention of owning us.

    So hell yes, I want an o-line.


    • Bulldog Joe

      Everytime I hear grumbling about our ongoing quarterback competition, I think back to our 1998 preseason.

      Hard to believe we had a future conference champion and Rose Bowl MVP QB on the roster, but we awarded the job to a baseball player at the start of summer camp.



  11. What are these apparently secretive “other developments” that were mentioned several times in the article?


    • Bulldog Joe

      OL Dylan Wiesman and OL Jashon Robertson have also been held out of practice due to injury. Both are expected to return before the season opener.