Dobbs fares well for Big Orange
Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North (8) runs for a touchdown past Tennessee defensive back Cameron Sutton (23) during the first half of the Orange and White game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday.
KNOXVILLE- Even though Saturday was probably the most beautiful day of the Spring so far, fans in Big Orange Country were looking toward the Fall as 68,548 people filed into Neyland Stadium for the annual Orange and White game.
The final score was 129-100 in a scoring system that could best be called unusual but the point tally was not what was most important in the scrimmage. Several Vols were impressive in the game, not the least of which was sophomore quarterback Josh Dobbs.
The Alpharetta, Georgia native put on a offensive clinic as he finished the game with 199 yards and three touchdowns on 6-of-9 passing. He also ran for 59 yards and a score. Justin Worley also saw time under center as he went 11-for-13 for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said he was pleased with the progress of Dobbs during Spring practice. “He managed the offense and he made some plays with his legs. He has a calm demeanor about him and is very cerebral. He took some steps forward and it was great to see today.”
Josh Malone and Marquez North were the favorite receivers for the Tennessee quarterbacks. Malone caught six passes for 181 yards and three scores and North eclipsed the century mark as he hauled in five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.
“Josh has had a pretty productive Spring,” Jones said of Malone’s performance. “He has gone through the maturation process of a wide receiver the last few practices with the sore legs and sore hamstrings and I think the grind academically. But Josh is a competitive young man and very talented and he adds another dynamic to our offense. Josh, right from practice one, can be as good as he wants to be.”
The Vols are looking to break in a new kicker and George Bullock, a local product from Knox West High School, scored the first offensive points of the game with a 41-yard field goal. Freshman Jalen Hurd had a four-yard touchdown run and then Dobbs scored two straight times, the first on a 49-yard pass to Malone and then on a 59-yard touchdown run after he dropped the ball on the ground but recovered to go the distance for the score.
There were three scores in the second quarter which began with a six-yard reception by Malone from Nathan Peterman. Dobbs found Justus Pickett for a 31-yard score. Worley capped the first half scoring with a 50-yard bomb to North.
Justin Worley had a long run down the sideline early in the third quarter and the drive was capped by a one-yard touchdown run by Marlin Lane. Late in the third, Riley Ferguson connected with Cody Blanc for a 19-yard score. Dobbs provided another highlight reel play as he sent a rocket to Malone for a 79-yard score on the final play of the third quarter. That would be the final scoring play of the game.
Jones thanked the 68,000-plus fans who came to the game, the second largest crowd to see the annual Spring game. “Thank you Vol nation. Every time we ask you to do something, you respond. What a great day and great environment and it was a representation to our players of what they represent on a daily basis.”
Jones said this Spring game was different than ones in the past. “We had a different approach this year. In the past, the mentality is you just want to get the game over with. This was an evaluation tool, it was invaluable for our young football team. We wanted to play as much football as possible.”
-By Marlin Curnutt, Tribune Correspondent