The Vols may have lost the game Saturday night, but they may have found the secret to a bowl appearance: Joshua Dobbs.
Dobbs came on to the field early in the game after Nathan Peterman’s poor performance early. After that there was no looking back. Dobbs showed early that his precision and accuracy was at a much different level than either Peterman or Worley. With this upgrade in arm strength, the Vols made much crisper passes over the middle than they have been able to in the Worley era.
Not only did Dobbs provide a different level of play with his arms, but he also made some crucial plays with his legs. The Vols had several “sprint left” plays designed to get Dobbs out of the pocket and away from an offensive line that has been injured and bad all season.
Dobbs ended the game 19-32 with 192 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as a passer, and with 19 carries for 75 yards as a runner. This versatility is something that the Vols offenses needed badly after not scoring a touchdown against an SEC opponent in two straight games.
The Vols may have a losing record now, but they may have found a winning quarterback. With Vanderbilt and Missouri both having issues this year, Kentucky and South Carolina might be the teams standing between Tennessee and a bowl birth.