Zach Rogers: Tyler Bray's 'more confident in what he's got'

Tennessee tailback Rajion Neal, left, scores a touchdown as teammate Zach Rogers blocks for him against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee tailback Rajion Neal, left, scores a touchdown as teammate Zach Rogers blocks for him against Georgia State at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Vols talk about Tennessee vs. Florida

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Nearly a year has passed since a slumped-shouldered Tyler Bray divulged, "It's not like we played scared, but we played like we really didn't know what we were doing."

The Tennessee quarterback had few answers for the Vols' 33-23 loss at Florida last September. He entered the game ranked fourth nationally with 698 passing yards in two games. The week before brought SEC offensive player of the week honors after a four-touchdown outing against Cincinnati.

The hype surrounding Bray in 2011 would have crescendoed with a victory against Florida.

Instead, it flatlined.

Bray completed 26 of 48 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns, but two costly second-half interceptions marred the statline.

Now the 2012 season is two games old. Bray's 194.8 quarterback rating ranks fifth in the country. The hype is back, and even includes whispers of another "H" word.

So what's different one year later?

"One year older," Bray said Tuesday following practice.

Feeling more confident?

"Nah, same old same."

Often as tepid as tap water, Bray has never played into the hype around him.

That doesn't mean others don't sound the trumpets.

On the eve of the 2012 version of Tennessee-Florida, UT wideout Justin Hunter has declared Bray the best quarterback in the country.

On Tuesday, the junior added that his quarterback is "taking charge" and "wants to have a big game, every game."

Two contests into his junior season, Bray has racked up 643 passing yards on 45 completions in 61 attempts and connected on six touchdowns, three to Hunter.

"I wouldn't trade him," UT head coach Derek Dooley said Tuesday. "He's playing good, he has a good demeanor."

Bray's claim that the only difference between 2011 and 2012 is him being one year older was echoed by wide receiver Zach Rogers, but with some added depth.

"He's a lot more confident in what he's got," said Rogers, a senior with two receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. "He's becoming more of a veteran every day and you see it here on the practice field — taking his third reads instead of just firing at his first read. He's really sitting back and progressing and it's great to see. He's becoming a leader every day."

Bray's 45 completions have been spread among 11 receivers with only Hunter (17) having more than nine.

Following three seasons in Knoxville, Bray's lone noteworthy victories have come over Cincinnati and N.C. State.

The 18th-ranked Gators offer a potential marquee win, the keyword being "potential."

"He's a proven quarterback and needs a signature win like this, and we're going to do everything we can to help him," Rogers said.

And if they do, the results could match the hype.

***

On the injury front, Dooley said linebackers Herman Lathers (shoulder) and Curt Maggitt (toe) "moved around" at practice, but are not yet back to 100 percent. Each remains questionable for Saturday.

Additionally, Dooley said sophomore tight end Brendan Downs (dislocated patella), who practiced with a brace on his left knee Tuesday, is recovering rapidly and could see the field against Florida.

***

Assessing the UT defensive line after two games, junior nose tackle Daniel McCullers said the Vols currently grade out to a B-minus.

"We could have done a lot better on our double teams and inside zone plays, but other than that on our pass protection, some of our wide zone plays, power plays, worked out pretty well," McCullers said.

The Vols' attack at the line of scrimmage will be crucial against Florida, which allowed eight sacks against Texas A&M last weekend.

***

Via its official football Twitter account (@Vol_Football), Tennessee announced Saturday's showdown with Florida will be played before a full house at Neyland Stadium:"The Florida game is officially SOLD OUT. Thanks #Vols fans. See you Saturday. 102,455 Loud and Proud. #BeatFlorida"

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Comments » 53

voloffaith writes:

Almost...second...third...It doesn't matter...beat the chompers!!!

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

"The Vols' attack at the line of scrimmage will be crucial against Florida, which allowed eight sacks last weekend".

Come on Vols...put Dripskull on his *** at least 10-12 times and make it hurt a little more each time.

Vols 27 (or more)
Lizs 17 (or less)

govolsn3 writes:

I am glad to hear the sold out but that is sold out to all the ticket brokers. I am still seeing them for sale all over the e-net. Tried to gert some of the return tix but I never got a response to my call. I guess stub hub beat me to it. I would love to see HUNTER have a career high game in atleast TD'S and YARDS or RECEPTIONS. He has a great head on his shoulders when he presents himself to the media. You can actually understand what he is talking about and sounds so confident. Hate to say it but I bet he is gone after this year and mabye a few more junior buddies. I would love to see the whole class stay one more year but a few of them are really knocking on the door at first round NFL. GO VOLS VFL

vick3333#637016 writes:

Is Quinn a moron...he acts like nothing happened in the game ...just that Bray started playing poorly....BRAY LOST HIS BEST RECEIVER and one of the best in the country IN THE 1ST QUARTER....THAT WOULD PROBABLY AFFECT HIS PERFORMANCE...where do they get these guys????????????

GerryOP writes:

Saturday ... is ... the ... day ... --- ... our ... Vols ... are ... back!

I have complications about Saturday. Transportation and Neyland seat is available ... but ... all day commitment at church Sat and Sun. Dang! Church or the Vols? ESPN is calling me! They may miss me at dinner Saturday evening.

I'm sure The Big Guy will understand. Prolly a good time to cash in one of my "You are forgiven, go forth and sin no more" cards. But dang ... the Vols ... the Gatas ... Neyland ... dang. Stop it!

2-0 on the way to 12-0 baby ... 12-0.

PUL4VOLS writes:

New year, new game and new opportunity for the Vols to shine. I am hoping it happens for them in a big way!

amstelman writes:

Vegas says VOLS by 3. No victory in that, but when was the last time we were favored in this game?

VOLS 38
Gayters 24

Vol43 writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Saturday ... is ... the ... day ... --- ... our ... Vols ... are ... back!

I have complications about Saturday. Transportation and Neyland seat is available ... but ... all day commitment at church Sat and Sun. Dang! Church or the Vols? ESPN is calling me! They may miss me at dinner Saturday evening.

I'm sure The Big Guy will understand. Prolly a good time to cash in one of my "You are forgiven, go forth and sin no more" cards. But dang ... the Vols ... the Gatas ... Neyland ... dang. Stop it!

2-0 on the way to 12-0 baby ... 12-0.

God's favorite color is Orange, Gerry. He told me himself.

lavette12389 writes:

21 point spread. Tennessee with a big W!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Vol43:

God's favorite color is Orange, Gerry. He told me himself.

If God is not a Vol, why is the western sky at sunset orange? He told me too!

Scoon writes:

in response to Vol43:

God's favorite color is Orange, Gerry. He told me himself.

You and SqueakyMouse are both ridiculous here and this subject is ridiculous.
I guess that's why the sky is true Blue and the oceans are true Blue, cause orange is the fav. C'mon ... geez.

Vol43 writes:

in response to Scoon:

You and SqueakyMouse are both ridiculous here and this subject is ridiculous.
I guess that's why the sky is true Blue and the oceans are true Blue, cause orange is the fav. C'mon ... geez.

So the earth was dark and void and God said 'let there be light' and BAM there it was, a beautiful bright Big Orange Sun for all to see.

laraccoon writes:

McCullers sounds like an intelligent fellow ,

Scoon writes:

in response to laraccoon:

McCullers sounds like an intelligent fellow ,

So, how did that online lesson suit ja, ringtail?

Scoon writes:

in response to Vol43:

So the earth was dark and void and God said 'let there be light' and BAM there it was, a beautiful bright Big Orange Sun for all to see.

That is right, 43, so isn't it simply amazing the two most prominent colors in our universe .. Blue and Orange ..

Scoon writes:

and green

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

in response to Scoon:

You and SqueakyMouse are both ridiculous here and this subject is ridiculous.
I guess that's why the sky is true Blue and the oceans are true Blue, cause orange is the fav. C'mon ... geez.

The blue sky (not UK blue) is just there as a background for the orange sunrises and sunsets. The blue ocean isn't actually blue, that's a relfection of the blue sky background.

There's a reason "blue" means sad.

gatorhator4eva writes:

florida's offensive line better be able to stop tennessee's defense. after getting 9 sacks against a and m. the gators are going to have a long night on rocky top. tennessee offense will dominate and there defense will force driskel into hurried and panicked situations.

rockytopluvem writes:

Just thought all may wanna know.... Jesus is a Volunteer. Romans 8:34. Go Vols send those Gators back to the swamp!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother:

The blue sky (not UK blue) is just there as a background for the orange sunrises and sunsets. The blue ocean isn't actually blue, that's a relfection of the blue sky background.

There's a reason "blue" means sad.

"Blue" also means cold. Sad and cold ... how appropriate for folks who worship "blue."

FWBVol writes:

Come on Quinn, what is this "Following three years stuff?" Bray has is three games into his junior year. You could say early into his third year...but there is no way Bray has had three full years. If you take out the games he missed last year and the ones Matt Sims started two years ago, Bray hardly has a full season of starts under his belt.

All that said, you are right, he still needs a signature win bigger than Cincy or N.C. State.

volfanlostnbama writes:

My effort to spread the cheer for the Vols to tackle the FL Lizards & CDD to body slam them once and for all! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...

GerryOP writes:

in response to gatorhator4eva:

florida's offensive line better be able to stop tennessee's defense. after getting 9 sacks against a and m. the gators are going to have a long night on rocky top. tennessee offense will dominate and there defense will force driskel into hurried and panicked situations.

I have a feeling that by this time Saturday night little Jeffy Driskel will be wishing that he had "lost" the UF QB "competition."

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

If God is not a Vol, why is the western sky at sunset orange? He told me too!

From where I'm sitting the sunrise from the East is bright Orange as well..GBO!!

GerryOP writes:

Some things are just too sweet! The following from an ESPN article about lil' Jeffy Driskel:

"His next test is a major one: on the road against No. 23 Tennessee."

"No. 23 Tennessee!" Seems like it's been almost forever since we've seen a phrase like that! How sweet it is!

TheVolSnake writes:

I posted this on another thread but thought it might fit here also:

Some experts will say football is 90% mental and 10% physical and there are variations of the percentages. I think that there is another percentage that has to be added and that is determination.

Some will say that determination falls under the mental part of the game but it is what is inside every player. A good example of determination is Tim Tebow who in my option had more than any player I ever saw, he played like every play was the game winning play regardless if the Gators were ahead or behind. Sorry fellow Vol fans Payton had determination but not as much as Tim, however Payton was the smartest QB I ever saw play (still is). There are a lot of other examples I just used these two.

Football is a team sport but determination of one player is contagious and transfers to the entire team, this year the Vols have several players that have that extra determination Bray, Hunter and lathers and it is transferring to the rest of the team. (Just listen to what the others players are saying about them) From what I have seen the Gators so far haven’t got a true player with that level of determination.

The determination I am talking about is do everything they can to win the game while putting the team first, not the individual stats. The determination to do any and everything to improve for the team.

If you listen to the Vol’s players this year when they talk, they have a lot of determination to be a team and to win. It is a new attitude we in Volunteer land haven’t seen in several years and will win us a lot of games.

This Saturday the Volunteer’s will be determined to play and win as a team, so all I can say is watch out Gators, a team with true determination and team first attitude is going to be playing you and will win by 14.

trubleoj#657755 writes:

Neyland Stadium is my church.

volpreacher writes:

in response to trubleoj#657755:

Neyland Stadium is my church.

If it is you need to rethink priorities. I love the Vols but no way they are more important than my relationship with Christ. Go Vols don't be overconfident. Be full of fight and determination.

Rumblefish writes:

in response to volpreacher:

If it is you need to rethink priorities. I love the Vols but no way they are more important than my relationship with Christ. Go Vols don't be overconfident. Be full of fight and determination.

Vols first...God second. That's why Saturday comes before Sunday. :)

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Saturday ... is ... the ... day ... --- ... our ... Vols ... are ... back!

I have complications about Saturday. Transportation and Neyland seat is available ... but ... all day commitment at church Sat and Sun. Dang! Church or the Vols? ESPN is calling me! They may miss me at dinner Saturday evening.

I'm sure The Big Guy will understand. Prolly a good time to cash in one of my "You are forgiven, go forth and sin no more" cards. But dang ... the Vols ... the Gatas ... Neyland ... dang. Stop it!

2-0 on the way to 12-0 baby ... 12-0.

I have on good information that the Big Orange Guy in the sky will overlook your sins!

Scoon writes:

This whole conversation is a total abomination unto the Lord. Get off of it.

Vol43 writes:

Unfinished business. That is the truth. All these comments about God and such were meant in fun. God has a sense of humor. Hey, he made me . Proof enough. If ya really want to enjoy govols, play 'salute to the hill' on YouTube in the background. Gives me the chill bumps. Go Volunteers!

TheVolSnake writes:

Vol Fans I need some help with a statement Florida coach Will Muschamp made:

Florida coach Will Muschamp said he would like QB Jeff Driskel to take less contact when he scrambles. Driskel was sacked eight times against Texas A&M. “We want him to get down more in situations and be smart in the situation,” Muschamp said. “If its third and 8, and you’re scrambling and you’re two yards away, we need to get the first down. Be smart about the situation, and that’s going to be hard on Jeff. He’s a guy that’s going to throw his jaw in there and get what he can get.”

The help with the statement is if it is third and 8 does or is Muschamp saying he wants Driskel to get 2 yards? The reason I am asking is if it is third and 8 and you are scrambling you need 8 yards for the first down, if he only needs 2 more for the first then he is not scrambling he is running.

Best I can figure is this is a new Gator Coaches math.

I also like the part “Be smart about the situation, and that’s going to be hard on Jeff.” It appears the Coach is questioning he QB’s decision making.

Vols by 14

Sir_Spanky writes:

Time for big-boy football.

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

I posted this on another thread but thought it might fit here also:

Some experts will say football is 90% mental and 10% physical and there are variations of the percentages. I think that there is another percentage that has to be added and that is determination.

Some will say that determination falls under the mental part of the game but it is what is inside every player. A good example of determination is Tim Tebow who in my option had more than any player I ever saw, he played like every play was the game winning play regardless if the Gators were ahead or behind. Sorry fellow Vol fans Payton had determination but not as much as Tim, however Payton was the smartest QB I ever saw play (still is). There are a lot of other examples I just used these two.

Football is a team sport but determination of one player is contagious and transfers to the entire team, this year the Vols have several players that have that extra determination Bray, Hunter and lathers and it is transferring to the rest of the team. (Just listen to what the others players are saying about them) From what I have seen the Gators so far haven’t got a true player with that level of determination.

The determination I am talking about is do everything they can to win the game while putting the team first, not the individual stats. The determination to do any and everything to improve for the team.

If you listen to the Vol’s players this year when they talk, they have a lot of determination to be a team and to win. It is a new attitude we in Volunteer land haven’t seen in several years and will win us a lot of games.

This Saturday the Volunteer’s will be determined to play and win as a team, so all I can say is watch out Gators, a team with true determination and team first attitude is going to be playing you and will win by 14.

For the love of all things Big Orange, his name is and has always been spelled "Peyton". See road sign on campus.

Scoon writes:

in response to Vol43:

Unfinished business. That is the truth. All these comments about God and such were meant in fun. God has a sense of humor. Hey, he made me . Proof enough. If ya really want to enjoy govols, play 'salute to the hill' on YouTube in the background. Gives me the chill bumps. Go Volunteers!

I know what you're saying, 43 ... but, some of these other comments on here are rudimentary and worthy of disgust, to say the very least ...

Vol43 writes:

in response to TheVolSnake:

Vol Fans I need some help with a statement Florida coach Will Muschamp made:

Florida coach Will Muschamp said he would like QB Jeff Driskel to take less contact when he scrambles. Driskel was sacked eight times against Texas A&M. “We want him to get down more in situations and be smart in the situation,” Muschamp said. “If its third and 8, and you’re scrambling and you’re two yards away, we need to get the first down. Be smart about the situation, and that’s going to be hard on Jeff. He’s a guy that’s going to throw his jaw in there and get what he can get.”

The help with the statement is if it is third and 8 does or is Muschamp saying he wants Driskel to get 2 yards? The reason I am asking is if it is third and 8 and you are scrambling you need 8 yards for the first down, if he only needs 2 more for the first then he is not scrambling he is running.

Best I can figure is this is a new Gator Coaches math.

I also like the part “Be smart about the situation, and that’s going to be hard on Jeff.” It appears the Coach is questioning he QB’s decision making.

Vols by 14

It sounds contradictory to me Snake. He doesn't seem to want him to run, but at the same time, if he does, he expects him to pick up the first down. Ok so run the six yards the fumble the ball forward for the remainder. My pick: Vols 41 gators 17.

Scoon writes:

in response to Sir_Spanky:

Time for big-boy football.

so ... does this mean that you all are gonna finally pull your Big Boy Britches back up this year? ... or are you gonna let Scratch, after being passed around above everybody's head in the Blue section, come in to play mascot turned QB this year?

Go Scratch! Go Scratch!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

God in His infinite wisdom and glory has room for all fans and we're all on His heavenly team. He loves all the colors of the rainbow.

As for me He allows me to choose my poison and it's all orange baby!!!!
Go Big ORANGE and glory to His name regardless of you're favorite color.

MemphoVol writes:

We need Lathers and Maggitt to heal up and play Saturday. Even if they are at 70 - 80%, we need them on the field!

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to Scoon:

That is right, 43, so isn't it simply amazing the two most prominent colors in our universe .. Blue and Orange ..

Ah, but Scoon ... if God's not a Big Orange fan, why does he turn the leaves on the trees orange for the 3rd Saturday in October?

tomcollins28#554986 writes:

Aren't we cocky after beating two subpar and non SEC teams! I wouldn't discount the fact that our next opponent will have a REAL DEFENSE! So let's not count our chicks yet! Go VOls!

pcorange writes:

I hope all the predictions of a Big Orange victory prove to be true. I'll be there decked out in orange and yelling. Maybe this is the year we break the spell Florida's had over us for too long.

Scoon writes:

Think of this, old dog .... uh, btw ... is your name Rin-Tin-Tin??

Anyway, back on topic ... remember Tin, God does not only turn the leaves of autumn orange, but ... yellow, gold, silver, gray, pink, purple, violet, red, rust, tan and brown. Now go chew on that one for a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlUgjY...

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Scoon:

Think of this, old dog .... uh, btw ... is your name Rin-Tin-Tin??

Anyway, back on topic ... remember Tin, God does not only turn the leaves of autumn orange, but ... yellow, gold, silver, gray, pink, purple, violet, red, rust, tan and brown. Now go chew on that one for a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlUgjY...

Sorrry! But allow me to barge in. Did God even make fall. Or was this a result of the "fall" of man?
No seriously! Leaves didn"t die in the garden did they???
Seriously

well I don't know either...but I DO know that UT will beat the ugly blue and orange gators this year! btw I KNOW that all colors are beuatuful but when you combine blue with orange it becomes something evil like. No really this is a well known biological physical natural like law.
gbO Go simply orange

Scoon writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Sorrry! But allow me to barge in. Did God even make fall. Or was this a result of the "fall" of man?
No seriously! Leaves didn"t die in the garden did they???
Seriously

well I don't know either...but I DO know that UT will beat the ugly blue and orange gators this year! btw I KNOW that all colors are beuatuful but when you combine blue with orange it becomes something evil like. No really this is a well known biological physical natural like law.
gbO Go simply orange

'cuse me, but have you been nippin in the 'shine', Stokes?? Now, just go back and listen to what you just said!!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Scoon:

'cuse me, but have you been nippin in the 'shine', Stokes?? Now, just go back and listen to what you just said!!

You the one's been "dippin' in the shine" 'cause real shiners don't dip they chug. 2ndly you can't listen to writn' less you got one of them special like computers...which I don't. Next if I was still a shiner I probably wouldn't be able to write and type as well as I do. also my pedicts wouldn't turn out as well as they will this weekend. Which most people on this site actually agree with my picked winner.

NO Scoon I said winner, not whiner. I wasn't talking about you.haaaaallgh I'm not drunk but I HAVE been teaching teens all day.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

PS nip and dip are synonymous.

Scoon writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

You the one's been "dippin' in the shine" 'cause real shiners don't dip they chug. 2ndly you can't listen to writn' less you got one of them special like computers...which I don't. Next if I was still a shiner I probably wouldn't be able to write and type as well as I do. also my pedicts wouldn't turn out as well as they will this weekend. Which most people on this site actually agree with my picked winner.

NO Scoon I said winner, not whiner. I wasn't talking about you.haaaaallgh I'm not drunk but I HAVE been teaching teens all day.

Stokey,

1stly. You show me a shiner who 'chugs' shine and I'll show you one DRUNK shiner.

2ndly. Those special puters to which you have referred for 'listenin' to writn's are called 'Text to Voice' or 'Text to Speech' readers. With having to teach teens all day, I'd a thought you to have known that and had one easily available for your intended use within your library or any one of the special education classrooms, which is where I think that you might really belong. No offense.

3rdly. A shine drinker is not a 'whiner' to which you had referred, rather a 'winer', only in this case more like a 'shiner'.

4thly. Writing 2ndly, 3rdly and 4thly is an unacceptable means of the numbering system by which to use with teens, according to the Program of Studies and the Kentucky AND Tennessee Core of Content programs.
Bad, bad teacher!

Fifthly. You'd better get your p's & q's straight, boy, ifn's you're gonna be teaching teens all day 'cause, man, at this rate they're gonna eat you alive and nobody's a gonna want a see a 1/2 eaten Stokey.

walt2010 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Come on Quinn, what is this "Following three years stuff?" Bray has is three games into his junior year. You could say early into his third year...but there is no way Bray has had three full years. If you take out the games he missed last year and the ones Matt Sims started two years ago, Bray hardly has a full season of starts under his belt.

All that said, you are right, he still needs a signature win bigger than Cincy or N.C. State.

Wow - somehow I missed that "three years" sentence. That is frighteningly, astonishingly stupid. I hope Quinn doesn't have a degree in journalism or English...but then again, anyone who's not a permanent passenger on the short bus should be able to figure out that two games is not a season...just scarily dumb.

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