KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- There's one very obvious thing about the
2011 Tennessee Volunteers: They're extremely young.
Coach Derek Dooley says that's just a description of the team
and not an excuse for failure. Tennessee has been plagued the past few seasons by player attrition from back-to-back coaching transitions, and the Vols have had their fair share of injuries too.
That's left them with just 26 upperclassmen on scholarship, compared to 27 sophomores and 26 freshmen. Still, there's a lot of talent and potential among the Vols' youngest players.
Many current sophomores saw playing time last season, though Dooley wants more consistency from them. He also expects freshmen to contribute again this season.
The Vols were picked to finish fourth in the Southeastern Conference's East Division and open Sept. 3 at home against Montana.