Dooley doesn't think just "anybody" is better than Simms. Worley was the Gatorade National Player of the Year last year. It might not make a difference to Saturday's outcome due to how green Worley is, but it's not like Dooley is starting Nash Nance.
Derek Dooley has apparently figured out what to do with true freshman quarterback Justin Worley. Two days after burning his redshirt in the final minutes of a lopsided loss to Alabama, UT’s coach has named Worley as the Vols’ starter heading into Saturday’s game with South Carolina.
“We’re not throwing and catching the way we need to and we’re not calling the game the way we want to. We just need to make this move.
It’s not something that’s done on a whim. We have a lot of data to make a switch. We don’t have a lot of data on Justin…
I don’t know what it’s going to look like on Saturday.”
In other words, Dooley has seen enough to know that — in his opinion — anybody is better that Matt Simms. Simms was forced to face the defenses of LSU and Alabama when starter Tyler Bray broke his thumb against Georgia earlier this month.
Though Worley got into Tennessee’s game with Alabama, he did not attempt a pass. So the first pass he’ll throw at the college level will come with Jadeveon Clowney and Melvin Ingram breathing down his neck.
As a team, South Carolina has 14 sacks on the season. Ingram has 5.5 and Clowney has 4.0. Thanks in part to that pass rush, the Gamecocks are allowing just 133.7 yards per game through the air… the best mark in the SEC. Better than Alabama. Better than LSU.
That’s not an ideal situation for a young QB, but it’s the one Worley will face. Ironically, the true freshman from Rock Hill, South Carolina was not offered a scholarship by Steve Spurrier and his homestate Gamecocks. So maybe he’ll have some added motivation on Saturday night that will help counterbalance his inexperience.