How bad have things gotten for Derek Dooley at Tennessee? So bad that true freshman Tyler Bray will start at quarterback in place of junior Matt Simms for this weekend’s matchup with Memphis. Bray, who was ranked as the No. 131 recruit nationally overall and the No. 7 quarterback in the 2010 class by Rivals, has taken snaps in four games this season already.
The Kingsburg, California native’s numbers this season aren’t terrible, as he has completed 25-of-47 passes for 303 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, giving him a quarterback rating of 108.62. This past weekend against South Carolina he hit on 9-of-15 passes for 159 yards, with two touchdowns and just one interceptions for a quarterback rating of 179.71.
Apparently Simms is not happy that he was benched midway through the Vols’ 38-24 loss at South Carolina on Saturday. He finished the day 10-of-13 for 153 yards and had this to say about his performance and his future:
“I wish I could say that I’m definitely the starting quarterback. It’s unfortunate they took me out. I felt like I played really well. I fell like i could have made all the those throws because we had guys wide open down the middle of the field.”
“I feel like I’m a good enough quarterback to make those plays and I’m just still upset that I got taken out like that.”
The Vols currently sit at 2-6 and 0-5 in the SEC. Dooley has already had to kick players off the team, had a winless October, is dealing with another arrest currently and the team suffered maybe the most embarrassing loss in the last decade in college football.
Whatever happens from here on out, expect Bray to be Dooley’s starting quarterback. Once you move to a true freshman, you’ve got to stick with him, or you risk completely shattering his confidence and ruining his career.
Welcome to the starter’s chair Mr. Bray, good luck.