Dooley names Simms starter for season opener

KNOXVILLE ( -- Tennessee officially passed the mid-week point in its preparations for Saturday’s season opener against UT Martin. The Vols worked for better than 90 minutes at Haslam Field in their next-to-last full practice before game day.

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley spoke after practice about how the Vols plan to combat his defense’s lack of size and depth.

“We’ll probably have to do a lot more schematically. We’ll probably have to roll more guys. You just have to figure out how to make it work. It’s just like anything. You have a hand you have to play. You can’t fold and that’s what we’re doing.”

Dooley also addressed his quarterback situation in saying that junior Matt Simms would start the game. How much playing time freshman Tyler Bray receives is yet to be seen.

“I have no idea,” Dooley said. “I’m going in (with) Matt (Simms) as our quarterback. I don’t have any plan. I’m just going to let the game dictate what we do. We’ll make that determination (on Tyler) Saturday. We have to go out there and say, ‘What do we need to do to win the football game?’ and that’s all we’re worried about right now.”

Certainly the quarterback play will be aided by an effective running game from the backfield duo of junior Tauren Poole and sophomore David Oku.

“Tauren and Oku will be playing and those are our two backs,” Dooley said. “We’ll roll them. We’re going to give Oku a lot of touches.”

Defensively, the Vols also hope to get solid performances from the newcomers to a lineup that lost first-round NFL draft picks Eric Berry and Dan Williams.

“It’s like a lot of these positions, it’s hard for us,” Dooley said. “We don’t really have a script. We have to go in there and see how the game goes and see what we need to do. There’s so much unknown on how our players are going to play. I have an idea of how some of the older guys are going to play because I’ve seen them on film. All the new guys, I don’t know how they’re going to play. We just have to see it and make some good game day adjustments if we need to.”


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Tickets for the 2010 football season are available for all seven home games in some form or fashion.

This year’s schedule features four home dates in September, beginning with UT Martin on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. That game is a VideoSeat Pay-Per-View telecast.

Tickets for the UT Martin contest are available for $40 and can be purchased via, over the phone at 865/656-1200 or 800/332-VOLS (8657), or at the ticket counter. Because of construction at Thompson-Boling Arena, the Athletics Department Ticket Office is temporarily located on the northwest concourse level of the arena directly above the old ticket office location. Office hours Monday through Friday are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Other games on this year’s slate are Oregon on Sept. 11, Florida on Sept. 18, UAB on Sept. 25, Alabama on Oct. 23, Mississippi for Homecoming on Nov. 13 and Kentucky on Nov. 27. Prices are $60 each for Oregon and Ole Miss, $50 for Kentucky and $40 for UAB.

Single seats with no adjacent seating are all that remain for the Florida and Alabama contests, and those tickets cost $70.


Tennessee athletics in conjunction with InStadiumSolutions (ISS) will introduce a fan text messaging system at Neyland Stadium, beginning with the September 4th game against the University of Tennessee-Martin. This system allows fans to request immediate assistance from event management personnel through a text message.

“This system allows us to increase our efficiency in addressing fans’ needs in a simple and effective way,” said David Elliott, Assistant Athletic Director for Event Management. “Through the fan text message system, we hope to enhance our customer service capability.”

From a personal cell phone, fans can text “Vols” the issue and location of the incident, including the section number, row and seat number, to 69050. The fan will then receive an automatic reply message acknowledging receipt of the message, or if there is insufficient information, it will ask for a more complete message. Stadium staff, security or emergency personnel will be alerted and respond to the site.

Fans can text requesting assistance for a variety of issues including, but not limited to medical, security, fan disturbances, lost children and customer service issues. Standard text messaging rates will apply.