7 at 7: A link-heavy look at Tennessee

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 7, 2013 

AUBURN, Ala. — If you haven't had a chance to start reading up on Tennessee, today's "7 at 7" gives you a chance to catch up.

Read yesterday's 7 at 7.

As is protocol on Thursday, these seven opponent links come from people who find themselves around the Volunteers on a near-daily basis.

Savvy?

1. Entering Saturday's game, Tennessee sits at 4-5 on the season. If the Volunteers can pick up two wins in their last three games, they would salvage head coach Butch Jones' first season, writes Mark Weidmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

2. Joshua Dobbs made the first start of his college career last week against Missouri. Crazy as it may sound, the true freshman signal-caller believes he grew leaps and bounds in just one game and is ready to prove that point Saturday.

3. After what he deemed a sub-par performance last week in its 31-3 loss to Missouri, Jones has questioned his team's toughness amid concerns that it may be wearing down after playing six ranked teams in its last seven games. (Auburn, of course, will make that seven of eight.)

4. Continuing with the "toughness" and/or "softness" theme, Evan Woodberry of the Knoxville News Sentinel said that Jones suggested a poll question to run on the team's official website this week, asking which player is softer: Zach Fulton or Alex Bullard? Woodberry also has a few tidbits and videos from Tuesday's and Wednesday's practices.

5. Sophomore receiver Johnathan Johnson hasn't seen the field much this season. But that may be changing with three games left in the regular season, writes Sam Gilbreath of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

6. Woodberry caught up with Tommy Thigpen on Wednesday night. Tennessee's linebackers coach spent the four previous years at Auburn as a defensive assistant, coaching the safeties from 2009-11 and the linebackers last season. Needless to say, Thigpen hasn't been surprised by the Tigers' success this season.

7. Time for moving pictures! With sound, too! Woodberry and colleague Ben Ben Frederickson break down the keys to Saturday's game in a video blog.

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