Devrin Young anticipated the question that was coming. He nodded his head, chomping at the bit to answer it as he stood amidst a circus of media.
"It's been successful everywhere else he's been, why can't it be here?" said the junior running back turned receiver.
The offense installed by first-year UT head coach Butch Jones and his offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian sputtered in Saturday's spring game, but Jones was sure to clarify that his team has the drive to fine-tune it before August rolls around.
"This football team is as eager and as willing as any football team that I have ever coached," Jones said.
Wide receiver who?: After a 2012 campaign which rekindled UT's nickname as "Wide Receiver U," the vacated shoes of Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter and Zach Rogers were left largely unfilled on Saturday.
Of the wide receivers, Young led the team in receptions with three from his newfound position in the slot, but his grabs went for a total of just 13 yards as the Vols struggled to maintain effectiveness through the air.
The day's highlight came when Cody Blanc took an out route from Justin Worley 58 yards to the north end zone in the second quarter. It was the lone touchdown of the day for the offense and accounted for nearly half Worley's passing yards.
"We still have a long way to go," Blanc said. "But there's definitely qualities that each player has. For me personally, that was a big confidence booster going into the summer."
Quarterbacks battle: Justin Worley — a junior with playing experience from backing up the departed Tyler Bray – started behind the first-team offensive line Saturday as he and redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman continued their quarterback battle.
Neither shone particularly, and Jones indicated that the addition of freshmen Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson in the summer will only add to the completion.
Peterman logged a 9 for 23, 98 yard clip with no interceptions or touchdowns while Worley went 8 for 18 for 123 yards, with one touchdown and an interception.
Though it's unsure who will replace Bray, Jones made it clear what the prerequisite requirements for doing so will be – leadership ability.
"Name me a good football team whose quarterback wasn't a great leader," Jones said. "Usually your average to below average teams, the quarterback brings no leadership value. Everything is at quarterback as the coach on the field."
At least one familiar face: Despite the personnel turnover at the offensive skill positions, one face — or foot — responsible for scoring points remained the same Saturday as it was in the fall.
After a rocky junior year, Michael Palardy connected on field goal attempts of 36, 46 and 52 yards on the day, finishing a perfect 3-for-3.
His 52-yarder came as time expired in the second quarter. It actually hit the crossbar after which it skipped through the uprights.
Palardy went 9 for 12 last season but missed three extra points.
"That was the biggest emphasis coming into the game," Palardy said, "was showing everybody what I was capable of doing."
Return to the roots: After Sal Sunseri's one-year debacle as defensive coordinator in which the Vols attempted to play a 3-4 front, his replacement John Jancek has returned the UT defensive front seven to a 4-3 setup.
"I think we are very comfortable because of the scheme," said senior linebacker/defensive end combo Jacques Smith. "It's a 4-3, something that we're used to, and a lot of guys played in while they were in high school."
Smith recorded one of the defense's nine sacks on the afternoon, though sacks were awarded for simply touching the quarterbacks in order to protect them.
Freshman linebacker and early enrollee Corey Vereen recorded four of the nine.
"Corey Vereen is the type of individual that we want to recruit to come here to Tennessee," Jones said. "He does well in the classroom. He's quiet.
"But his game speaks."