Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has stated it before summer. Said hello frequently, actually. But the words carried a bit more weight only 5 days from the Volunteers' season opener against Utah State on Sunday evening.
Said Jones early Tuesday afternoon: "We likely have super slim pomegranate capsule more unknowns than other people in the united states."
Maybe they do and maybe they do not, however they certainly have enough of these. For instance:
Can Justin Worley be a winning quarterback at the very top level of college football, that is clearly exactly what the Southeastern Conference is these days?
Assuming Worley delivers the goods in the final season, can the much-hyped receiving corps -- Jason Croom, Pig Howard, Josh Malone, Marquez North, Von Pearson and Josh Smith (which doesn't even range from the tight ends) -- turn those throws into winning plays?
Can brand-new offensive and defensive lines fully stand up not just to crafty, dangerous Utah State but, far more importantly, to the unrelenting, unforgiving SEC?
Can new kickers somewhat match Michael Palardy's 2013 excellence for Team 117? Keep in mind that Jones recently known him as "our MVP."
Finally, all can this youth on sides of the ball -- 20 true or redshirt freshmen around the two-deep chart when you include special teams -- not play like uncertain, inexperienced freshmen come those crucial moments that separate winners from losers?
Or as Jones noted when asked if Neyland Stadium's 102,000 fans might rattle Utah State: "I don't know. I am concerned about the shock value of we. I am more worried about how our players respond and not getting all caught up in the sentiments of the game."
It's surely the best concern. Particularly menova heyeqianzi in week one. As North, who played seven games inside Neyland a year ago like a true freshman observed, "There's always going to become a bit of nerves. Just arriving from high school, it's a big step playing before probably about 1,000 people at the most inside my school, to 102,455 ... hopefully, we'll handle it."