Former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning can feel Joshua Dobbs’ pain.
During a sideline interview in the second quarter of the Tennessee-Alabama game, Manning cited Tennessee’s many injuries, particularly on the offensive line, as a touch challenge to overcome. The Vols have had six offensive linemen miss significant time because of injuries this season. Tennessee started two freshmen offensive linemen against Alabama on Saturday: right offensive guard Jack Jones and right offensive tackle Chance Hall.
“That’s not easy as a quarterback to have the lack of continuity,” Manning said during the CBS telecast. “All (Dobbs) has done is just play consistent football. I just really like the way he handles. his business. He’s a great kid. I’m pulling hard for him.”
Dobbs was named the SEC offensive player of the week after Tennessee beat Georgia 38-31. He has started each game at quarterback for Tennessee this season.
“I really like Josh Dobbs,” Manning said. “He’s had a great year.”
As he’s done before, Manning voiced his support for Tennessee head coach Butch Jones.
“I’m a big believer in Butch Jones,” he said. “He’s got a great plan. He’s following that plan. Obviously, we’ve had allot of injuries this year. That has made it tougher but we’ve continued to overcome those. Doing a heckuva job today staying in this ball game.”
The game was tied 7-7 at the time of the interview. Manning was asked if he felt the need to give Tennessee’s players and coaches some advice.
“Not really,” he said. “I really enjoy trying to come to one game a year.”
Manning, whose Denver Broncos are on a bye this week, made sure to point out former Tennessee receiver Joey Kent, who was Manning’s favorite target while at Tennessee.
The Vols beat Alabama in 1995 to end a nine-game losing streak to Bama. Tennessee won 41-14. The most memorable moment was an 80-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Kent on Tennessee’s first offensive play.
The Denver Broncos are 6-0. They next play the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 1.