White tops Orange 24-7

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers concluded spring practice with the Orange and White game Saturday afternoon. The White topped the Orange by a score of 24-7. Read as InsideTennessee.com brings you all the latest from Neyland Stadium.

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Volunteers concluded spring football with the annual Orange and White game in Neyland Stadium.

A sparse announced crowd of 29,451 saw Matt Simms and the White team dominate in the trenches and top Tyler Bray and the Orange team by a score of 24-7.

"I told the team it was a great example - it doesn't matter what kind of game it is, spring game, SEC game, you name it - the team that can win at the line of scrimmage and run the football has the best chance of winning," Derek Dooley said.

With most the of skill-position players on the side of the Orange, many considered the White to be outmatched, but the drafting of the White seniors proved valuable during Saturday's game.

"It doesn't matter what you have at the skill positions; you better be a physical football team," Dooley said. "The White came out a heavy underdog. The orange was confident, talking smack, had all the skill, and the white went blue collar on them and punched them right in the mouth."

Toney Williams, Matt Simms and Rajion Neal were able to amass 120 yards of rushing offense and two touchdowns for the White team. Dooley pointed to the offensive line's play over the course of the spring as the biggest improvement since a year ago.

"You really see the offensive line starting to play a little bit (better)," Dooley said, adding that White team play-caller Jim Chaney "would have run the power 62 times if I would have let him. The only reason they were throwing it was because I made them."

One player that didn't end spring on a positive note was starting quarterback Tyler Bray. He recorded an abysmal five completions on 30 throws, but both Bray and Dooley are trying to stay focused on the spring as a whole.

"If Tyler had gone 27-30 for 300 (yards) I would have said: ‘Yeah we are doing good.' If he would have gone 5-30, which he did then I would have said: ‘Well, it's the spring game; it doesn't matter,'" Dooley said.

When asked to grade himself on the entire spring Bray's marks were much higher than Saturday's game alone.

"I would have said a B," Bray said. "Today's spring game would have been bad. I would have definitely had to retake that class. It was on me, I had some bad throws."

Dooley says the spring as a whole provided improvement across his entire football team, but there is still a long road to travel. One thing that will help – more players.

"Improved, but a long way to go," Dooley said. "There are some areas where we have good enough players to continue to develop and there are some other areas where we feel like we need some help. That is where June comes in – we are going to have another 20 guys that will pop in the door during June."

Overall, Saturday's spring game was about one thing – the fans. And senior quarterback Matt Simms had a blast showing off for the first time since the 2010 campaign.

"It was just fun to get out here and compete a little bit without having the coaches out here bearing down on you," said Simms.

The Tennessee football team will now take a much need rest before resuming practice in June with summer workouts.


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