The Bray Factor

How good will Tyler Bray perform this fall? How good will this Tennessee team be in September? Those questions rest on the "Bray Factor". Meaning how well will true sophomore signal caller grasp the offense, and how far has he developed. Go "Inside" to get one take on the situation.

It's almost June and every Tennessee Volunteer Fan is already wondering and speculating on how good Derek Dooley's second football team will be this fall.

Dooley calls this year 1, last season year 0 in regards to how bad the program was in when he took over.

The Vols won its last four games of the year to get bowl eligible.

One thing is for sure, this fall's schedule is much easier than last fall's slate that included National Champion runner-up Oregon.

Will Tennessee be better this fall?

That's where the Bray factor comes into examination.

No it's not a new science discovery, the Bray Factor is in regards to how true sophomore quarterback Tyler Bray responds to be the starting quarterback as a true sophomore.

Bray took over as the starter for Tennessee in the Vol's last five ballgames, UT went 4-1 in those games including a dramatic loss to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl.

While many Vol fans feel Bray is the best thing that has happened at the quarterback position for the Big Orange since Peyton Manning and Tee Martin, how Bray responds this fall will be the key factor on Tennessee's success.

The tall, lanky but confident signal caller struggled at times this past spring as the Tennessee coaching staff threw their entire offense at him, something they avoided doing in his inaugural first five starts.

There is no doubt that he is capable of doing great things at Tennessee and for the Vols this fall. The key factor and the key questions is can he have a better second year for UT without going through a sophomore slump.

He is confident, has a swagger sometimes too much of one, for a first year true freshman but it helped him turn around the Big Orange fortunes last fall.

Now it's up to him to become the field general, the team leader on and off the field that this team desperately needs.

Can he do that at such a young age?

He better, don't forget Tennessee fans can be very welcoming if your winning they can be very bitter if you're not living up to expectations. Don't believe that just ask former UT quarterback Jonathan Crompton.

Bray has the physical tools, now he has to learn the mental part of the game.

There is no doubt he has a big arm, he is a big time playmaker.

Now the second year signal caller has to grow up and undergo the pressure of being the man at an early age.

His success will determine how good this football team will be.

The good news is that his offensive line is better. He has an experienced starter and senior running back returning this fall.

The pieces are in place for a lot of success.

A non conference schedule that features the likes of Montana, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Middle Tennessee State gives this team the platform to win six games easily.

Being the leader of the team requires a lot of things, including making sure the team shows up for voluntary workouts and seven on seven during the summer months.

He has to be the guy, the man, the go to guy on the field this fall. He will have the supporting cast, he now has to prove that he is the man, the right choice.

Don't get me wrong I think he will have a great career, I even think he will have a great fall.

Only time will tell how good this team will be, the Bray factor will be a major key to how many wins this team will achieve in the next few months.

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