Bray ready to punt?

One Tennessee football player performed so poorly in last year's Orange & White game that he figures there's nowhere to go but up this time. Sign in or subscribe now for all of the details.

Bet the house: Tyler Bray will have a better passing performance in the 2012 Orange & White game than he had in the 2011 game.

Of course, that's a pretty safe bet. The rifle-armed quarterback completed just 5 of 30 attempts a year ago, so bettering those numbers should be easy.

"It's probably not hard to do," Bray said following Thursday's final spring practice. "I probably could punt and do better than last year."

With Saturday's 2:30 O&W kickoff approaching, the 6-foot-6 rising junior admits that he wasn't exactly focused heading into the 2011 spring game.

"I just wasn't mature last year," he said. "I didn't take it for what it's worth. This year I'm trying to realize what it actually means and trying to get better."

Although Bray was embarrassed by his horrendous play in last year's spring game, that isn't his only motivation to play well in Saturday's rematch. Players on the winning team will have steak for their post-game meal, while members of the losing team will dine on hot dogs.

"The food's always a help, when you're talking about a bunch of football players," Bray said, flashing a sheepish grin. "We've just got to take it as another practice, a chance to show the fans what we've been working on all spring."

When asked if he is more serious about this O&W game, however, Bray shrugged.

"It's a spring game," he said. "As long as you're getting better and the team's getting better, that's all you can ask for."

After completing just 16.7 percent of his passes in last year's intra-squad shootout, Bray is looking to put up much better numbers this time.

"I don't think I've had a spring game where my accuracy went real well," he said, "so I'm looking to get my accuracy up and see my team play well."

Bray mentioned earlier this spring that he would like to complete 70 percent of his passes in the season ahead. Asked if 70 percent is his goal for Saturday, he paused thoughtfully before responding:

"That would be nice. Maybe more than that."

To see what Tennessee coach Derek Dooley had to say to the media on Thursday, click play on the video below:


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