Vols to start QB Worley vs. USC
COLUMBIA -- Former Northwestern High quarterback Justin Worley will start for Tennessee against South Carolina on Saturday.
Worley, a freshman, will replace senior Matt Sims, who has been ineffective in starts against LSU and Alabama. Sims replaced starter Tyler Bray in the second half against Georgia after Bray injured his thumb against the Bulldogs.
"For us to go out and win games, we're not throwing and catching the way we need to," Tennessee coach Derek Dooley told the media during his weekly press conference. "We're not calling the game the way we want to. So, we just need to make the move. It's not something done on a whim. We have a lot of data to make the switch. We don't have a lot of data on Justin."
Worley became the first high school athlete in any sport in South Carolina to earn the Gatorade National Player of the Year, while leading his team to the state's Class AAAA Division II State Championship a year ago.
Worley finished his career with 13,385 passing yards and 157 touchdowns, including a state-record 64 TDs in 2010.
Worley was eight games into a redshirt season before Dooley inserted the former Northwestern High School star into last Saturday's game against Alabama. He played two possessions totaling five snaps against Alabama, but didn't attempt a pass. "We've really seen a difference in Justin since Tyler got hurt," Dooley said. "Before Tyler got hurt we were really pushing (Justin) to invest more, pushing him to be more focused. Its human nature when you're the three (No. 3 on depth chart), it's hard to do. You're not going to play. Tyler came here as the two, so he was working his tail off from day one because he was going to play.
"Justin, we massaged him a little bit because he wasn't one snap away (from playing). But the last couple of weeks, we pushed him pretty hard and he responded."
USC cornerbacks coach Lorenzo Ward said Worley's status won't change the Gamecocks' gameplan.
"The young man is obviously a good football player," Ward said. "I told (Jadeveon) Clowney that he beat him, so we're going to take it a little personal. We're going to do what we do gameplan wise and I'm sure when the situation arises, we'll put pressure on him."
Hampton feeling better
Cornerback Victor Hampton bruised his thigh against Mississippi State, but should be ready to play against Tennessee on Saturday.
Hampton, a redshirt freshman, was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating team rules.
"We think he'll probably get some reps tomorrow in practice and be full speed on Wednesday," Ward said. "He did a good job running today."
In four games, Hampton has five tackles and one interception.
USC-Arkansas game time
The kickoff for the South Carolina-Arkansas game will be 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. The game will be televised by ESPN2.
The Gamecocks are 2-7 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The Gamecocks' last road win over the Razorbacks (14-10) came in 2005.
Arkansas beat USC, 41-20, last year at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The Razorbacks lead USC in the all-time series, 12-7-0.