Sep 21, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey before the game against the Florida Gators during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent Sideline Q&A (2014 SEC Football Preview) - All For Tennessee

During the preseason of the 2014 college football season, Ole Hotty Toddy is prepared to bring Ole Miss fans the ultimate coverage preview to the 2014 season. We will be reaching out to fellow FanSided writers of other SEC schools and writers from other networks and publishers of other SEC schools to give us their in depth look of their team with what we call Opponent Sideline Q&A.

Sep 28, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; A Tennessee Volunteers cheerleader performs during the second half of the game against the South Alabama Jaguars at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 31 to 24. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

In today’s Opponent Sideline Q&A, Zach Ragan of FanSided’s Tennessee Volunteers’ site – AllForTennessee.com, was nice enough to share with us his take on Tennessee coming into the 2014 college football season. You can follow Zach Ragan on Twitter @AllForTennessee. Below is our sit-down interview with Ragan about the Vols in 2014.

Ole Hotty Toddy: Tennessee is coming off a top ten 2014 recruiting class. Going into Butch Jones’ 2nd season, how are fans feeling about the program?

All For Tennessee: Fans know the program is clearly on the rise. That recruiting has improved dramatically under Jones and there’s a lot more talent on the roster this year than there was last year. But the team still has a lot of youth. I think fans are tempering their expectations this season and bracing themselves for a 5 or 6 win season.

OHT: Which those upcoming players from that class do you see making an impact their freshman year?

AFT: On the offensive side of things I think Jalen Hurd and Josh Malone are the obvious choices. On the defensive side, I think LB Dillon Bates and DB Emmanuel Moseley are two names to watch out for.

OHT: How much of an impact will it put on the quarterback position by losing redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson? What are Butch Jones plans now?

AFT: Ferguson was a hot name in the spring, but I don’t think he was a serious threat to be the starter this season. This is Justin Worley’s job to lose and I would be shocked if he’s not the starter against Utah State when the Vols open the season on August 31.

OHT: Name one player on the Vols offense and defense that the Rebels should watch out for the most, and why?

AFT: On the offensive side it’s WR Marquez North. He proved last year that he’s a playmaker and he should be much improved this season. On the defensive side it’s LB/DE Curt Maggitt. Maggitt is the leader of the team and after missing the entire 2013 season, he’s dying to get back on the field.

OHT: Do you see the Volunteers getting back to that late ’90s status anytime soon?

AFT: I think they’ll get there, but I think they’re at least 2-3 years away from being a serious contender in the SEC.

OHT: The matchup between the Rebels and the Vols coming up this season will be the first time since 2010 the two have played each other. It will be the first time the Vols played in Oxford in a decade. How exciting is this matchup for Vols fan base? Where do you see both teams coming into this matchup?

AFT: Most Vol fans are expecting a loss. Ole Miss is a sleeper team this year and I think they’ll give UT fits in Oxford. Suffice it to say, the Big Orange faithful are not very excited about this matchup.

OHT: Is Lane Kiffin invited to Circle Park on the third Saturday in October?

AFT: Oh I’m sure he’ll be invited, but it’s probably not the type of invitation he’s looking for!

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