You can’t ask for much more than a win in a quarterback’s first collegiate start. Quinten Dormady gave Tennessee that on Monday night in thrilling fashion at the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game. He didn’t turn the ball over and made a few plays, too.
How does his first start stack up with others in recent Vol history?
Dormady’s numbers: 20-37, 221 yards, 2 touchdowns.
How about the legend Peyton Manning? His first start was a 10-9 win over Washington State in 1994. Peyton’s stats weren't pretty - 7-14, 79 yards - at least he didn’t turn it over.
Now to the most recent one. Josh Dobbs' first start was a 31-3 loss at Mizzou. He threw for 240 yards but was intercepted twice.
Tee Martin's first start in 1998 was a wild win at Syracuse. He went 9-26, for 143 yards and two scores plus 80 yards on the ground.
I’ll give the edge to Quinten, who was more efficient.
How about making your first start against Alabama as a freshman? Casey Clausen did just fine - 17-24, 213 yards, two scores.
Similar numbers to Dormady but the Tide then weren’t what they are now (they went 3-8 in 2000). We’ll call it a push.
Finally, Tyler Bray's first start in 2010 came against a Memphis team that went 1-11, but he posted eye-popping numbers: 325 passing yards and five touchdowns. The Tigers were terrible (116th in the country in pass defense) but you can’t ask much more of Bray. I'll give him the edge over Dormady for best first start.
Bray’s debut might have been better but Dormady’s is still one of the best in recent Vol history.