Butch: 'Youngsters' need to step up with injuries building

As Tennessee sets their sights on Saturday's rivalry matchup against the Gators, head coach Butch Jones says some of the team's younger players will need to step up with injuries beginning to build up. 

Jones confirmed Monday that Cam Sutton suffered a fractured ankle and will be out for an extended time, and Quarte Sapp's season is over because of an ACL injury. 

Despite his injury, Jones praised Sutton's love for the football team and revealed he was the first and last person in the training room Sunday morning.

RELATED: Vols fight injury bug to edge out Ohio, 28-19

Because the Vols are set to be very limited in the special teams game, Jones said "youngsters will need to step up." However, he doesn't plan to lower his expectations for the special teams, regardless of who is on the field. 

As fans transform Neyland Stadium into an orange and white checkerboard, the team will wear the Smokey Gray uniforms against the Gators.

In other injury-related news, LB Darrin Kirkland Jr. will also be out for the matchup against Florida, while Josh Smith and Justin Martin will be back. 

While Chance Hall and Jalen Reeves-Maybin will be at practice Monday, Jones wouldn't say whether Hall would take the field Saturday. Jones said he'll know more about Hall's status after practice Monday and Tuesday.  

The Gators have beat the Vols during the last 11 matchups, a fact on many peoples' minds as "Gator Hate Week" ramps up.

Jones acknowledged the importance of breaking the losing streak, but said Tennessee faces a unique situation because they have a number of rivalry games each season.

"Everyone associated with the football program knows what's at stake, but also it's a long football season ahead," Jones said.

One thing the team will be banking on Saturday afternoon is a raucous crowd clad in orange and white.

Fans are hoping the "third time is the charm" for the Checker Neyland campaign as the Vols lost when fans did it the last two seasons.

"We need to make Neyland electric and I know our fan base will," Jones said. 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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