KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Butch Jones understands his team will endure plenty of growing pains.
He just hopes the Volunteers' newcomers don't start their careers by taking a punch in the gut from Utah State, a program certainly capable of providing that kind of blow.
Utah State is one of only nine Football Bowl Subdivision programs to win 20 games and earn two bowl victories over the last two years. The return of star quarterback Chuckie Keeton from a knee injury that sidelined him for much of the 2013 season should give the Aggies even more confidence heading into Sunday's game at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee is relying on youth to rejuvenate a program that has endured four straight losing seasons. Most of the Volunteers' 32 newcomers are expected to play Sunday.