What's buzzing:

Malone scores 3 TDs in Orange & White Game

AP - Sports
Malone scores 3 TDs in Orange & White Game
.

View gallery

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The only certainty about Tennessee's four-man quarterback competition is that the winner will throw to a vastly improved receiving corps.

A Tennessee offense that lacked playmakers last season showed more firepower Saturday in the Orange & White Game that closed spring practice. Freshman receiver Josh Malone led the way by catching six passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns.

The game matched the offense against the defense, with the offense representing the White team and the defense representing the Orange. The White team won 129-100 in a scoring system that awarded each unit points for various achievements.

''He adds a whole other dynamic to our offense,'' Tennessee coach Butch Jones said of Malone, regarded as one of the nation's top receivers in the 2014 recruiting class. ''I said it in the offseason. We have to be able to throw a 5-yard pass and turn it into a 20-yard gain. That was missing from our offense last year.''

Malone's performance delighted an announced attendance of 68,548, the second-largest crowd in the Orange & White Game's 54-year history. Tennessee's 1986 spring game drew a crowd of 73,801.

Tennessee didn't have anyone catch more than three touchdown passes or accumulate as many as 500 receiving yards last year as the Vols posted a fourth straight losing season. Malone and sophomore receiver Marquez North should give Tennessee a more potent passing attack this year, though the quarterback position remains unsettled.

North had five receptions for 106 yards and caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Justin Worley. The offense created numerous big plays as the defense struggled with its tackling.

''The explosiveness out of our skill group has been impressive,'' Worley said. ''It's been a huge change from Year One (of Jones' tenure) to Year Two.''

Worley, redshirt freshman Riley Ferguson and sophomores Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman are competing for the starting quarterback spot. Jones said Saturday all four of them remain in contention for the job.

Dobbs went 6 of 9 for 199 yards with three touchdown passes, including scoring strikes of 49 and 79 yards to Malone. Dobbs also had a 59-yard touchdown run.

Worley was 11 of 13 for 151 yards and one touchdown. Peterman went 8 of 11 for 81 yards and a touchdown. Ferguson was 7 of 12 for 83 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

Jones said the quarterbacks still had a long way to go, but he was encouraged by what he saw Saturday.

''I thought our quarterbacks were aggressive,'' Jones said. ''They were decisive, and they were confident in what they were seeing.''

In a halftime ceremony, former Tennessee star and Pro Bowl linebacker Al Wilson presented linebacker Curt Maggitt with the inaugural Al Wilson Award that goes to the Vols' most influential leader during spring practice. Guard Kyler Kerbyson was named the team's most improved offensive player. Defensive end Corey Vereen was selected the most improved defensive player.

During the first half, a moment of silence was held for Bobby Denton, who died Wednesday after working as Tennessee's public address announcer since 1967. After the moment of silence, the crowd yelled, ''It's Football Time in Tennessee,'' which Denton shouted at the start of every home game.

View Comments (5)
  • Hield's 3-pointer lifts No. 3 Oklahoma past No. 24 Texas

    Hield's 3-pointer lifts No. 3 Oklahoma past No. 24 Texas

    Buddy Hield had done just about everything this season. Hield's 3-pointer from the corner with 1.3 seconds remaining lifted No. 3 Oklahoma to a 63-60 victory over No. 24 Texas. Hield scored 12 of his 27 points in the final 3:11, including two … More »

    AP - Sports - 15 minutes ago
  • Magic vs. Hawks

    Magic vs. Hawks

    Paul Millsap scores 22 points with 13 rebounds but Nikola Vucevic's 28 points and 13 rebounds helps the Magic beat the Hawks 117-110. … More »

    NBA.com - 16 minutes ago
  • Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies

    Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies

    Damian Lillard scores 33 points and hands out 5 assists to lead the Trail Blazers past the Grizzlies in overtime, 112-106. … More »

    NBA.com - 17 minutes ago
  • Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies

    Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies

    Damian Lillard scores 33 points and hands out 5 assists to lead the Trail Blazers past the Grizzlies in overtime, 112-106. … More »

    NBA.com - 20 minutes ago
  • Play of the Day: Joe Johnson

    Play of the Day: Joe Johnson

    Joe Johnson buries the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Nets the 105-104 win over the Nuggets. … More »

    NBA.com - 21 minutes ago