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Tennessee QB Gaston Moore shoots for starring Vol role

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Tennessee quarterback Gaston Moore wasn’t supposed to steal the Orange and White Game. He did so anyway.

“I felt really good,” the senior said after completing 8-of-12 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown on two carries. “I was with the coaching staff at UCF, so I’ve been with them for a while. Learning from great quarterbacks ahead of me, I’ve just learned a lot and I feel like I’m really confident in this offense.”

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Moore took part in this offense before he and head coach Josh Heupel joined the Vols before the 2021 season. Moore was a quarterback at Central Florida before heading to Knoxville. He is widely considered to be the second-string quarterback behind redshirt freshman Nico Iamaleava and possible freshman Jake Merklinger. A projected depth chart doesn’t affect Moore.

“I just try to prepare like I’m the starter,” Moore said. “I ask Nico all types of questions, and back when Joe [Milton III] played I asked him stuff so if my name were to ever get called I’d be prepared.”

Moore has seen an offensive line that has had its ups and downs during spring practice. When healthy, the Vols have been solid. However, minor injuries have made things difficult, especially later in camp, which concluded on Saturday.

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“The young guys, even the old guys, new guys like (LSU transfer) Lance (Heard) and then all the young guys, since day one of spring ball they’ve gotten better every single day and I’m really proud of them,” Moore said. “If they keep working, I think we’re going to be really good.” 

Secondary Shoutout

When asked what he thought of Tennessee’s secondary, sophomore receiver Chris Brazzell II cited two men: “I would say Rickey (Gibson III), Rickey is a guy you have to come play ball against every snap, or he is going to mess around and throw you to the sideline. 

“Guys like Rickey (Gibson III), Jermod McCoy, the transfer, real athletic guy and patient. Going against those guys and getting better every day. It will all work out in the fall.” 

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