Knoxville, Tenn. -

Tennessee's Justin Worley has won the preseason competition to open the year as the Volunteers' starting quarterback.
    
Vols coach Butch Jones announced Thursday that Worley would start the Aug. 31 season opener against Utah State. Worley was competing with sophomores Nathan Peterman and Joshua Dobbs. Jones said that "I believe Justin is playing the best football that he's played in a long time."
    
Although each player had started at least one game for Tennessee last season, Worley had the most experience of the three.
    
Worley started seven games last year before undergoing season-ending surgery on his right thumb. He completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 1,239 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Tennessee, which finished 5-7, went 4-3 in the games Worley started.