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Tennessee names Joe Milton as its starting quarterback

 Chris Lee   in Football

Milton, a Michigan transfer, will be Josh Heupel's starter on Thursday. 

Joe Milton photo courtesy of Caleb Jones, Tennessee athletics

Tennessee coach Josh Heupel named Joe Milton its starting quarterback for its game with Bowling Green on Thursday.

Milton, a Michigan transfer, beat out Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker and holdover Harrison Bailey for the job. Milton seemed to seize the job in recent weeks

"At the end of the day, Joe's grasp of our offense in a short amount of time, his growth during the middle portion of training and his acceleration in what we are doing with his physical attributes and decision making led us to put the ball in his hands for the first game," Heupel said. 

Milton played parts of three years at Michigan, throwing for 1,194 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions, running for another 156 yards and three scores.

Five quarterbacks, led by Jarrett Guarantano (1,112 yards), threw passes for the Volunteers last year. Guarantano is now at Washington State. 

The Vols are 35.5-point favorites over Bowling Green, according to DraftKings