If there’s one consolation Butch Jones can take from the rash of injuries that has struck Tennessee this season, it’s that he’s getting to build up depth on both sides of the ball.

Several young players have had to fill in at key positions, which is something the Volunteers’ coach took great pride in. Jones talked at length about the “role players” who are stepping up even in the midst of a disappointing season.

“This is the most competitive conference in the nation and when you are fighting this attrition that we are, it takes a toll on your team,” Jones said Wednesday during the SEC coaches teleconference.  “It’s all about your role players. The bottom of the roster, people understanding their role. A lot goes into that.”

Tennessee can still win the SEC East despite its three-game conference skid in October. The Vols need Florida to lose at least one of its final two conference games.”

“We have done a good job of (focusing on ourselves), we need to go 1-0 this week,” Jones said. “You win the week by your preparation. We have had much adversity this year … But it is what it is. Your team is only as good as its role players.”