KNOXVILLE -- Butch Jones made it pretty clear: Tennessee won't be making a change at kicker.
Aaron Medley's sophomore slump continued in Saturday's 19-14 loss at Alabama when he missed field goals of 43, 51 and 51 yards, but Jones said Monday there won't be a change coming.
"No. Aaron Medley's our kicker," the third-year head coach of the Volunteers said at his weekly press conference.
After he made 20 of 26 kicks as a freshman, Medley is 9-of-17 this season after his three misses on Saturday.
What's most concerning, though, is his struggles from beyond 40 yards.
In his career, Medley is 2-of-13 in kicks beyond that distance.
Jones said after Saturday's loss that Tennessee considered going for it on fourth-and-10 on Medley's second miss from 51 yards, and he was asked if his kicker's issues would mean the Vols would go for it instead of trying a longer field goal moving forward.
"There's so much that goes into that decision-making process: The elements, the wind, the distance of the kick and the distance of (the fourth down)," Jones said. "Is it fourth-and-2? Is it fourth-and-3? What does their fourth-down defense consists of?
"It's not just something that you go there and say you're going to do this. There's a whole plan in place, but we have great confidence in Aaron. He makes those kicks in practice, and he'll get it corrected. He'll get the details corrected, and we're going to need him down the stretch."
Jones has shown a good track record with kickers and punters during his tenure. Michael Palardy and Matt Darr, now the starting punter for the Miami Dolphins, each turned average careers into outstanding senior seasons in 2013 and 2014. Walk-on Trevor Daniel currently is one of the SEC's top punters.
"We have great confidence in him and I know Aaron has great confidence in himself in his well," Jones said. "He went back to work on it on Sunday when we got back to correct some of the steps and the strides. We believe in him, and we're going to be there for him, and we're going to need him down the stretch."
Guard Jashon Robertson (ankle) is expected to be available for Saturday's game at Kentucky, Jones said. Robertson's spent more time in the training room than on the practice field since leaving the Georgia game more than two weeks ago. He traveled but did not play against the Crimson Tide.
Receiver Preston Williams (hamstring) could practice on Tuesday, Jones said. The freshman suffered the injury last Tuesday and didn't travel to Alabama.
Right tackle Brett Kendrick is dealing with elbow and knee injuries that are worse than Jones and the Vols are letting on. He's missed the last two games and seems unlikely to play at Kentucky. Freshman Chance Hall would start at tackle as long as Kendrick's out.
Kick time set
Tennessee's home game against South Carolina will kick off at 4 p.m. and be televised on the SEC Network, the league announced Monday.
The Vols will be on the SEC Network on Saturday night at Kentucky as well in their first appearance on the network since the opener against Bowling Green.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.