Players like Kiffin 'talking trash' to Florida

'Their logo won't be in our locker room'

When Tennessee linebacker Rico McCoy heard Lane Kiffin say he wanted to sing “Rocky Top” after beating Florida this fall, he was a little intrigued.

But after offseason workouts began and spring practice started with a bang, McCoy has a simple message for his new coach: Say whatever you want.

“I was like, ‘Oooh, coach is talking trash,’ ” McCoy said. “But after we started the workouts, I’m like, ‘Hell yeah, coach.’ I know we’re going to be in the best shape, and we’re going to have the best coaching. Say whatever you want. We’re going to play ball. I feel like we ought to be able to beat anybody.”

Tennessee’s Sept. 19 trip to face the Gators — who happen to be the defending SEC and national champions — in The Swamp is still some six months away, but the Tennessee-Florida rivalry has plenty of juice.

It got another boost this week, when Florida players revealed they have posted pictures of Kiffin in their locker room.

Kiffin said he’s aware of what the Gators did, and he loves the exposure.

“Somebody showed me a picture of it and a couple recruits said that they’d seen it. The fact that our logo is in their locker room and recruits are seeing it is a pretty powerful thing,” Kiffin said after practice Tuesday. “Their logo won’t be in our locker room.”

There’s a reason the Gators hung Kiffin’s picture in the locker room like a post-office mug shot.

In addition to his “Rocky Top” comment during his introductory press conference in December, Kiffin promised a fired-up group of boosters after National Signing Day that he would turn in Gators coach Urban Meyer for a recruiting violation.

That comment drew a reprimand from the SEC, but UT’s players are loving every last word.

“I absolutely love it,” receiver Gerald Jones said. “I absolutely love it. Usually it’s a player that runs off in the media and says something about a team that sparks everything, like (former Florida linebacker) Brandon Spikes did last year about us. But when you got your head coach really firing it up between the two teams, it shouldn’t do nothing but get you pumped and get you ready for the game. It fires me up. I love that he’s taking shots at Florida and he’s saying things.”

McCoy feels the same way.

“If he’s confident in this team and wants to talk some trash, we’ll back him. We back him 100 percent. I don’t have a problem with it,” McCoy said. “The team doesn’t have a problem with it because we know we’re working our (rear) off. ...We’re not allowed to do stuff like that, but (shoot), we’ll back you. We’re here for you, coach. Go ahead, do what you want. We’re working our (rears) off, we’re going to be ready come the season for anything. That’s how we feel.”

Florida’s players feel differently.

“I couldn’t believe what he said,” Florida safety Ahmad Black said, according to ESPN.com. “Not trying to be cocky or anything, but we’ve beaten them four years in a row... by a lot, too. Taking shots at our coach is like taking shots at us. We’re family. It’s definitely personal now.”

That the game remains months away hasn’t done much to dampen enthusiasm among players, although Kiffin said Tuesday that “we’re not thinking about that game or worrying about that game.”

Jones, though, always has the Florida game circled.

“I’m always looking forward to this game,” he said. “It’s the biggest game of the year. Like I said, Florida’s got a target on their back, and I want to be the first team to beat them. It doesn’t matter he said or she said or how close we are (to the Florida game), I’m ready to play. I know I got to think about the first game first, but everybody’s got Florida in the back of their mind.”

Players say Kiffin’s comments are a sign of confidence in his new team, which hasn’t beaten the Gators since 2004, the year before Meyer arrived in Gainesville.

“You always have to show another team respect, especially after they won the national championship, but you’re not supposed to bow down to them,” Jones said. “That’s what coach is saying, you know, ‘You all are good. Everybody knows that in the country, but we don’t care. We’re going to get better and we’re going to play you all until the end and you all better come with it.’ I’m all for him. I’m right behind him 100 percent, and I’m going to ride with him until the last quarter.”

It’s been since 2006, when Florida won 21-20 in Neyland Stadium, that the outcome against the Gators has been in doubt in the final quarter. The last two seasons UT has lost by a combined 63 points, including a 59-20 drubbing in the Swamp in 2007.

McCoy, though, isn’t worried about those who point to those lopsided scores as a reason Kiffin should keep quiet.

“That’s cool, but coach hasn’t lost a game here yet,” McCoy said. “That’s all I can say. Coach hasn’t lost a game here yet.”

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 369

yeavols#228407 writes:

Anything to keep a story going...ugh

QDog writes:

Screw Florida and Alabama Kick their assets and Georgia if you want some we will be Ready GO KIFF DADDY GO VOLS!!!!

bquicksix writes:

I like the censors of rico's comments lol. rear and shoot

Voluvr writes:

Bring it...First yes saaarrrr!

Voluvr writes:

dang.

OrangeronFan writes:

I predict a win in the swamp.

GO VOLS!!!!!

Pops writes:

I love the fact that Kiffin is public enemy number one in the SEC. He's a jerk, but he's our jerk. I love the swagger, just like when Pearl promised to kick Florida's (fill in the blank KNS infomred me that I cannot use the A word).

orange__hammerhead writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You bet!

Stick your neck out for someone and they will go thru a wall for you.

Remember to flush twice -it's a long way to Gaynsvul

cobbwebb writes:

in response to bquicksix:

I like the censors of rico's comments lol. rear and shoot

i dont like the fact mccoy is talking that way to the media! have some class! this guy is supposed to be one of our leaders? talk it all you want on the field, but hold it back with the media!

rockytopatl writes:

Kiffin's boldness paid off with quite a last minute recruiting class. He's getting Tennessee football more attention than it has gotten in years (other than headlines for shocking upsets, Wyoming et al). I wasn't keen on Kiffin in the beginning, but I'm loving him now. He may have Florida so geeked up that it plays to our advantage. That's as long as he can coach up one or more of those quarterbacks who looked so pedestrian last season. I don't think Dad's defense will be a problem. I'm willing to predict they may be dominant.

Voluvr writes:

Great how Florida is so concerned about a 5-7 team. I love it. Kiffin will have them tighter than a drum by game time. Deep down inside those florida players know....whatever we do we can't lose. This wind has shifted and there's a new sheriff in town.

Prediction: Florida loses to Tennessee but has a good season. Meyer goes to ND. Tennessee rewrites NCAA, SEC, and school history with an era of dominance.

Voluvr writes:

Tennessee pulls it out with a NuKeese TD and 30,000 will be waiting for the Vols to return from the trip.

Voluvr writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nice try Mr. Orange Envy at baiting in comments.

Okay here's what you want...you really don't believe your comments or you wouldn't be in here and Florida is eaten up with Tennessee a 5-7 team. It's because they know and you don't want to admit....the party's over.

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yawn. You're boring me to sleep.

Voluvr writes:

Tennessee 22
Florida 21

What's great is that the players know they can win. Also, Florida is so consumed with Tennessee, our logos and Kiffin's picture hangs in their locker room! This is turning out far better than I expected.

UTandETSUfan writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Can't you write anything else... I also saw where a couple dozen vol fans said they would take those odds in a bet with you... but you never responded... why not? are you too afraid of your "prediction"?

gohawks1 writes:

Gotta love it.

DennisVols writes:

The mental state of UT's players is a major step forward for this team. Hearing players supporting CLK in what he's wanting out of them and how he's preparing them is something not heard in a long, long time.
No one on the team came out last season and exclaimed they supported coach Clawson's new style. In every game, including the few wins, we saw a tentative team that never seemed to be on the same page offensively.
They had lost the UF game last year before the opening kick-off. You could see it in their eyes and their play. Players sitting on the sidelines, heads bowed in the 1st qtr.
Believing that you can beat anyone at anytime, anywhere will lead this team to be successful. CLK can't win even one game, but he can prepare this team to win any game by teaching proper fundamentals and encouragement to be better than their opponents.

Voluvr writes:

I thought Gators have thick skins.
What a bunch of little cry babies. Meyer is the biggest one.

cobbwebb writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

im guessing you feel the same way we feel about your basketball team, we look at the TENNESSEE vs. FLORIDA bball rivalry(if you wanna call it that) like we look at georgias bball team!(meaningless) but like your gator friends have stated many times, you have to win every now and then for it to be called a rivalry!

RaineyVol writes:

Whine some more Florida... I think it's ya'll who talk phooey every year sayin we give up and all that stupid phooey and as soon as we say one thing ya'll cry...I'll mail you some Midol and Tampons for this season!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CoverOrange writes:

I hate it when you put the shoe on the other foot and it fits.

xvolx writes:

talk's cheap. We know fla. can play. better keep your mouth shut until you earn something on the field.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

A lot of Gator fans cannot help but being azzes.

They have been that way since jorts first landed in Gainesville.

Way before scaring kids to death in the jungles outside Manila.

cobbwebb writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i bet you thought that chit was funny when visor boy was flapping his gums nonstop while at florida huh?

cobbwebb writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

beat bruce pearl and the vols someday, and then we will talk!

DennisVols writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

HAHAHAHAHA Funny how UF is so consumed with UT that they have plastered their locker room with pictures of CLK.
This game seems to mean more to UF than any other game. Don't hear them thinking about UGA or even Ol Missy who beat them last year.
One would wonder what would make UF so concerned?

DAWGSSUCK writes:

Off topic, but can anyone recommend a good hotel near the stadium for the O&W game? Coming up for the first time so I don't really know the area. Thanks guys!

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

Pops made a good point... I was there during Bruce Pearls first year, when he came out to a bunch of screaming hyper college kids waiting to get in to the Florida game, and he said "We're your team, I'm your coach, and we're gonna kick Florida's (rear)" And that's exactly what has happened. Lane is following good footsteps, because we own Florida in basketball.

STNVol09 writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Beat the basketball team and then you can run your mouth. Pearl OWNS Florida and Donovan...Yes OWNS them. And Kiffin is about to upset Oscar Meyer more than he isnow when the Vols beat the Mighty Gators in their own house. WRITE IT DOWN

cobbwebb writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

make up your mind, are we talking about running your mouth, or wins? cause your point was made on kiffin being a jackazz, and running his mouth!

DennisVols writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get back in the NCAA Big Dance then we'll talk Bball.

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

More career wins at any level than Urban Meyer had when he got his first college head coaching gig loudmouth.

beatlecakes writes:

I refuse to rebuf anything that Volstatoterbate writes buts its funny that TN has gotten into his head as bad as the empty cavities of Urbane Mayor and his tribe of Tea Bowl butt sniffers. Six months away and they are hanging pictures of our coach and talking stuff. By game time they will set a record for stiff muscles in the first half. By the end of the season TN will have more momentum than a runaway Averett truck carrying soured oranges down Mont Eagle mountain. If the KNS sports team had any eggs they would restrict this goof from ever commenting on this site again. I dont like to read his name, don't comment often and don't like stranger pooping in my sandbox...

gohawks1 writes:

Ignore the reptiles. Drooping Lizzard Syndrome (DLS) has begun to spread to many gator fans, thus the increase in FL posters on a Vols site.

Tip of the Day: Don't read their comments and don't respond to them.

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I did. Then I used it to wipe my arse.

JohnsonCity_George writes:

Ahmad Black need to check his facts :
“I couldn’t believe what he said,” Florida safety Ahmad Black said, according to ESPN.com. “Not trying to be cocky or anything, but we’ve beaten them four years in a row... by a lot, too."
2008 Fla by 24
2007 Fla by 39
2006 Fla by 1
2005 Fla by 9
OK, 2008 and 2007 I guess you could call those a lot, but, 1 and 9? Not a lot.

Volinsider writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Florida's biggest rivals have always (last two decades) been Tennessee & Florida State. Don't lie! You know it and the Florida players have always admitted it...Even when we didn't hold up our end in recent years. Fulmer gone, Kiffin here, game on!

Pullingguard writes:

With all the hype and all the talk and expectations, I just hope and pray this team lives up to the hype and keeps the score resspectable if they cannot win the Florida game. A win would propel this team and its goals forward to unexpected levels in recruiting and success in a shortened time frame... Guess you gotta believe before you accompolish the goal, so come Sept. is the time to put the believing into action...

JohnsonCity_George writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are correct, sir. (or the bones are). If these guys go into this season with the "Team" mentality, we have no idea how far they can go. Fulmer did not recruit bad players.

GhostofRobertNeyland writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You think of us like we think of Vandy, yet you have our logo in the locker room and you play Rocky Top everyday. Weird.

JohnsonCity_George writes:

in response to compact2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with the "Fulmer must go" part, but the comment of "by a lot" does not work for a 1 point margin.

Voluvr writes:

I thought you're supposed to hang pictures of super models on your walls, not pictures of other men.

What's up down there?

onevolfan99 writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

come on man get real ut has a defense (4th ranked)your not playing florida international. we'll see if your still making these kind of predictions when golden boy tebow graduates and urban books it for the vacant notre dame job

Voluvr writes:

I wonder if Meyer is hanging Kiffin's picture in the shower too?

Voluvr writes:

Can you imagine taking down Cheryl Tiegs and Farrah Fawcett's poster to put up Kiffin's? Sounds like Coach
Meyer has some isssues to deal with.

ctownvol writes:

in response to Voluvr:

I wonder if Meyer is hanging Kiffin's picture in the shower too?

Right beside Timmy boy's picture.

Voluvr writes:

Meyer fell right into Kiffin's trap. With our record last year that would be like us putting Vandy logos and Coach Steve Martin's picture up. Wait, no, worse, Vandy went to a bowl game. Deep down Florida knows it's over.

JohnsonCity_George writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It has nothing to do with where you have been, it's all about where you are going. We went to the NCAA. You went to the NIT.

BSweet writes:

in response to volsgatorbait:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not sure how this year will turn out, but I feel like TN football is turning around. When we string 4 consecutive victories against you, yes when, it won't be "just another game" to the gators. Karma's gonna bite you in the arse, and when it does, we'll probably view you lower than Vandy. At least the Vandy fans I've met have class.

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