Vols to 'grow and get better'

Dooley wants his players to put painful loss behind them

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The sun came back up for Tennessee.

"It's a little cloudy, but it was up there," Derek Dooley said.

As usual, the game film was popped back in, as well.

"I looked at it about 150 times," the Vols coach said. "It's hard not to look at it over and over, and I looked at the last plays a lot."

Painful as it may have been to see the snaps that cost them an enormous upset at No. 12 LSU, it was business as usual for the Vols on Sunday. The season won't slow down to let UT get over its brutal 16-14 loss on the final snap at Tiger Stadium and another conference road trip is looming this weekend at Georgia (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.), so Dooley and his team took the standard 24 hours to get over some heartache.

Now they have to get back to work and move on.

"We've got to keep things in perspective, that's the most important thing," Dooley said. "When you say anything to remotely compare (that) to, in football, probably not. That's as hard as it gets in football.

"But in life, there's a lot of things that you could make a case where it would be a lot tougher to move on if that happened to me. If we keep it in perspective, then we need to move on. . . . There's nothing you can do but grow and get better."

For nearly 60 minutes, the Vols (2-3, 0-2 SEC) looked like the learning process with such a young roster had sped up as they put themselves in position to knock off the Tigers (5-0, 3-0).

Matt Simms didn't have his finest passing day at quarterback, but he managed the game without a turnover despite facing constant pressure, embraced a bigger role on the ground and ultimately gave UT the lead in the fourth quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run.

Running back Tauren Poole went over 100 yards against a stout rush defense, receiver Gerald Jones provided a spark on third downs in his return from injury and defensively UT forced four turnovers.

The substitution issue that led to the Vols having 13 men on the field to defend what would have been the final play undid all those positives though, and the emotional rollercoaster was clear in the aftermath on Saturday evening. It was all right for it to still be bothering them Sunday afternoon, but with the Bulldogs on deck, the time to think about what slipped away has expired.

"It's so frustrating," linebacker Nick Reveiz said. "I'm speechless. There's no positive, really, that you can take out of this. I don't know how to. It's something that Coach Dooley was talking about - 24 hours, you lick your wounds and then you have to get back on that war trail. That's what we're trying to do, and we're moving on to Georgia.

"You've got to take the punches sometimes. The great thing is that we have another opponent next week, and we're still excited to play. We're going to bring the same intensity."

If they have it, the Vols could finally replace moral victories in the league with the real thing against a Georgia team that has struggled mightily early in the season - including a surprising nonconference loss at Colorado this weekend.

But if they're going to pull it off and get back to .500, the most important thing might be making sure their focus is on this week instead of last. And clearly after two consecutive games dealing with some sort of personnel problem, making sure the Vols can get 11 guys on the field also is high on the list.

"I think the most important thing is that we make sure we do everything right on our end, and we didn't," Dooley said. "If I could say we did everything right on our end and the outcome didn't go our way, maybe I'd have something to gripe (to the officials) about. But we could have done a little better job on our end too.

"Do I think it could have been administered differently? Absolutely. But we're ultimately responsible for doing our part, and we didn't do our part the way it needed to be done."

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Comments » 85

bobbarbilly writes:

Hire a coach with 6 toes on one foot so somebody will know what 11 looks like.

tnbud62#231266 (Inactive) writes:

I appreciate you manning up coach,aint but one man perfect and they hung him on a cross.Better days are ahead and I am behind you all the way

mahabrando writes:

I am glad Dooley is our coach.

BustaRhymes writes:

in response to mahabrando:

I am glad Dooley is our coach.

Me too - he's a classy guy and the Vols will soon - once again - be a classy program. We just need some time to get over our nasty case of the Kiffin fungus...

bamavolfan writes:

I am a vol fan living in Alabama.I sure hope we can pull it together to shut all these cocky bama fans up.Going to take a few years but i think we are on the right track.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please don't drive tonight.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Hell, I guess I'll be happy if we manage to count our defensive players accurately in an entire game.

jack_2222#231746 writes:

It was the 4th and 14. When is UT gonna get after the QB in those situations. Play to win, quit playing not to lose.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to jack_2222#231746:

It was the 4th and 14. When is UT gonna get after the QB in those situations. Play to win, quit playing not to lose.

especially when they needed a TD to beat us. I pitched a fit at the time, too. Was so damned irritated.

Do we not have any corners who can blitz?? None??

Slystone writes:

Tough loss, but need to focus on Georgia. Another loss could put many on suicide watch. Still wondering if the coach is going to own this loss?

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Ok...Let's move on...

idahovolfan#230277 writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you actually watch this game? How many times did we get heat on their QB? We have played 5 games and we have exactly 5 sacks this year along with 22 QBH's. In fact, in this game we had 2 sacks and 4 TFL's.(Sorry, I couldn't find how many QBH's for this game but there weren't a lot.) The point is, blitz or not we don't seem to have the personnel to consistently get pressure on the QB.
Coach Dooley said that one of the DB's (Waggoner?)got burned in man coverage the last time a blitz was called and that is why they stuck with the zone on 4th and 14. It seems that Coach knows the strenths and weakness's of his team.
Don't get me wrong, I too was disappointed in the resulting first down, but would it have been better to send a blitz that failed to get there and give up a TD because our DB didn't have help? Second guessing the play call after the fact is easy.He has to make the call instantly without the benefit of knowing the outcome.
I think we need to trust the coaches and their knowledge of our strenths and weakness's.

CoverOrange writes:

All those complaining about not bringing the house on 4 and 14 don't seem to remember what made 3rd and Chavis, 3rd and Chavis.

afb37206 writes:

It's Monday, Go Vols! Life ain't fair but good and bad seem to balance out, so if our guys keep fighting, good things will happen.

Fight, fight, fight with all your might,
For the Orange and White.
Never falter, never yield
As we march on down the field.
Let the spirit of the HIll
Esch man with courage fill.
Your loyalty means a victory,
So fight, Vols Fight!

iowavol writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This must have looked better in your head.

SummittsCourt writes:

People just need to look at the progression of the last 3 games to see this team is progressing well and quicker than anyone thought. It is heartbreaking to lose the way we did, but I think better things await if we will just remain patient.

We hung with Oregon for a little over a half. Remember we were down 20-13, though we led 13-3, and driving to possibly tie the score when the unthinkable happened. The intereception return for a TD that took the fight out of our team.

Look where Oregon is now, look at what they did to Stanford.

Florida at the time was ranked 7th, though a bit over ranked, but still #7. The interception in the end zone killed us and once again another interception in that game led to a touchdown. We were only trailing 24-17 and in the game.

LSU was ranked #12, our first road game of the season and for 50 players their first road game ever, and we had victory snatched from our hands with lots of confusion.

Remember, this is a team that at the beginning of the season had an offensive line with no experience, a QB with little experience, RBs with little experience and two DE were out of the season before it began. Coach Dooley has taken over this program and has to build it from scratch and he will.

TommyJack writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What's with the "us" stuff, Vicki?

BillyVol writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

People just need to look at the progression of the last 3 games to see this team is progressing well and quicker than anyone thought. It is heartbreaking to lose the way we did, but I think better things await if we will just remain patient.

We hung with Oregon for a little over a half. Remember we were down 20-13, though we led 13-3, and driving to possibly tie the score when the unthinkable happened. The intereception return for a TD that took the fight out of our team.

Look where Oregon is now, look at what they did to Stanford.

Florida at the time was ranked 7th, though a bit over ranked, but still #7. The interception in the end zone killed us and once again another interception in that game led to a touchdown. We were only trailing 24-17 and in the game.

LSU was ranked #12, our first road game of the season and for 50 players their first road game ever, and we had victory snatched from our hands with lots of confusion.

Remember, this is a team that at the beginning of the season had an offensive line with no experience, a QB with little experience, RBs with little experience and two DE were out of the season before it began. Coach Dooley has taken over this program and has to build it from scratch and he will.

Well put.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mike Hamilton needs to be immediately fired for allowing 13 players on the field

leedsvol2007 writes:

in response to jack_2222#231746:

It was the 4th and 14. When is UT gonna get after the QB in those situations. Play to win, quit playing not to lose.

In the last two weeks we tried that tactic and got hit by big plays that resulted in either touchdowns or first and goal situations.

We are not getting pressure from our down linemen and when we blitz linebackers they are getting there about 1/2 a step slow.

I am proud of this team and the defense in particular because they are playing with tremendous effort and short-handed. That said we have some athletic and experience deficiencies that only recruiting and playing time will overcome.

How would you have felt if we had blitzed and LSU hit a TD on that 4th down play?

GoVols!

movol77 writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is this the art of self-impression?

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to idahovolfan#230277:

Did you actually watch this game? How many times did we get heat on their QB? We have played 5 games and we have exactly 5 sacks this year along with 22 QBH's. In fact, in this game we had 2 sacks and 4 TFL's.(Sorry, I couldn't find how many QBH's for this game but there weren't a lot.) The point is, blitz or not we don't seem to have the personnel to consistently get pressure on the QB.
Coach Dooley said that one of the DB's (Waggoner?)got burned in man coverage the last time a blitz was called and that is why they stuck with the zone on 4th and 14. It seems that Coach knows the strenths and weakness's of his team.
Don't get me wrong, I too was disappointed in the resulting first down, but would it have been better to send a blitz that failed to get there and give up a TD because our DB didn't have help? Second guessing the play call after the fact is easy.He has to make the call instantly without the benefit of knowing the outcome.
I think we need to trust the coaches and their knowledge of our strenths and weakness's.

The short answer is that yes, on 4th and 14 you still bring the house and don't give the QB time to pick you apart...especially when you have weak coverage at times.

It really goes to the 'playing to win' over 'playing not to lose'. Long-standing UT fans have had to put up with 'playing not to lose' much to often.

martinvol34 writes:

in response to tnbud62#231266:

I appreciate you manning up coach,aint but one man perfect and they hung him on a cross.Better days are ahead and I am behind you all the way

And thank you for this post. I truly agree with your assessment. I think it is huge for Dooley to man up and expect nothing less from such an upstanding coach. The VOLS will be just fine.

1974Vol writes:

in response to jack_2222#231746:

It was the 4th and 14. When is UT gonna get after the QB in those situations. Play to win, quit playing not to lose.

It also was the 3rd & 11 just before we missed the FGA. We're under center trying a 5 step drop against maybe the best DL in the country against our 3 Frosh starters??!! Run the dang draw for 5 yards and take the 3. LSU beat Simms to his last step! That sack cost us 3 points which would have got us into OT even with all the game ending blunders.
Let's face it this coaching staff is not ready for SEC football. Thank goodness this team is not competing for a title and had it ripped away from them by the total mis-management of the game this staff displayed on Saturday. Our only hope is Dooley, Wilcox and Company grow into the role before seasons end.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to 1974Vol:

It also was the 3rd & 11 just before we missed the FGA. We're under center trying a 5 step drop against maybe the best DL in the country against our 3 Frosh starters??!! Run the dang draw for 5 yards and take the 3. LSU beat Simms to his last step! That sack cost us 3 points which would have got us into OT even with all the game ending blunders.
Let's face it this coaching staff is not ready for SEC football. Thank goodness this team is not competing for a title and had it ripped away from them by the total mis-management of the game this staff displayed on Saturday. Our only hope is Dooley, Wilcox and Company grow into the role before seasons end.

I kinda feel that way too...like they just don't quite have all the pieces together. Each game comes up wiht new challenges, and our margins are so razor-thin that he mistakes kill us.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Another thought, and a carryover from Bruce in basketball:
Maybe CDD needs to calm down on the sidelines?? Some fans may like the 'fire', but hell, I'm gonna like big wins better than referee-rants.

Bruce improved a lot this past year, and we quit getting jacked on calls so much (it seemed).

IMHO, CDD needs to stay a bit above the game so he can keep tabs on what's going on?? This is seeming to be an issue?

I freely admit to conjecture and guesswork. And stupidity. It's just what I'm seeing from a distance.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, I don't quite understand how our kicker seems to get injured moreso than the other players.

Harleydls writes:

Ya'll keep drinking that orange kool-aid. Reality is reality and it isn't pretty. "Maybe next year" is a refrain I keep hearing in my head and I would like to replace it with something more positive.

oldbasshead writes:

I am not sure which I am most bothered by, the strange way the game ended or Dooley's behavior at the end of the game. Dooley says good things before and after the game, but his behavior during the game, especially when things are not going well,conflict in my opinion. Examples: throwing headset, walking off without going out to meet opponent's coach, etc. He doesn't walk the talk himself.

brokebackvol writes:

well despite the "nitpickers" who can find nothing to smile about, I want to make sure and point out the improvement in the 3rd down conversions this week. I'm encouraged each week that our boys in Big Orange are learning and growing as players, deserve all the support we can give them in the stands and the streets (but by the rules, boosters!)

Let's go whup up on those Bulldawgs and help microwave that hot seat Richt is occupying. My only worry is they might come after Dooley - and would he say no?! Yikes!

TommyJack writes:

in response to brokebackvol:

well despite the "nitpickers" who can find nothing to smile about, I want to make sure and point out the improvement in the 3rd down conversions this week. I'm encouraged each week that our boys in Big Orange are learning and growing as players, deserve all the support we can give them in the stands and the streets (but by the rules, boosters!)

Let's go whup up on those Bulldawgs and help microwave that hot seat Richt is occupying. My only worry is they might come after Dooley - and would he say no?! Yikes!

never happen

volboy81 writes:

in response to afb37206:

It's Monday, Go Vols! Life ain't fair but good and bad seem to balance out, so if our guys keep fighting, good things will happen.

Fight, fight, fight with all your might,
For the Orange and White.
Never falter, never yield
As we march on down the field.
Let the spirit of the HIll
Esch man with courage fill.
Your loyalty means a victory,
So fight, Vols Fight!

AMEN! our guys gave their all for Tennessee on Saturday. Tough loss. Thats the first time a victory has ever been taken away as long as I can remember. We've got to accept it and move on or it will cause more and more defeats down the road. Put it behind us, Vols, and lets BEAT GEORGIA!!!!

gatorhator4eva writes:

with dooley driving this wagon, i have no doubt tennessee is going to bounce back no problem. alot of bashers on here from other teams and doubters but i see a coach that is more passionate about the game then his players. that is what players want. period. i see these vols comming in against bama with nothing to lose. which could prove to be a problem for bama. bama no doubt is the best by far, but the vols would like nothing more then to beat bama at home in front of 100,000. these are the games u have to watch out for, everyone has doubted tennessee but they have everything to prove...can there o and d line hold to alabama, we will see in 3 weeks

uttcut writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow...I all that typing was worth it to you.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to jack_2222#231746:

It was the 4th and 14. When is UT gonna get after the QB in those situations. Play to win, quit playing not to lose.

Agree. THAT was the play that bothered me the most. If we stop them there, we're taking knees in Tiger Stadium, which would have been beautiful. Although, to be fair to Wilcox, we had blitzed them all afternoon and never once got near their quarterback so I guess he was thinking, "let Lee throw it into heavy coverage, he isn't that good, he'll probably screw it up." It was a great route and a great throw but again, the ball was caught short of the sticks and our (three) guys couldn't stop him from driving for the first down. Lots of learning to do, both for our young team and our young coaches. Can't wait 'til both of them are all grown up! Go Vols!!!

uttcut writes:

in response to mahabrando:

I am glad Dooley is our coach.

Agreed 100%

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't know Daniel Lincoln and have no idea about his injury but sort of lost in the whole personnel issue is the fact that if he's healthy, we're likely up 20-10 with under 5 minutes to go. I thought Dooley might have had Palardy try another 45+ FG but on the other hand, another miss from there in his first game might get in his head, something we can't afford down the road. And it was just 4th and one. Lincoln needs to decide if he wants to play or not and if so, man up, hurt or not. In a game where points were so scarce, not having your (perfect, so far) field goal kicker ended up being the nail in the coffin. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to 1974Vol:

It also was the 3rd & 11 just before we missed the FGA. We're under center trying a 5 step drop against maybe the best DL in the country against our 3 Frosh starters??!! Run the dang draw for 5 yards and take the 3. LSU beat Simms to his last step! That sack cost us 3 points which would have got us into OT even with all the game ending blunders.
Let's face it this coaching staff is not ready for SEC football. Thank goodness this team is not competing for a title and had it ripped away from them by the total mis-management of the game this staff displayed on Saturday. Our only hope is Dooley, Wilcox and Company grow into the role before seasons end.

I thought the same thing at the time. He didn't really even have time to throw it away without a grounding penalty. However, Palardy should be able to make a 46 yarder and in fact, it missed right but had plenty of leg. I like either a draw or a shotgun snap with a couple of hot receivers for a short gain or if they miss a tackle, maybe a score. Dooley and company ARE still learning but surely we all knew there would be bumps in the road. No matter how good a coach he is or may become, stepping up from the WAC to the SEC is bad enough. Then he inherits a scholarship depleted team with enough freshmen in the two-deep to give Saban chest pain. He also has to play 4 pre-season Top 15's in his first 7 games, two of them on the road. Toss in a couple of injuries, a juco qb, an all-new offensive line, and most of these kids playing under their third coach in three years, and well..... you get my point. It is impossible and premature to make any real assessments about this team or its coaches this year. Both will get more experienced and much better. Go Vols!!!

Ayres_Hall writes:

It's a full-time job balancing the looser's negative comments here with the reality that many of us predicted and expected back in July.

But I'll keep workin' like heck (clap, clap, clap).

BTW, I sure like my head coach mad and peed-off off. It is obvious he cares deeply and has passion.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to oldbasshead:

I am not sure which I am most bothered by, the strange way the game ended or Dooley's behavior at the end of the game. Dooley says good things before and after the game, but his behavior during the game, especially when things are not going well,conflict in my opinion. Examples: throwing headset, walking off without going out to meet opponent's coach, etc. He doesn't walk the talk himself.

He and Miles had already met and shook hands while the referees were reviewing the call because according to Miles, nobody on either sideline saw the flags in all the confusion. Miles ran back over to him to shake his hand again, although at that point I don't know why. As far as throwing the headset, he's young and either he loses his temper, thinks it is what big-time coaches do (fiery and emotional), or both. I would imagine the more he matures, the less he will feel compelled to show his disgust in that way. Of course, Spurrier is 64 and he STILL does it, so.... Go Vols!!!

McMinnVol writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

Another thought, and a carryover from Bruce in basketball:
Maybe CDD needs to calm down on the sidelines?? Some fans may like the 'fire', but hell, I'm gonna like big wins better than referee-rants.

Bruce improved a lot this past year, and we quit getting jacked on calls so much (it seemed).

IMHO, CDD needs to stay a bit above the game so he can keep tabs on what's going on?? This is seeming to be an issue?

I freely admit to conjecture and guesswork. And stupidity. It's just what I'm seeing from a distance.

I personally like CDD's intensity. "Wonder Boy" last year showed very little emotion and was often disengaged from interacting with the team as a whole. Mark Richt is a great coach at Georgia in my opinion, but he has very little emotion on the sidelines and some Dawg fans don't like that either.

I believe that we are heading in the right direction. We played an excellent game and almost pulled it out against LSU. I am not going to get suicidal over a close loss when we were 16 point underdogs.

GO VOLS!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

"asleep" is always fair and balanced..Thanks for you insight..There has been a lot of that by some of these posters and I, for one, appreciate it.

tnsportsman writes:

I'm for Coach Dooley, the Staff and OUR VOLS 120%! This 8 second maylay ranks right up there in disappointing games! No excuses, it was our bad!

PLEASE Coach Dooley, assign SOMEONE that counts players EVERY PLAY in EVERY GAME!

OUR VOLS played their HEARTS OUT at LSU! Put this behind you VOLS and move on to GA! OUR VOLS are playing 60 minutes, no turn-overs and are getting better with confidence each game!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Pompey writes:

...the game was lost when the offical chose to call pass interference in the end zone as the uncatchable pass sail over the receivers head...the SEC has the best college football teams and the worse officals....same as last year.

VolQB writes:

Come on guys. There is a learning curve for big time college coaching. Dooley is passing the grade but not near the top, yet.

Over coaching at the end of the game was the problem. LSU was lined up and should have spiked the ball. Thanks to Les they are not that smart. So, our D was down and ready. That was a very bad time for sub's. UT try to send in 4-6 players at the end was just plain over-coaching dumb. LES we learn.

FlaVol2 writes:

I am extremely proud of our young Vols. They played very well against LSU and are learning and growing. They will do better. Detractors get off the teams back!

givehim6 writes:

How many tears have to be shed to make time go back ward? Yes losing to LSU the way we did was tough, but it was not 1 thing that caused the lose. If the field goal was made we win! If Simms had of milked the clock on the last UT drive, we win! But what matters now is UT and UGA are both on the ropes and we need a win so GO VOLS!

jack_2222#231746 writes:

in response to leedsvol2007:

In the last two weeks we tried that tactic and got hit by big plays that resulted in either touchdowns or first and goal situations.

We are not getting pressure from our down linemen and when we blitz linebackers they are getting there about 1/2 a step slow.

I am proud of this team and the defense in particular because they are playing with tremendous effort and short-handed. That said we have some athletic and experience deficiencies that only recruiting and playing time will overcome.

How would you have felt if we had blitzed and LSU hit a TD on that 4th down play?

GoVols!

Play to win.

If UT had given up a TD, they'd have had 1:20 minutes and a timeout to get into field goal position.

In those long down situations, get the ball out of the QB's hands ASAP.

bigfan writes:

in response to mahabrando:

I am glad Dooley is our coach.

I also support Dooley, the team, and this staff. GO BIG ORANGE. The negative people need to apply for a head coaching job.

NashVol1 writes:

I just found out today that VolNotHamiltonFan is actually an Alabama troll. It all makes sense now.

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