Vols say silver linings not enough, they want victories

Game recap: UT vs. Florida

Tennessee didn’t have to look hard for silver linings.

It largely shut down the run defensively, had some success hitting big plays downfield through the air and was able to get more young players experience in another game against a top-10 opponent.

The Vols could have taken it even further after playing the No. 9 Gators tough in a 31-17 loss on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium, but instead of emphasizing a moral victory they’ve focused on how it could have been a real one.

“It really was a lot more negatives (this week),” UT coach Derek Dooley, whose team plays host to Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 12:21 p.m.), said during his Sunday teleconference. “You come out of there feeling like we competed pretty good and then you just see all the lost opportunities and it just makes you sick, and we had so many of them.

“I was pleased with how we competed. You just look at a week ago, we were down 14 in both games, we were sitting there with 11 minutes to go down one score with a chance to put some heat on (Florida) and tie it up, and we didn’t get it done. It came down to a lot of breakdowns in a lot of areas.”

By comparison, a 10-point loss last year against the Gators (3-0, 1-0 SEC) was generally hailed as an encouraging step forward, and to some extent progress was easy to see for the Vols (1-2, 0-1) after the blowout the previous week against Oregon.

UT obviously didn’t quit when the game got tough in the fourth quarter, it was able to force a critical turnover and quarterback Matt Simms also was able to bounce back from a couple of ugly interceptions with a clutch fourth-down strike to Justin Hunter for a score that cut the deficit to seven points.

But as the Vols turn the page to start work on UAB this week, they don’t appear to have any great interest in hearing about the good things they did against the Gators.

“We kept swinging, we kept going for them and we stayed in the game,” linebacker Nick Reveiz said. “But you don’t want to be like that’s a great thing, because we lost. I felt like it was a step in the right direction as opposed to last week, and it’s better than going backwards again. I’m proud of our football team, but I’m disappointed that we lost.

“We can’t say that we hung within points. We had a chance to win, and that’s a good thing. But you can’t hang your hat on that. You’ve got to hang your hats on wins and stopping the run, on getting off the field on third down, we didn’t do that today. We’ve just got to keep working.”

The fact that they didn’t stop grinding in the fourth quarter was the surest sign of improvement from an effort that embarrassed the Vols the week before, though Dooley wasn’t in a hurry to pat them on the back for that, either.

Competing for four full quarters is a standard expectation, and the next step is making sure UT executes in all phases while it’s doing it.

“It’s discouraging that we couldn’t have taken advantage of it Saturday night,” Dooley said. “Probably what I was most disappointed in offensively was we did a lot of things out there that we didn’t do in practice, meaning I felt like we were probably trying too hard to do something special instead of just executing the offense and doing what your coached to do. That’s at all positions, and it showed.

“I think what you feel good about is you did do what I think is just a baseline standard at every game, and that’s how you compete. It’s like I told the team afterward, I’m proud of them for doing that, but that should be the standard. Once you do that, what it proves is that you have a chance to win the football game.”

Now the focus is on how UT can actually do it instead of how close it came to pulling it off over the weekend.

Bumps and bruises: The status of center Cody Pope is still up in the air for UAB, and the Vols could be without another starter on the offensive line.

JerQuari Schofield left Saturday’s loss to Florida with a foot injury, and while Dooley didn’t give a specific timetable for the left guard, he didn’t sound optimistic.

“It looks like JerQuari is out for a while, we’ll know more (today) officially,” Dooley said. “I don’t think he’s doing too good on his foot.”

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Comments » 132

orangeman1 writes:

agree

TKO writes:

Go Big Orange!

Eberry writes:

We gotta stop teams on 3rd down! Deffense was playing like they used to on 3rd down and letting the offense get away with easy plays for 1st down..

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

We just need to beat uab, get back to 2-2, and get ready for the rough road ahead, I really wish we had our bye week after the uab game, so we could regroup, but I guess it's better that we have it before alabama. GO VOLS!!!

GerryOP writes:

The road to 10-2 starts with beating UAB on Saturday. Go Vols!

alabammervol writes:

Get rid of that monkey, Mike Hamilton and hire Fulmer as AD....then we can can Dooley (He is in over his head)!

tulelakevol writes:

As for third down, I believe if Wilcox had the studs on defense that 3rd and Chavis had during his tenure, then you would have seen the stops on 3rd down. Our D is still green to Wilcox's schemes, but they are learning against some quality opponents. Give 'em time.

orangecountyvols writes:

Not much has been said about it, and now it's a moot point. But..........we wait forever to play these guys again, the stands are full, it's a beautiful day.
Everyone's fired up.

Florida wins the toss and defers. So, they kick off and you would love to get off to a good start. Instead, there's a kick which we can't return, plus a block in the back and we start this big game on the 9.
Just got off to a terrible start.

My wish is for the special teams to be kind of.....
shall we say, 'special.'

tnsportsman writes:

OUR VOLS are getting better but WINS ONLY COUNT! Big Orange learn every week and play 60 minutes!

IMO, special teams, turn-overs, 3rd down conversions and STOPPING teams on 3rd down are the 4 weak links right now.

The first 2 are mental and heart! Number 3 and 4 requires experience and better play out of everyone.

OUR VOLS will be fine and it's early in the season. FOCUS on UAB and play like it's 4th and 1 for the National Championship, every down, every game, every day for 365!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

Southland writes:

in response to GerryOP:

The road to 10-2 starts with beating UAB on Saturday. Go Vols!

you are kidding about the 10-2 right??? We dont have the horses to do anything like that. 6-6 will be a good year.

Southland writes:

in response to alabammervol:

Get rid of that monkey, Mike Hamilton and hire Fulmer as AD....then we can can Dooley (He is in over his head)!

ru you drunk or can you just not type

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to GerryOP:

The road to 10-2 starts with beating UAB on Saturday. Go Vols!

Gerry, What the heck are you drinking or smoking??? I need some of that stuff.

VolsToTheWall writes:

in response to Southland:

ru you drunk or can you just not type

considering his name i'd say both

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to tulelakevol:

As for third down, I believe if Wilcox had the studs on defense that 3rd and Chavis had during his tenure, then you would have seen the stops on 3rd down. Our D is still green to Wilcox's schemes, but they are learning against some quality opponents. Give 'em time.

Well put!!!

I got frustrated every time we allowed a 3rd and long conversion, but I also thought "just give them time and be patient."

It will definitely take the coaching staff MORE THAN 3 GAMES TO GET THE PROGRAM BACK ON TRACK!! It seems that some people have just TOTALLY given up..PATIENCE PEOPLE!!!

GerryOP writes:

in response to Southland:

you are kidding about the 10-2 right??? We dont have the horses to do anything like that. 6-6 will be a good year.

Kidding? Nope. Can't go 10-2 without beating UAB on Saturday.

mdvol writes:

A new era in UT football began with last year's recruiting class. Kicking game is solid for 4 yrs. WR's solid. O-Line (add some depth) is solid for 4 years. CDD will fill the gaps as needed.

Vols could well finish 5-3 in the SEC. 6-2 is not impossible.

Love the way Fulmer took Kiffin to the woodshed in the pregame.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
Vols go 5-3 in the SEC, Go bowling 8-4 overall.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to mdvol:

A new era in UT football began with last year's recruiting class. Kicking game is solid for 4 yrs. WR's solid. O-Line (add some depth) is solid for 4 years. CDD will fill the gaps as needed.

Vols could well finish 5-3 in the SEC. 6-2 is not impossible.

Love the way Fulmer took Kiffin to the woodshed in the pregame.

We are going to surprise some damn people.
Vols go 5-3 in the SEC, Go bowling 8-4 overall.

Any possible upsets??? Had to say it...LOL!!!

GerryOP writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Gerry, What the heck are you drinking or smoking??? I need some of that stuff.

Think about it Smoke Dog. What player ever goes on the field EXPECTING to lose? 10-2 starts with beating UAB on Saturday.

usnavyvol writes:

in response to alabammervol:

Get rid of that monkey, Mike Hamilton and hire Fulmer as AD....then we can can Dooley (He is in over his head)!

Agree Hamiltion has to go, but no way Fulmer should be the AD, he's the first link in the broken chain that has caused the Football program to suffer. From what I have seen so far CDD is not over his head, what is needed is a full squad of players and more experience. Apparenlty the stench from Bama has clouded your judement. Relax, this is gonna be a great coaching move for UT. Fans gotta give it time to mature. We have a very good coaching staff in place. Now we need players.

CB4VOLZ writes:

in response to alabammervol:

Get rid of that monkey, Mike Hamilton and hire Fulmer as AD....then we can can Dooley (He is in over his head)!

YOU, sir, are a total idiot...

andy_utk writes:

The team did show a much improved performance compared to the previous game. But, the bottom line is we need better performance from our QB..I agree that our OL is young and inexperienced, but a lot of throws were overthrown or off target. In a crunch game, that will always hurt on any down. If he doesn't improve his accuracy over the next few games, Bray needs to get a chance. I mean we are in the process of rebuilding and how much worse can it get with him at center. Atleast the kid will get some experience...else we will be in the same position couple of years down the road..The accuracy parts is what hurts the most...the team is definitely giving it all its got with the limited depth that we have...

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Think about it Smoke Dog. What player ever goes on the field EXPECTING to lose? 10-2 starts with beating UAB on Saturday.

Don't get me wrong..I LOVE YOUR ENTHUSIASM..But 10-2?? That looks totally impossible with a couple of other really tough games on our schedule...I do think we will beat UAB on our way to possible 8-4 record.

vols2#227315 writes:

Vols would be lucky to beat a highschool team with Simms. Bench Sims and put Bray in or Teague at quarterback. Teague can run the option incase anybody is interested, or play without a quarterback.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to usnavyvol:

Agree Hamiltion has to go, but no way Fulmer should be the AD, he's the first link in the broken chain that has caused the Football program to suffer. From what I have seen so far CDD is not over his head, what is needed is a full squad of players and more experience. Apparenlty the stench from Bama has clouded your judement. Relax, this is gonna be a great coaching move for UT. Fans gotta give it time to mature. We have a very good coaching staff in place. Now we need players.

usnavyvol, He was one of those fans that I mentioned earlier..The kind that give up way too easy.

nepperso#220348 writes:

I love these idiots. If half of these guys had their way, we would have Fulmer as AD, Randy Sanders as Head Coach, Clawson back as OC, and Jonathan Crompton coaching quarterbacks. Just shut up and let Dooley do his job already.

ncvol17 writes:

UAB is on ESPN Gameplan for those outside of Tenn. I wish I had a Smoky Mtn market Double chili cheeses dog right about now. Gotta get that time machine working......

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Will you be reviewing Dr Phil and Oprah tv shows on Monday?

I think the UT fans are going to give up on this team. I would expect alot of empty seats for the final 6 home games and probably a 50-50 split with Bama fans.

GerryOP writes:

in response to ncvol17:

UAB is on ESPN Gameplan for those outside of Tenn. I wish I had a Smoky Mtn market Double chili cheeses dog right about now. Gotta get that time machine working......

Dang ncvol17, I'm 816 miles from K'town and you gotta go and mention SMM chili cheese dogs. Torture ... pure torture. But many memories!

Gotta go dig out the way back machine!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Will you be reviewing Dr Phil and Oprah tv shows on Monday?

I think the UT fans are going to give up on this team. I would expect alot of empty seats for the final 6 home games and probably a 50-50 split with Bama fans.

Well..those that give up aren't real Vol fans to start with.

GoVols_16 writes:

I was at the game. I'm so grateful for the Vols' performance yesterday!! Yeah, we all want victories, but the way the Vols played for 4 quarters yesterday was special. Between the 3rd & 4th quarter Walker & Dooley got into all the players' faces to motivate them & they responded!! They're a work in progress, but they're progressing!! We'll be in a bowl this year.

GO VOLS

rudy123 writes:

How about Heath Shuler for A.D.?

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to rudy123:

How about Heath Shuler for A.D.?

I could handle that.

inmyhumbleopinion writes:

Pat Summit for AD!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to TennVolAlum:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

By giving up, I mean giving up on the coaches after 3 games and already deciding that they are horrible and ready to "can" them..They need at least 2-3 games to rebuild this program...If this team improves in their weak areas, I can see anywhere from 6-6 to 8-4 with a good surprise POSSIBLY thrown in there somewhere, IMO.

mikethehistorystudent writes:

CDD is exactly what we need and I'm even more confident of that now than I was a week ago. Of course I wanted a win and another loss to Florida makes me sick, but I'm not even considering getting rid of CDD. Our players need experience, and that's exactly what they got on Saturday. I have confidence that we will win the games we're supposed to win and still pull off 1-2 upsets this year.

CPF was a good coach, but he lost his passion and desire in the last few years. He got too comfortable and (from a fan's limited vantage point) he seemed to be content with keeping a top 25 team and winning an occasional bowl game. That doesn't mean he would be a bad AD. He still bleeds Big Orange and he's one smart guy. He would be a heck of a lot better than the fruitloop we've got. He seems like a cancer.

DennisVols writes:

8 – 19 was our record against UF, LSU, Auburn, Bama, and GA during Fulmer’s last 7 years. Many of those losses were not close or competitive. Then came the coaching carrousel over the past 18 months in which we lost more than games. We lost more than 15 scholarship players during that time. Just imagine what might be today if we had that depth back. We lost respect starting in ’08 when we blamed a kid named Crompton for the woes of a team that was clearly poorly coached (some stooped to threatening him with his life) and then came the hiring of the most immature head coach to ever walk the sidelines at UT who insulted us by insulting other coaches who had earned respect, disregarded our traditions as if they meant nothing and then ran away as if the HC job at UT was merely a stopping place until something better came along. Something better? I remember when there were not many coaches in this country that would not have jumped at the opportunity to have that job.
Now comes D. Dooley who has taken on a monumental task of not only rebuilding a team torn by poor decisions at every level, starting with the AD but restoring respect. Dooly has embraced our traditions restored the maxims and has taken the 1st steps in the rebuilding process. There have been no SEC championships in Knoxville since ’98. While being close (playing for one) may have been good enough for some it will not be enough for Dooley. Last year all we heard following the UF game was “how close we came”. Close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades. Improvements were made Saturday but improvements w\o results are nothing to hang your hat on.
It has taken 8 years for UT to go from “the team to beat” to what we have now. It is not an easy fix and it will take time. Players will have to play in the same system for several years. Not like the several months we have seen the past couple of years. Talent to fit the system will have to be recruited in. Every player on this team has a new HC this year and nothing that lasts comes easy.
I get it, we live in a time where we can buy anything we want with just a few clicks of a mouse, instant food, instant movies on your TV, instant credit, instant contact with cell phones and laptops. We want it now; we want to be relevant again today, this year, now. We need to be patient though because Harry Potter is not real and there is no magic wand to correct all the bad that got us here. Not being satisfied with being close or just making improvement is the 1st step.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

the58vol writes:

FULMER for AD........

mikethehistorystudent writes:

in response to DennisVols:

8 – 19 was our record against UF, LSU, Auburn, Bama, and GA during Fulmer’s last 7 years. Many of those losses were not close or competitive. Then came the coaching carrousel over the past 18 months in which we lost more than games. We lost more than 15 scholarship players during that time. Just imagine what might be today if we had that depth back. We lost respect starting in ’08 when we blamed a kid named Crompton for the woes of a team that was clearly poorly coached (some stooped to threatening him with his life) and then came the hiring of the most immature head coach to ever walk the sidelines at UT who insulted us by insulting other coaches who had earned respect, disregarded our traditions as if they meant nothing and then ran away as if the HC job at UT was merely a stopping place until something better came along. Something better? I remember when there were not many coaches in this country that would not have jumped at the opportunity to have that job.
Now comes D. Dooley who has taken on a monumental task of not only rebuilding a team torn by poor decisions at every level, starting with the AD but restoring respect. Dooly has embraced our traditions restored the maxims and has taken the 1st steps in the rebuilding process. There have been no SEC championships in Knoxville since ’98. While being close (playing for one) may have been good enough for some it will not be enough for Dooley. Last year all we heard following the UF game was “how close we came”. Close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades. Improvements were made Saturday but improvements w\o results are nothing to hang your hat on.
It has taken 8 years for UT to go from “the team to beat” to what we have now. It is not an easy fix and it will take time. Players will have to play in the same system for several years. Not like the several months we have seen the past couple of years. Talent to fit the system will have to be recruited in. Every player on this team has a new HC this year and nothing that lasts comes easy.
I get it, we live in a time where we can buy anything we want with just a few clicks of a mouse, instant food, instant movies on your TV, instant credit, instant contact with cell phones and laptops. We want it now; we want to be relevant again today, this year, now. We need to be patient though because Harry Potter is not real and there is no magic wand to correct all the bad that got us here. Not being satisfied with being close or just making improvement is the 1st step.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

Very well said.

Bogus writes:

in response to rudy123:

How about Heath Shuler for A.D.?

How about Tim Irwin?

volpreacher writes:

in response to alabammervol:

Get rid of that monkey, Mike Hamilton and hire Fulmer as AD....then we can can Dooley (He is in over his head)!

I don't know about Hamilton, but if I never see Fulmer again I'll be happy. I supported him while he was coach but supported him stepping down for the game had passed him by. If he was such a great coach someone would have already hired him. He did some really good things earlier in his career but after the negative comments he has been making at UT lately, good riddance to him. Dooley is a very good coach and we will see sooner than later.

volpreacher writes:

in response to andy_utk:

The team did show a much improved performance compared to the previous game. But, the bottom line is we need better performance from our QB..I agree that our OL is young and inexperienced, but a lot of throws were overthrown or off target. In a crunch game, that will always hurt on any down. If he doesn't improve his accuracy over the next few games, Bray needs to get a chance. I mean we are in the process of rebuilding and how much worse can it get with him at center. Atleast the kid will get some experience...else we will be in the same position couple of years down the road..The accuracy parts is what hurts the most...the team is definitely giving it all its got with the limited depth that we have...

You try throwing it accurately with 2 or 3 6'3" 280 lb lining charging at you after they have already plastered you 6 times.

flatrock writes:

in response to alabammervol:

Get rid of that monkey, Mike Hamilton and hire Fulmer as AD....then we can can Dooley (He is in over his head)!

Pat Summitt and Derek Dooley might be the only ones who can save Mike Hamilton's job...Dooley
will get this train back on track in 2 years...Until then, if you don't have something positive to say, refrain from showing your ignorance- shut up!

volpreacher writes:

in response to NegativeBillSportsAnimal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

At least we are competitive now. We weren't during the last few years with Fulmer. We were never ready to play the last few years. He had gotten too comfortable. And since he's been bashing UT lately, I question his loyalty to UT.

beartn#223846 writes:

First, I'm thinking more and more that Dooley will get it down after two more recruiting classes. However, I think the pivitol decision Fulmer made was picking Clawson instead of the OC and QB coach from Michigan. We would have have a similar pro style attack, and Mallett would have been the QB.

Dooley still be the guy to take us back to the elite in the near future, but we would be better right now if Fulmer took the Michigan Assisstants with Mallet.

OwensboroVol writes:

I'm the same as the Coaches, Players, and other fans, I WANT TO WIN!!!!!!! With that said, I am proud that the players continued to fight until the bitter end. It just seems like fate was against them in this one. Everytime it seemed like we were going to take that important step to either tie or really put the pressure on Florida, We would make a bad, game stealing, mistake. I would get so mad I could spit nails, and then my wife, whom I must sadly report, is an Ohio State University Graduate, would remind me of how truly young our team is. (By the way she has been truly converted to being a Big Orange Fan and I believe at times is a bigger fan than I. Especially for the Lady Vols) The players are clearly learning from the game situations and experiences. This year may be really tough, but by golly I believe that I can see a spec of light down there that just may be the end of the tunnel. Like the misses said, "even the older players have little if any playing experience and really haven't learned how to put one away yet". I am begining to believe that next year may be very enjoyable.

murrayvol writes:

in response to GerryOP:

The road to 10-2 starts with beating UAB on Saturday. Go Vols!

Get some rest Gerry.

murrayvol writes:

in response to back2z1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I wish I had a tomato.

midgetangel#279179 writes:

Anyone know where I can see a replay of the game? I completely missed it on CBS. Had a youth function to go to. Anyone got a link? I cant watch it on CBSSports channel because I don't have access on my Dish package.

ktemaque1 writes:

in response to flatrock:

Pat Summitt and Derek Dooley might be the only ones who can save Mike Hamilton's job...Dooley
will get this train back on track in 2 years...Until then, if you don't have something positive to say, refrain from showing your ignorance- shut up!

What does Pat have to do with Mike? Joan Cronan is her AD. To get back on track, CDD does have his program starting on the right road, but it's baby steps now, strides next year, and running hard by 2012 or 2013.

oskie_score writes:

You want a silver lining?? Here's one...no serious injury has been sustained during play against Oregon and Florida. Let's ALL pray it remains so throughout.
As for moral victory's...never cared them.

Great effort against UF.
Stay focused! Play (60 minutes) hard! No regrets! Leave it ALL on the field.

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