Offense fails to take advantage of opportunities

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley passes during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley passes during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Game recap: Tennessee 7, Arkansas 49

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Near the end of the third quarter Saturday night, Justin Worley had more passing yards than one of the SEC's most prolific quarterbacks.

Tennessee, as a whole, had already surpassed its SEC season high in total offense thanks partially to a running game that was as effective as it's been all year.

And all the Vols had to show for it were seven points.

Opportunities and second chances abounded during the Vols' 49-7 loss to No. 8 Arkansas, but they mostly went squandered. Faced with a tall task against a Razorback team still in contention for a share of the SEC West title, the Vols had only themselves to blame for a number of self-inflicted wounds on the way to their fourth single-digit scoring effort of the season.

"When you don't answer the bell at some point, it's hard to sustain it," coach Derek Dooley said. "We had a lot of chances to answer the bell. And it just wears on you.

"It probably wears on (reporters) watching it. Doesn't it? Yeah, well we've got the same feeling watching."

The Vols (4-6, 0-6 SEC) ran for their most yards (138) since their Oct. 1 rout of Buffalo and their most in SEC play since last month's 111-yard effort against No. 1 LSU. They had the ball in their possession nearly 15 minutes longer than the Razorbacks (9-1, 5-1), had two fewer penalties and notched three plays of 45 yards or longer en route to posting their highest yardage total (376) — by nearly 100 yards — of the conference season.

Rajion Neal's 11-yard touchdown run, though, was the only thing that kept the Vols from being shut out by one of the SEC's lowest-ranked defenses.

"It hurts," said Neal, who finished with 87 yards of offense. "You're so close but then you're just so far away.

"As time goes on, we're going to find that bond and that rhythm where we all can just play together and make the big plays we're capable of."

No play demoralized the Vols' offensive efforts more than Worley's interception in the second quarter, his second inside the opponent's 10-yard line in the last three games.

On the 14th play of a 72-yard drive, Worley, on third-and-goal from the Razorbacks' 5, was flushed out of the pocket before he tried to force a pass across the middle to DeAnthony Arnett. Arkansas' Tramain Thomas came from the opposite direction of Arnett to pluck the pass out of the air and prevent the Vols from making it a one-possession game heading into halftime.

"All it is is making the perfect throw and I've missed them a couple of times against South Carolina and Arkansas," said Worley, who completed 15 of 29 passes for 208 yards before he was benched in favor of Matt Simms in the fourth quarter. "I've just got to go in and work on that week in, week out."

The perfect throw was there for a number of double-digit strikes to Da'Rick Rogers during the first half. It just wasn't there on third downs, where the Vols converted just four of 18, or on fourth downs, where the Vols converted just one of four.

Given new life early in the first quarter after a Rogers fumble deep in Arkansas territory was overturned by a booth review, the Vols moved back a yard during the next three plays before a failed fake field-goal attempt.

Conceivably, the Vols' final shot at keeping the game close — midway through the third quarter and trailing 28-7 — ended when Worley threw the ball between two receivers on a fourth-and-1 from the Vols' 40-yard line.

One play later, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson made the perfect throw, a 40-yard touchdown pass to Joe Adams, and yet another second-half rout was on.

"Coach (Darin) Hinshaw does a good job of saying 'White piece of paper.' Just forget about that play and go play the next play," Worley said. "That's what we all have to do. It is tough when things are piling up. But we've got to pull out of it."

The Vols haven't scored in the second half in their last five games. In SEC play, the Vols have been outscored 118-22 in the second half.

"We're getting a lot of scars this year, a lot of learning," Dooley said. "This is like we're in advanced football school of beat-down learning. Lot of learning going on. Lot of teaching.

"I don't know how much we're learning from it."

Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble

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Comments » 40

kantanuuv writes:

What's the early short list on Dooley's replacement?

Steve Kragthorpe at LSU?

Ellis Johnson at South Carolina?

Todd Grantham at Georgia?

Kirby Smart at Alabama?

LibertyVolance writes:

That's what's bothering me. How much is being learned? It's 4 and 1 from our 40 midway the 3rd qtr and we throw a pass that gets picked. That's something you do near the end of a game when you're afraid you're not going to have another chance. Secondly, the defenses know we can't gain a yard running the ball on 4 and 1, so completing a pass on 4th down becomes even more difficult. Then, all too often Worley thinks he can make the perfect pass when the pass really isn't open and defenders are hanging all over our receivers. Then we don't have the speedy receivers who are able to get much separation. Plus, sec running backs shed our tacklers like they are shaking off fleas. Our DL seldom puts any pressure on qbs. Our DBs are too frail to ever take on a ball carrier without whiffing at his feet. This is sec football, not the Mountain West or the Ivy League. We better get tough or die. I kid you not.

flatrock writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

What's the early short list on Dooley's replacement?

Steve Kragthorpe at LSU?

Ellis Johnson at South Carolina?

Todd Grantham at Georgia?

Kirby Smart at Alabama?

Derek Dooley will be just fine- as soon as he can play his 4 best players and field a junior-senior roster. This season: NCAA's toughest schedule, plus NCAA's youngest and thinist roster results in a disastrous season. If you, my fiend, can't handle this adversity, my advice is...get another team.

BustaRhymes writes:

in response to flatrock:

Derek Dooley will be just fine- as soon as he can play his 4 best players and field a junior-senior roster. This season: NCAA's toughest schedule, plus NCAA's youngest and thinist roster results in a disastrous season. If you, my fiend, can't handle this adversity, my advice is...get another team.

Give me a break Flatrock - you need to find another team. I'm tired of Vol fans putting the COACHES above the PROGRAM then moralizing to the rest of use that find performances like last night unacceptable to "find another team."

BustaRhymes writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

What's the early short list on Dooley's replacement?

Steve Kragthorpe at LSU?

Ellis Johnson at South Carolina?

Todd Grantham at Georgia?

Kirby Smart at Alabama?

My short list would be (1) Kevin Sumlin (2) Mike Leach (3) Butch Davis - if he's allowed to coach (4) Skip Holtz... and if all of those fail, Phil Fulmer for previously stated reasons.

I don't think we can follow the formula of promoting a coordinator to a head coach - we don't have the recruiting base to pull that off (you need to be a Nebraska, etc. to pull that off). We need to bring in a head coach with a proven track record of success - and that has placed players in the NFL. There are two things that UT has to sell to recruits: (1) a big "stage" and (2) a legit shot of getting to the NFL.

BTW - if we can pay an Urban Meyer, BIll Cowher, etc. enough dough to get them to Knoxville - I'm ALL FOR IT. I just don't think we can...

writer#358485 writes:

Just what exactly is a "name" coach going to do that Dooley isn't with the talent he was left with? Is he going to sign three top 15 recruiting classes, the current one potentially top 10? Is he going to take a bunch of freshmen and sophomores and win big in the toughest conference in the country? Is he (especially someone like Leach) going to develop good young men in the midst of adversity? Get real whiners, we were way down and it would take anyone several years to get us back to the top.

You're just the same clowns who wanted Fulmer's scalp after all he had done, thus throwing us into the tailspin Dooley is laying the foundations for getting out of. Losing is rough, but the Fulmer fiasco followed by Lamebrain is what got us into this mess, Dooley is a good man and a good coach, just give him time to re-stock, something he's already doing well at. When our freshmen and sophomores become juniors and seniors, with depth behind them, we'll be fine.

jwill33 writes:

In my humble and rarely posted opinion I still feel like we are improving. It also feels like we can't get a break. It absolutely SUCKS that we can't get a win over a quality team but instead of Bit***** about it I am looking for positives. All of you so called fans out there calling for Dooley's head already have no idea what the he** you are talking about. IF you are going to root for the big orange, do it when we aren't in the top 25-50-100 in the country. Not just when we are flying high! Most of you people on here dumb as He**! You shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion and should move to Alabama. But there are some that are True Tn fans and will root for UT NO MATTER WHAT! If you want to Bit** and Moan go somewhere else! Last I checked this is a UT site not a place for Shi**y fans to whine!

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

What's the early short list on Dooley's replacement?

Steve Kragthorpe at LSU?

Ellis Johnson at South Carolina?

Todd Grantham at Georgia?

Kirby Smart at Alabama?

No. No. No.

No more head coaching changes.

Prostar writes:

Just how many of you read the article? We're ahead in passing yards, fewer penalties and TIME OF POSSESSION, yet we're getting blown out. Face it, we're not fundamentally good. A 12 yd. punt, I can kick the da-- ball farther than 12 yds. Coleman got burned yet again, he NEVER looked for the ball and then gave up on the play. We couldn't have tackled their punt returner if we had 22 players on the field. We're coming up on "finals week" and I don't see a lot of learning going on out there.

rainbow6 writes:

Coach Dooley must think he is still at Louisiana______wherever he came from.
He has not learned that it is not prudent to do anything but punt when you are faced with fourth down on the negative side of your own 40 yard line and you are playing against an S E C opponent{ ask Bill Battle }.
I thought maybe he would have learned when Alabama stopped the VOLS and then went over the top for a touchdown on the first play following the stop..
BUT NO---- Arkansas did exactly the same thing.
If Tennessee had punted would it have made any difference in the final outcome of the game?
NO---but is this guy never going to learn?
I have no confidence in his decision making during a game.
But hey--- I'm no coach--- I am just a season ticket holder who has been attending games since the Neyland era---
so what do I know?

tennisvol writes:

Never like ole Kiffin, but his team at UT didn't seem to quit. This team quit yesterday.
No energy on the field or on the sideline from the coaches.

etsuvol99#227561 writes:

The number of people who make comments on here and call in to sports radio who think the answer to devastating coaching changes is to have yet another coaching change is sad. Truly we have some of the dumbest fans in the nation. An already thin team has lost its 4 best players to injury or dismissal; what could any other coach do?

KFDLaw writes:

Well it is official now. This is the worst Vol team in the history of the school's football program that dates back into the 19th Century. The current team does not show up for the second half for some reason. There have been no surprises this year. We play teams in the league we are in and we lose. We play teams at La. Tech's level and we win. That is no surprise.

utdihard#527762 writes:

It amazes me that anyone truly thought this team would be good this year with the amount of young kids we are playing, never mind the loss of Hunter, Bray and Brewer. On top on that, have we played anyone in the SEC that has been ranked lower than 14th at the time we played them? The negative comments about firing the coach are really great for recruiting. Again, I am shocked over the amount of expectations we have for this team. Now two years from now I may be eating crow.

oldvoltimer62 writes:

This team needs leadership if the coaching staff cannot provide it someone on the team has to.It's choas on the field the players have too decide if they want this to stop or just keep getting hit in the mouth.I hope Dooley can settle this problem.but I'm beginning to wonder.

Maverickman writes:

Mike Leach <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DDUhy2yP... frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

ThurmondEppy writes:

in response to jwill33:

In my humble and rarely posted opinion I still feel like we are improving. It also feels like we can't get a break. It absolutely SUCKS that we can't get a win over a quality team but instead of Bit***** about it I am looking for positives. All of you so called fans out there calling for Dooley's head already have no idea what the he** you are talking about. IF you are going to root for the big orange, do it when we aren't in the top 25-50-100 in the country. Not just when we are flying high! Most of you people on here dumb as He**! You shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion and should move to Alabama. But there are some that are True Tn fans and will root for UT NO MATTER WHAT! If you want to Bit** and Moan go somewhere else! Last I checked this is a UT site not a place for Shi**y fans to whine!

Agree. The majority of posters here are "sidewalk fans" who never attended a class at UT, and certainly don't have any sense. It's called rebuilding. That takes time. Makes me sad to think of the kind of kids you are probably raising...no patience, what have you done for me lately, requiring instant gratification, etc.

aj_vol#248433 writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

What's the early short list on Dooley's replacement?

Steve Kragthorpe at LSU?

Ellis Johnson at South Carolina?

Todd Grantham at Georgia?

Kirby Smart at Alabama?

Kragthorpe?

So you want to turn Vols into Louisville - now one of the worst teams in what's left of the Big East.

anyone that thought 2011 Vols were better than 7-5 (healthy) has no clue what Dooley is working with.

I'd advise anyone who disagrees to take a look at the 2006-2009 recruiting classes for the reason why we are in this position.

Without Hughes, Jackson, Hunter, and Bray the results we are seeing should not be unexpected.

GoSmokeyGo writes:

I am just as sick as the next fan. Back to back to back top 15 classes will help before next year as we get stronger and hopefully remember how bad it feels to lose. What goes around comes around. It's my wish we are returning a behind the woodshead performance to these teams in a yr or two. I remember when AL and LSU were down. These guys need to feel the sting of losing and let that motivate them to not let it happen again in future.

TommyJack writes:

in response to BustaRhymes:

Give me a break Flatrock - you need to find another team. I'm tired of Vol fans putting the COACHES above the PROGRAM then moralizing to the rest of use that find performances like last night unacceptable to "find another team."

Gotta go with Busta on this one.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

What's the early short list on Dooley's replacement?

Steve Kragthorpe at LSU?

Ellis Johnson at South Carolina?

Todd Grantham at Georgia?

Kirby Smart at Alabama?

Kragthorpe has Parkinson's Disease

Ellis Johnson is 110

Todd Grantham ? ??? Do you want to keep losing?

Kirby Smart is another Saban protege like Dooley and Muschamp.

Need someone who has head coaching experience. And has won as a head coach.

Dobervol writes:

in response to BustaRhymes:

Give me a break Flatrock - you need to find another team. I'm tired of Vol fans putting the COACHES above the PROGRAM then moralizing to the rest of use that find performances like last night unacceptable to "find another team."

Well, the [formerly] silent majority are getting sick and tired of people like you and TommyJack who think the answer to an "unacceptable" performance is to fire the coaches. And apparently you two have as much difficulty with reading comprehension as our defense did with tackling last night, b/c I fail to see where Flatrock said he found the performance last night acceptable. He just tactfully said the people who want to fire Dooley now are[to forget the tact for a moment] childish losers who can't handle adversity, and I agree with him. And so do the vast majority of folks who don't bother to post on internet forums, which have apparently become the favorite gathering place for the "win now or be fired" folks.

Fact is, most of you would be happier just waiting to see who wins the SECC game every year, then going out and buying their stuff, and cheering for them next year.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Gotta go with Busta on this one.

We're in a rough patch, TJ.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

of course everyone assumes some blame but nonsense to blame all this on Dooley-------its not Dooley who missed 5 tackles on the punt return or threw the pick in red zone-----of course they teach tackling but coaches cant make players execute and you can talk about good judegement by the QB but that too has to be executed

now if you want to talk about some coaching changes under Dooley , maybe, but Dooley can get this turned around in time and needs another year before he has to take this kind of heat from impatient fans

Idiots here think you just go out and spend double on a head coach with the same players and presto you become an immediate power---we got some of the dumbest fans in America-------give the guy a chance to turn the mess he inherited around

1bigvolman writes:

I'm amazed...I said 6-6 before the season, then we lost Lathers, then Jackson, then Hunter, then Bray, then Brewer. That makes a 6-6 team 5-6. There are better days ahead for the Vols, unless someone listens to the ignorant minority and fires another coach! Then we can expect the rebuilding process to start over and this trend to continue! Those who thought we would win 8 or 9 games this year just don't have a clue! GBO!

OrangePride writes:

MEMO TO COACH DOOLEY: 1) Hire a freaking running backs coach who knows how to get results!! And please don't tell us how you once coached that position or others who are "working the backs everyday." NONE of you are getting it done; so go hire someone who can!! 2)Enough already with the low-percentage phoney trick plays. You already have a reputation for that and even the average teams are just waiting for you. 3) Hire OC's and DC's who against SEC competition can produce offenses that will score more than 6 points and hold them under 35 points!! At the end of this season, you need to retool the coaching staff with folks who can produce some results. OR, just stick with same old faces and you might ALL be gone at the end of next year.

OrangePride writes:

in response to jwill33:

In my humble and rarely posted opinion I still feel like we are improving. It also feels like we can't get a break. It absolutely SUCKS that we can't get a win over a quality team but instead of Bit***** about it I am looking for positives. All of you so called fans out there calling for Dooley's head already have no idea what the he** you are talking about. IF you are going to root for the big orange, do it when we aren't in the top 25-50-100 in the country. Not just when we are flying high! Most of you people on here dumb as He**! You shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion and should move to Alabama. But there are some that are True Tn fans and will root for UT NO MATTER WHAT! If you want to Bit** and Moan go somewhere else! Last I checked this is a UT site not a place for Shi**y fans to whine!

Look Jwill, just because you have people all over these boards venting their frustration DOES NOT mean all their complaints are illegitimate or indicative of their lack of care for the Vols. Like you and a number of others, I don't see any advantage to a HC change at this point and I don't think it fair to come to a final judgement on Dooley's tenure after just two seasons. BUT, like it or not, this team's lack of performance and competitiveness MUST lie to a significant degree in the coaching and preparation. We are 118 out of 120 in rushing, for goodness sakes! Memphis had more rushing yards against MTSU than we did. SO, in this off-season, Dooley needs to totally re-examine his staff and make some changes. To think we will get totally different results next year with the very same people and alignment we had this year will be unwise. We need to hope for a great recruiting class and some definitive coaching results over the spring and summer......or we will be back right here next year and the cries for Dooley's head will be even louder. In the meantime, I will be at all the games rooting on the VOLS as I always have.....but this year has not been easy. GBO

LOWCOUNTRYVOL writes:

in response to Prostar:

Just how many of you read the article? We're ahead in passing yards, fewer penalties and TIME OF POSSESSION, yet we're getting blown out. Face it, we're not fundamentally good. A 12 yd. punt, I can kick the da-- ball farther than 12 yds. Coleman got burned yet again, he NEVER looked for the ball and then gave up on the play. We couldn't have tackled their punt returner if we had 22 players on the field. We're coming up on "finals week" and I don't see a lot of learning going on out there.

Agreed, can someone say coaching?...and I don't mean fire CDD.

kantanuuv writes:

in response to flatrock:

Derek Dooley will be just fine- as soon as he can play his 4 best players and field a junior-senior roster. This season: NCAA's toughest schedule, plus NCAA's youngest and thinist roster results in a disastrous season. If you, my fiend, can't handle this adversity, my advice is...get another team.

I have another team. You don't know my work do you?

If you think the UTAD isn't already planning for CVDjr's exit, you haven't been paying attention.

1bigvolman writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

I have another team. You don't know my work do you?

If you think the UTAD isn't already planning for CVDjr's exit, you haven't been paying attention.

You're probably right, this new Alabama AD we have would love nothing more than to see us waffle around like this for years to come.

PuntsandFumbles writes:

The future at quarterback looks bright in the SEC. Check out my article on rising sophomores at the most important position in football at Punts and Fumbles at Wordpress.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Dobervol:

Well, the [formerly] silent majority are getting sick and tired of people like you and TommyJack who think the answer to an "unacceptable" performance is to fire the coaches. And apparently you two have as much difficulty with reading comprehension as our defense did with tackling last night, b/c I fail to see where Flatrock said he found the performance last night acceptable. He just tactfully said the people who want to fire Dooley now are[to forget the tact for a moment] childish losers who can't handle adversity, and I agree with him. And so do the vast majority of folks who don't bother to post on internet forums, which have apparently become the favorite gathering place for the "win now or be fired" folks.

Fact is, most of you would be happier just waiting to see who wins the SECC game every year, then going out and buying their stuff, and cheering for them next year.

I never mentioned firing anyone. And I don't need a lecture from someone named Dobie.

oldvoltimer62 writes:

in response to Jeff_Hall_VFL:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow he would look great in orange and white next year.UT recruiters need to be knocking on this kids door now!Thats one of the problems at UT they let so many in state kids get away looking at 4 or 5 star kids or some ex nfl stars kid.Dooley and staff needs to get out and scour the state and land some of them big ole rough country boys who actually want to play the game.

VOLliven2it writes:

Just keep on railing about our need for a new coach. Once more, I defy any of you to face on your level of work, whatever it is, what Coach Dooley has faced and be on top in the first two years. You'd sound like Charlie Sheen and be "winners." What a joke. The team is playing awful. The PROGRAM has lost almost all its vauntedness. Go get your short list of replacements. 1)None of them will probably come here. 2)If one did, you'd be crying for his hide if the team didn't win the SEC east his second year. So unless you personally and your buds can come up with big time bucks to get that big name coach, I suggest you accept reality and try not to whine. Once more I say if there is no real improvement next year, then let's look at options for a new head coach. But just remember our only two real playmakers on offense went out early. That has made a huge difference. Meanwhile, we have two games to win if we go to a bowl. And practically no one, NO ONE seems to give us a chance against Vandy since they have made so many strides forward. So let's try to be supportive UNLESS...you have the money to put forth for the big hire. If so, please right now, contact the athletic department.

govolshw writes:

5 Big Things for the Vols This Offseason:

1)Hire back John Chavis.
2)Hire a new OL coach.
3)Hire a running backs coach.
4)Hire a new special teams coach.
5)Adjust Chaney's play calling book.

snakeplissken writes:

Tennessee is 0-6 in SEC play for the first time since the SEC was born in 1933. Let that soak in and tell me we're not regressing under Dooley in his second year.

west_tn_volfan writes:

in response to writer#358485:

Just what exactly is a "name" coach going to do that Dooley isn't with the talent he was left with? Is he going to sign three top 15 recruiting classes, the current one potentially top 10? Is he going to take a bunch of freshmen and sophomores and win big in the toughest conference in the country? Is he (especially someone like Leach) going to develop good young men in the midst of adversity? Get real whiners, we were way down and it would take anyone several years to get us back to the top.

You're just the same clowns who wanted Fulmer's scalp after all he had done, thus throwing us into the tailspin Dooley is laying the foundations for getting out of. Losing is rough, but the Fulmer fiasco followed by Lamebrain is what got us into this mess, Dooley is a good man and a good coach, just give him time to re-stock, something he's already doing well at. When our freshmen and sophomores become juniors and seniors, with depth behind them, we'll be fine.

Good post. Apparently none of these guys listened to the announcers during the game last night. Four years ago when Petrino was playing the same amount of freshmen that Dooley is playing now, arkansas went 5-7. Now those guys are seniors and they're 8-1. I don't care who you are, you're not going to beat the teams we've been playing with a bunch of freshmen. If you could, why did Saban go 6-6 his first year at Alabama with better talent than we have right now. Say what you want about Shula's coaching ability or lack there of but he could recruit. Dooley came in to a bad roster and he is improving it. I wish some one would tell me what coach is so good that he would be winning more games than Dooley is this year and it has to be a coach who is much better than Saban because like I said, Saban only went 6-6 at Alabama. So what coach can we get right now that's better than Saban.

Bufforange00 writes:

STAY THE COURSE. The SEC won't always be this strong, the schedule so hard, the kids so young, and the roster so thin from injuries. Put it together and what do yet get? 0-6 in the conference. Tennessee lost their first 6 games in 1988 due to similar circumstances. Duke was led by Spurrier/ clarkston hines, LSU was top 10, Auburn was defending SEC champs, Bama always beat UT. But UT emerged into arguably the greatest run in UT history over the next decade.

COACH DOOLEY-Stick to your guns and work your plan. At the very least, you will do a good Mike Shula impression and get us to the 8 to 9 win plateau in the next few seasons. At best, you will prove to be the great coach I think you can become.

ALSO-RECRUIT RECRUIT RECRUIT
.....

Bufforange00 writes:

did I say RECRUIT?

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to Bufforange00:

STAY THE COURSE. The SEC won't always be this strong, the schedule so hard, the kids so young, and the roster so thin from injuries. Put it together and what do yet get? 0-6 in the conference. Tennessee lost their first 6 games in 1988 due to similar circumstances. Duke was led by Spurrier/ clarkston hines, LSU was top 10, Auburn was defending SEC champs, Bama always beat UT. But UT emerged into arguably the greatest run in UT history over the next decade.

COACH DOOLEY-Stick to your guns and work your plan. At the very least, you will do a good Mike Shula impression and get us to the 8 to 9 win plateau in the next few seasons. At best, you will prove to be the great coach I think you can become.

ALSO-RECRUIT RECRUIT RECRUIT
.....

Great post! And it isnt every year that teams get players of the caliber of Hunter and Bray during a rebuilding phase...next year will be a tremendous improvement, and by the year after that, we will have reached a steady level of quality play in the SEC.

Go Vols!

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