Second-half struggles in SEC persist for Vols

The theories differ slightly from player to player, but the numbers are clear after one and a half seasons.

Tennessee hasn't been a good second-half team against SEC competition under coach Derek Dooley.

Saturday's 38-7 loss to No. 1 LSU just provided the latest example and, perhaps, the most dominant final 30 minutes by a UT opponent.

The Tigers scored touchdowns on all three of their possessions and milked the clock for nearly 22 minutes. It marked just the second time UT has been shut out by an SEC opponent in the second half under Dooley, but the eighth time it's been outscored.

All eight of those games ended in losses.

"I just feel like we get flat," senior running back Tauren Poole said. "Teams come out ready to go and we just come out flat and kind of gradually get back into it.

"That can't happen in SEC games. They are intense. They came out ready to hit and ready to be physical and we weren't prepared for it."

Both this year and last year, the Vols have had no issue coming out prepared in the first half of SEC games.

Though their SEC opponents have nearly doubled their point output (39-20)

in the first halves of games this season, the Vols (3-3, 0-3 SEC) have only been outscored 127-116 overall in the first halves of their 11 SEC games since 2010. The second half, though, has been problematic, as they've been outscored 169-105.

An ugly second half against Oregon last season gets canceled out by a dominating effort against Cincinnati this year, but the theme is well-established.

"I think we sit back," defensive end Marlon Walls said. "We play an OK first half because our hair is on fire and it's the No. 1 team coming in here, and I think we get kind of complacent and relax. I don't know why at all, but we do it and we have to figure out how to change it."

Offensively, the Vols have only scored on one of their six second-half opening possessions, a touchdown against Cincinnati. The other five games have seen the Vols punt three times, throw an interception and go down for a safety.

The Vols had no trouble overcoming their sluggish restarts against non-conference competition, but they've essentially had their hopes dashed because of them in all three SEC games. Florida, Georgia and LSU, all of whom were either tied or leading the Vols at halftime, scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half.

"It's the energy level," right tackle Ja'Wuan James said. "Next time or whenever, we've got to keep the same energy out of the locker room in the second half."

Tight Spot: Both Dooley and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney had a bad feeling going into Saturday's game when it pertained to tight end Mychal Rivera's involvement with the offense.

Their concerns were validated.

For the second time this season, Rivera, who is third on the team with 248 receiving yards, went without a catch. Unlike the season opener against Montana, when he drew two pass interference calls on passes thrown in his direction, Rivera was barely targeted Saturday.

"A lot of it is because of the pressures, you max protect," Dooley said. "That's a dilemma with the tight end. So if you're going to max, you've got to go two tight ends and put the other tight end as the blocker When you want a seven-man protect it, he's a good protector but he's also a weapon at tight end.

"So he'll have his. Just one of those games. Sometimes tight ends, they've got to go block."

Historic Stretch: The Vols' game Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 7:15 p.m.) at No. 2 Alabama (7-0, 4-0 SEC) will complete a vaunted back-to-back stretch that UT has never experienced before.

The Vols have never faced the Associated Press-ranked No. 1 and No. 2 teams in consecutive weeks and only once (2005) have they had back-to-back games against teams ranked in the top five. In fact, UT has faced teams ranked in the top 10 in consecutive weeks only 10 times in its history.

The game will be UT's third on ESPN2 this season and its first road game under the lights.

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 » 54

TommyJack writes:

So, "max protect" = don't use your most reliable receiver?

volpreacher writes:

I don't know who wouldn't struggle with their fans exiting before the game is over. Here are 18-19 year old kids playing their hearts out, not playing good sometimes, but sometimes playing lights out like in the first half, but as soon as LSU gets in full command, it's off to the exits, turning your backs on these 18-19 year old kids. That is pathetic. They deserve our support win or lose. Be a Vol not just during the good times. Do they need to improve, sure they do, but don't give up on them. Support them, encourage them.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to TommyJack:

So, "max protect" = don't use your most reliable receiver?

Doesn't do any good to have someone open across the middle if the QB is flat on the ground. Or so the theory would seem to be.

TNVOLS255181 writes:

I BELIVE in coach DOOLEY.. he'll get us back to the TOP. Can't wait till next year.

movol53 writes:

I do not recall who it was but on BOTH of the interceptions there was a man open short, across the middle could have probably made each first down. But Sims already had his mind made up where he was going; deep probably didn't look anywhere else. This team, as well as the fans, must learn to be patient. I know many of you don't like CDD; he is the coach so deal with it!!! Bringing in a BIG NAME is not a guaranty of success. A recent example: look how well Rich Rod did at MICH after leaving W. VA.

kantanuuv writes:

Ok I'll get it started.

FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY!

volpreacher writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

Ok I'll get it started.

FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY!

Ok get it started, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID.
I've talked with Johnny Majors personally and he says Dooley is the right man for the job. Peyton Manning said same thing yesterday during game. Get a life, be a Vol fan or leave.

nextyear writes:

The same thing and just about the same EXACT coach's quotes happened with Jason Witten a few years ago. Did it make sense then to let the defense dictate with scheme that your best receiver would always block? I want to be a defensive coordinator against that team! But of course I'm too stupid too. I'm still hopeful for this staff and next year though.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

The Handicapper you people seem to hate predicted the LSU Blowout on Friday as a free pic winner. Watch Brett Maverick tell you all to take LSU on Video. You cant hate people who tell the truth and back it up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71mbwd...

Stanman08 writes:

Dear Volpreacher,
Here is my observation about supporting UTK mediocrity on the grid iron.
I see teams with less talent perform better every weekend. The problem is, many of us haven't seen any improvement in this team since the season started nor from last year. Great coaching will find a way to be competitive. Like him or not - and while I am not a fan of what he did in leaving UTK - the Kiffin team did just that! The talent Kiffin had to work with was not even close to what it is now. Lane knew what he had to do in order to be competitive and give his team a chance to win every weekend, and that is to out smart your opponents. So what does that say about UT's coaching staff under Dooley. Ask anyone who is in this business and they will tell you the same thing. Great coaching will find the recipe for putting a competitive team on the field. Dooley has yet to prove he can do that, and until he can there will be UT fans who just can't stomach to see the product they are putting on the field. Hopefully the players are getting better instructions & guidance in the classroom than they are on the field.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I dont know if you've watched the games, but like this article states, the problem is not at then end of the game. Its the team coming out flat in the 3rd quarted. Surely there is enough depth to be able to come out ready after halftime. There are 12 Jrs and Srs starting for this team right now. Add Brewer, J Smith, and D Rogers as good sophomores and there shouldnt be a problem with not having Jrs and Srs in the 3rd quarter. I was thinking 6 wins for sure, but after seing Vandy almost beat Georgia and them being ranked ahead of UT in the BCS, I'm just hoping to beat Vandy, Ky, and MTSU. Maybe with Lattimore going out for SC and their Qb inconsistency, UT will have a shot at them too, but players are going to have to step it up. How can they be flat? I hope Dooley isnt talking above their heads in the locker room giving analogies about WWII. Honestly though, what do you expect when we play one of the best teams in the country.

RJ_Vol writes:

For the record, Kiffin survived his year due to M. Hardesty and a few other recruits from Fulmer's older classes. Next year is the year. If Dooley's team doesn't compete next year then I think he is gone. That said, Bray/Hunter/Rogers are going to light-up some teams next year. Now, Dooley better hope Bray can stay healthy and that means we better be able to run the ball. I do think UT should play Worley for a few series so we have a back-up w/ some experience. Dooley also has a great d-line class coming in - if that class were to fall apart before signing day he is on the hot seat right then. Dooley must start having top five recruiting classes - not top fifteen classes. He knew the job would be tough coming in and he is lucky to get a chance here w/his record at LA Tech. Currently, his record in SEC play is 3-8 and that will need to improve in coming years. He must regularly defeat some of the big three UGA/UF/Bama.

brod writes:

it's hard to believe that two injuries have costs the vols any chance of having a winning season but that's the case. this team has a less than average quarterback, and cannot score enough to compete at a high level. maybe next year, or the year after that.

kantanuuv writes:

in response to volpreacher:

Ok get it started, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID.
I've talked with Johnny Majors personally and he says Dooley is the right man for the job. Peyton Manning said same thing yesterday during game. Get a life, be a Vol fan or leave.

Seriously? What do you expect Majors to say about Dooley? He's not Fulmer, so of course Majors is going to talk him up.

And Manning? Do you seriously expect Manning while in the booth on the air on national TV is going to say, "Well I'm deeply concerned that Dooley is in over his head."

You need a sports talk translator.

And do you honestly believe I'm a Vole fan? Have you studied my work on this blog? I've been trolling here for years. >:)

So...once again...

FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY!

SIMSVOL writes:

VOLS have a very good chance of going 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 this year. I'm betting on 8 and 4. No team in the country has to get through a gauntlet of tough games like Tennessee plays this year. All you naysayers will be eating !@#$% in 2013 and 2014 when the VOLS are back on top. GO VOLS!!!

hikerdude writes:

There is NO rational reason to blame this team's lack of success on Dooley. When he became the head coach, he inherited a team that had less talent than any UT team in my memory. Then, he had to kick his best defensive player off the team. Then, he lost his only quarterback andhis best receiver to injuries. On Saturday, UT played, and lost to, the best college team in the nation. Who in their right mind could possibly blame Dooley for taht loss?

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to TNVOLS255181:

I BELIVE in coach DOOLEY.. he'll get us back to the TOP. Can't wait till next year.

me 2 but the bar will go up for a 9 win season

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to hikerdude:

There is NO rational reason to blame this team's lack of success on Dooley. When he became the head coach, he inherited a team that had less talent than any UT team in my memory. Then, he had to kick his best defensive player off the team. Then, he lost his only quarterback andhis best receiver to injuries. On Saturday, UT played, and lost to, the best college team in the nation. Who in their right mind could possibly blame Dooley for taht loss?

your right on....our coaches are doing a fabulous job

jobrando#216494 writes:

I say we give our coaches two more years of 6-6 then we might have some reason to worry that we will win 8 any time soon. Got to be patient. These coaches inherited a mess and now all the play makers are out.

volpreacher writes:

in response to Stanman08:

Dear Volpreacher,
Here is my observation about supporting UTK mediocrity on the grid iron.
I see teams with less talent perform better every weekend. The problem is, many of us haven't seen any improvement in this team since the season started nor from last year. Great coaching will find a way to be competitive. Like him or not - and while I am not a fan of what he did in leaving UTK - the Kiffin team did just that! The talent Kiffin had to work with was not even close to what it is now. Lane knew what he had to do in order to be competitive and give his team a chance to win every weekend, and that is to out smart your opponents. So what does that say about UT's coaching staff under Dooley. Ask anyone who is in this business and they will tell you the same thing. Great coaching will find the recipe for putting a competitive team on the field. Dooley has yet to prove he can do that, and until he can there will be UT fans who just can't stomach to see the product they are putting on the field. Hopefully the players are getting better instructions & guidance in the classroom than they are on the field.

As I stated on another post. I've talked with Johnny Majors personally, he is fully behind Dooley saying he is doing the right things to get this team back to where it was. Peyton Manning said the same thing Saturday. I think those two know what they are talking about. I do see improvement. When you look at a glass as half empty, you don't see improvement. Hey, they went toe to toe with the number one team in America Saturday for the first half. Team depth dictatated the second half collapse, not the competitive nature.

volpreacher writes:

in response to SIMSVOL:

VOLS have a very good chance of going 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 this year. I'm betting on 8 and 4. No team in the country has to get through a gauntlet of tough games like Tennessee plays this year. All you naysayers will be eating !@#$% in 2013 and 2014 when the VOLS are back on top. GO VOLS!!!

I agree, I think 8-4, but no worse than 7-5. Someone said something about Vandy playing Ga close. They always do. I believe it is a let down game for Ga after playing UT the week before. Next, these naysayers won't be eating anything in 2013 & 14. They will be saying, "we knew Dooley could get it done, we need to extend his contract." Don't you know that most of the guys on here are fair weathered fans?

volfaninchattanooga writes:

I know a lot of these guys are young, but "we come out flat" is not acceptable. Any competitor will BRING IT on every play, every down, every quarter. I really hope we don't hear "we came out flat" anymore this year. If these players don't bring it every play, then put in players who will.

Volunatic writes:

in response to volpreacher:

I agree, I think 8-4, but no worse than 7-5. Someone said something about Vandy playing Ga close. They always do. I believe it is a let down game for Ga after playing UT the week before. Next, these naysayers won't be eating anything in 2013 & 14. They will be saying, "we knew Dooley could get it done, we need to extend his contract." Don't you know that most of the guys on here are fair weathered fans?

You're probably right. "Bandwagon seating" grows exponentially out of nowhere, it seems.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

Ok I'll get it started.

FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY!

Yeah, that would solve all the problems..NOT!!! Good Lord, it's people like you that this program does not need..Firing Dooley would set us back even further and and you would still be screaming,"FIRE WHOEVER THE COACH IS"..One and half seasons is hardly long enough to get this program turned around considering the mess in which CDD entered...The biggest problem with some of you is unrealistic expectations and not having patience..If you can't see it thru, then leave now but don't return when CDD gets things turned around and then claim you are a Vol fan.

Smokey says CDD needs more than 1 and 1/2 seasons to get things rolling..

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

That part about 'coming out flat.'

I don't understand that statement at all.
There should never be a reason to be flat when you're in a 14-7 game at the half and you're playing the no. 1 team in the country.

FrostyVol writes:

in response to volpreacher:

I don't know who wouldn't struggle with their fans exiting before the game is over. Here are 18-19 year old kids playing their hearts out, not playing good sometimes, but sometimes playing lights out like in the first half, but as soon as LSU gets in full command, it's off to the exits, turning your backs on these 18-19 year old kids. That is pathetic. They deserve our support win or lose. Be a Vol not just during the good times. Do they need to improve, sure they do, but don't give up on them. Support them, encourage them.

A-Freaking-men! Why go to the game if you are going to leave early?? I dont care if the team is down 100-0, that is YOUR team. You stay and support them and show the other fans and the visiting RECRUITS that we are a loyal and devout fan base. I get disappointed in our performance like anyone else, but i will never leave a game early. I paid for my ticket for 60 minutes of football and I'm getting my money's worth. Made me sick to see the LSU fans outnumber vol fans at the end of the game on Saturday.

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to volpreacher:

I don't know who wouldn't struggle with their fans exiting before the game is over. Here are 18-19 year old kids playing their hearts out, not playing good sometimes, but sometimes playing lights out like in the first half, but as soon as LSU gets in full command, it's off to the exits, turning your backs on these 18-19 year old kids. That is pathetic. They deserve our support win or lose. Be a Vol not just during the good times. Do they need to improve, sure they do, but don't give up on them. Support them, encourage them.

Keep preachin Preacher, you are spot on. People need to remember we lost 2 recruiying classes not to mention facing possible NCAA sanctions. Our Vols are seriously short on depth and most high quality recruits are looking elsewhere. I don't think it's reasonable to judge the current staff until the 2013 season. If we are still not winning, that is the time to start looking for a new coach.

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to Stanman08:

Dear Volpreacher,
Here is my observation about supporting UTK mediocrity on the grid iron.
I see teams with less talent perform better every weekend. The problem is, many of us haven't seen any improvement in this team since the season started nor from last year. Great coaching will find a way to be competitive. Like him or not - and while I am not a fan of what he did in leaving UTK - the Kiffin team did just that! The talent Kiffin had to work with was not even close to what it is now. Lane knew what he had to do in order to be competitive and give his team a chance to win every weekend, and that is to out smart your opponents. So what does that say about UT's coaching staff under Dooley. Ask anyone who is in this business and they will tell you the same thing. Great coaching will find the recipe for putting a competitive team on the field. Dooley has yet to prove he can do that, and until he can there will be UT fans who just can't stomach to see the product they are putting on the field. Hopefully the players are getting better instructions & guidance in the classroom than they are on the field.

You are seriously overestimating our talent level.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

The Handicapper you people seem to hate predicted the LSU Blowout on Friday as a free pic winner. Watch Brett Maverick tell you all to take LSU on Video. You cant hate people who tell the truth and back it up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71mbwd...

So at best, your picks are a 50-50 shot. Big deal. Anyone can do that. WHo needs to be a professional to do that? I have seen two videos of you...one in which you predict a huge Michigan State win over Notre Dame, and the other in which you predict a huge LSU win over Tennessee. You were wrong on one and right on the other. ANYONE can do what you do.

In fact, there may be a legal case against you if you are guaranteeing your picks.

BustaRhymes writes:

in response to volpreacher:

Ok get it started, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID.
I've talked with Johnny Majors personally and he says Dooley is the right man for the job. Peyton Manning said same thing yesterday during game. Get a life, be a Vol fan or leave.

"I was around him since he took the Tennessee job. I watched practice, talked to the squad a couple of times, and spent some time in his office. And I believe he is a very good football coach. He's very aggressive and well organized. He's demanding and he and his staff attacked recruiting very aggressively. I think he is going to be very, very successful in the long run." --Johnny Majors on Lane Kiffin. I love what Coach Majors did for UT, but his hatred towards Phil Fulmer has clouded his judgement on Fulmer's successors (and I'm sure Johnny knows and respects Derek's dad).

Regarding Peyton’s comments – what did you expect him to say – that’s he concerned about Dooley? That would be like Ben Bernanke coming out and saying “Sorry folks, we’re out of money, ran out of green ink.” You are never going to hear Peyton "go negative" on any active UT coach... even if Spurrier took the job and "unretired" his number...

You have to judge Derek on his record and the decisions he makes during a game… and both should be giving TRUE Vols fans – you know, those of us that hold the program to a standard higher than 6-6 and we’ll get ‘em next year – a reason to pause and reconsider Hamilton’s hasty hire…

JCJ1986 writes:

Our stadium crowds are pathetic, and it starts with the music they play. If you watch a night game at S. Carolina or Michigan, the students are jumping, waving towels, yelling "oooooh, oooooh, oh, oh, oh," the stadium is rocking. And the ONLY music we ever play is "Rocky Top," first down, touchdown it doesn't matter, it's the same thing, "Rocky Top." Play something else, something that gets the students (which will get everyone else) jumping, towel-waving, screaming.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

The Handicapper you people seem to hate predicted the LSU Blowout on Friday as a free pic winner. Watch Brett Maverick tell you all to take LSU on Video. You cant hate people who tell the truth and back it up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71mbwd...

I can still hate people who tell the truth... particularly if they're acting like arseholes about it!

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to volfaninchattanooga:

I know a lot of these guys are young, but "we come out flat" is not acceptable. Any competitor will BRING IT on every play, every down, every quarter. I really hope we don't hear "we came out flat" anymore this year. If these players don't bring it every play, then put in players who will.

Seriously... someone needs to remind these kids that football is played for 60 minutes, not 30. Somehow they didn't get the memo.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to BustaRhymes:

"I was around him since he took the Tennessee job. I watched practice, talked to the squad a couple of times, and spent some time in his office. And I believe he is a very good football coach. He's very aggressive and well organized. He's demanding and he and his staff attacked recruiting very aggressively. I think he is going to be very, very successful in the long run." --Johnny Majors on Lane Kiffin. I love what Coach Majors did for UT, but his hatred towards Phil Fulmer has clouded his judgement on Fulmer's successors (and I'm sure Johnny knows and respects Derek's dad).

Regarding Peyton’s comments – what did you expect him to say – that’s he concerned about Dooley? That would be like Ben Bernanke coming out and saying “Sorry folks, we’re out of money, ran out of green ink.” You are never going to hear Peyton "go negative" on any active UT coach... even if Spurrier took the job and "unretired" his number...

You have to judge Derek on his record and the decisions he makes during a game… and both should be giving TRUE Vols fans – you know, those of us that hold the program to a standard higher than 6-6 and we’ll get ‘em next year – a reason to pause and reconsider Hamilton’s hasty hire…

Of course we hold ourselves to a high standard, that's why everyone here is so ticked. However, making additional hasty staffing decisions based on 1.5 seasons is ludicrous. Depth, more so than youth, is killing us. And unfortunately for us, depth is the last thing to come when rebuilding. If we get rid of Dooley now, we send ourselves deeper into the rabbit hole. Further coaching attrition will cause more players to leave, fewer quality coaches who want the job, new recruits to sign with other programs… all of which will destroy what little depth we currently have and put us back another decade!

I’ve said this a million times… whether you like the man or not, giving him at least a 2 more years to build that quality depth is the RIGHT THING TO DO! We make any more coaching changes before then, and we’re only shooting ourselves in the foot. Even the trolls know this… they just like to rub it in.

Maybe he’s the right guy and maybe he isn’t… only time will tell. But I suggest you sit back and take a big whiff of reality while we wait this out a couple more years. Anything less would be athletic suicide.

jenna1009001 writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

Ok I'll get it started.

FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY! FIRE DOOLEY!

way to early for a comment like this one. We have basically a junior varsity team playing against varsity teams. This isn't Dooleys fault. If we must get in a stupid blame game lets lay it where it belongs to coach Fulumer (Who I was a fan of) and Lame Kiffin. We lost a ton of players. The offensive Line has been a issue in my opinion since 2007. To fire Dooley now would only Multiply the issues. Give him time to get players with the size and speed as other SEC teams. This is a four year project.

Madkels writes:

in response to CrippledCoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

5 years? No, we must see improvement before then. If we aren't at least competing late in the game next year, then the writing will be on the wall. If we are at least putting points up and only getting beat by superior teams, then we will be progressing in the right direction. If next year is a repeat of this one, then 2013 will be the final verdict.

tennesseebee writes:

Dooley (though hired by Hammy the Hack), deserves the opportunity to field his own class of players. It is a no-brainer that the insufficient 2nd half showing is attributed to our lack of talent-worthy rotation. Our guys have to get a breather. They have held up well in several games in the 1st half, only to be worn down in the second half. Dooley just needs time to stock the shelves. We play in the best and toughest conference ANYWHERE! Tennessee will return to it's spot amoung the elite, it will just take a few classes. We all knew this.

kd45music writes:

sounds to me like they are not making very good halftimea ajustments.

volfanz writes:

in response to TNVOLS255181:

I BELIVE in coach DOOLEY.. he'll get us back to the TOP. Can't wait till next year.

I remember saying the same thing last year.....man waiting and waiting certainly does get tough to do.

RockyTopApologist writes:

in response to volpreacher:

I don't know who wouldn't struggle with their fans exiting before the game is over. Here are 18-19 year old kids playing their hearts out, not playing good sometimes, but sometimes playing lights out like in the first half, but as soon as LSU gets in full command, it's off to the exits, turning your backs on these 18-19 year old kids. That is pathetic. They deserve our support win or lose. Be a Vol not just during the good times. Do they need to improve, sure they do, but don't give up on them. Support them, encourage them.

Amen to that volpreacher! I have no voice still today from the LSU game. Ya' gotta stick around for these fellas.

GVolsG writes:

in response to SIMSVOL:

VOLS have a very good chance of going 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 this year. I'm betting on 8 and 4. No team in the country has to get through a gauntlet of tough games like Tennessee plays this year. All you naysayers will be eating !@#$% in 2013 and 2014 when the VOLS are back on top. GO VOLS!!!

Agreed!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"I just feel like we get flat,' senior running back Tauren Poole said. 'Teams come out ready to go and we just come out flat and kind of gradually get back into it.'"

Well...actually that's the opposite of what happens. You guys start out energized and THEN you get flat...that's why you struggle in the second half and not in the first.

Maybe Dooley should make basic logic a pre-req before he recruits a RB.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to tennesseebee:

Dooley (though hired by Hammy the Hack), deserves the opportunity to field his own class of players. It is a no-brainer that the insufficient 2nd half showing is attributed to our lack of talent-worthy rotation. Our guys have to get a breather. They have held up well in several games in the 1st half, only to be worn down in the second half. Dooley just needs time to stock the shelves. We play in the best and toughest conference ANYWHERE! Tennessee will return to it's spot amoung the elite, it will just take a few classes. We all knew this.

So Hamilton is a hack whose first three coaching hires all had a negative impact on the respective sports programs that they coached, but Dooley is just about to return us to the elite?

Gotta love that Dooleyphile logic.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to Stanman08:

Dear Volpreacher,
Here is my observation about supporting UTK mediocrity on the grid iron.
I see teams with less talent perform better every weekend. The problem is, many of us haven't seen any improvement in this team since the season started nor from last year. Great coaching will find a way to be competitive. Like him or not - and while I am not a fan of what he did in leaving UTK - the Kiffin team did just that! The talent Kiffin had to work with was not even close to what it is now. Lane knew what he had to do in order to be competitive and give his team a chance to win every weekend, and that is to out smart your opponents. So what does that say about UT's coaching staff under Dooley. Ask anyone who is in this business and they will tell you the same thing. Great coaching will find the recipe for putting a competitive team on the field. Dooley has yet to prove he can do that, and until he can there will be UT fans who just can't stomach to see the product they are putting on the field. Hopefully the players are getting better instructions & guidance in the classroom than they are on the field.

Well said. Of course, you will be eviscerated for it because you: 1) aren't a football coach, 2) don't understand how young, untalented, brokenhearted, etc. this team is, 3) have unrealistic expectations, 4) aren't a true fan, 5) are too impatient, 6) don't understand football at all, 7) really want to cheer for USC, Vandy, or another school, 8) love Fulmer and Kiffin and want to bear their children, and/or 7) are an idiot.

You will also be insulted because you are missing all of the overwhelming evidence that Dooley has this team on the right track:

1) Dooley has this team on the right track.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to volpreacher:

I don't know who wouldn't struggle with their fans exiting before the game is over. Here are 18-19 year old kids playing their hearts out, not playing good sometimes, but sometimes playing lights out like in the first half, but as soon as LSU gets in full command, it's off to the exits, turning your backs on these 18-19 year old kids. That is pathetic. They deserve our support win or lose. Be a Vol not just during the good times. Do they need to improve, sure they do, but don't give up on them. Support them, encourage them.

Can I give them hugs too? Do you think that would help?

Anyways, I'm confused. Should I cheer for the effort when Simms throws an interception or a missed assignment lets an opposing RB score a touchdown? Or should I just sit silently in my seat so that on the off-chance Tauren Poole looks into the stands, he will recognize my stoic support for the team and actually run faster during the next play?

I'll do the first, but it's just going to look like I'm cheering for the team beating us and then when I cheer for the Vols, it's just going to look like I'm confused.

Still, I like your Tinkerbell Theory of football victory. If I just clap my hands real fast and say, "I believe in Derek Dooley" then my gridiron dreams really will come true!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to volpreacher:

Ok get it started, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID, YOU ARE STUPID.
I've talked with Johnny Majors personally and he says Dooley is the right man for the job. Peyton Manning said same thing yesterday during game. Get a life, be a Vol fan or leave.

You're not a very nice preacher.

Johnny Majors also gave a glowing endorsement to Lane Kiffin. Said that he had the Vols on the right track.

Seems like Majors might just be complementing whoever is in that office.

Same goes to Peyton "Best Buy Told Me to Say Nice Things" Manning.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to brown-bag-vol-fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Only fools would think you can get a whole game without a junior and senior class in the SEC."

And yet...Florida's two deep rotation was younger than ours.

Next year will be the same as this year. The first few games will show no progress. Injuries will pile up. Dooleyphiles will blame everything on injuries and not having enough seniors...and we'll start this whole dance again.

Beyond Hunter and Rodgers, Dooley's talent scouting has been rather pathetic. He can't coach up the talent that he actually was able to keep from the prior staffs. He can't coach up the kids he recruits. Heck, he had to learn the hard way that you don't force a left-handed Center snap with his right hand. Hope he doesn't try to make Rodgers catch with his feet.

Yep, "next year will be different."

You should put that on a bumper-sticker with a big orange Power T.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to SIMSVOL:

VOLS have a very good chance of going 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 this year. I'm betting on 8 and 4. No team in the country has to get through a gauntlet of tough games like Tennessee plays this year. All you naysayers will be eating !@#$% in 2013 and 2014 when the VOLS are back on top. GO VOLS!!!

"VOLS have a very good chance of going 8 and 4 or 7 and 5 this year. I'm betting on 8 and 4."

On September 18, 2011, SIMSVOL posted the following on an article titled: "Mark Wiedmer: Bray, Vols not quite there yet."

"It's the unrealistic, ignorant 'fans' who predicted a major win in the Swamp and who predicted an 8 or 9 game win season."

How does that !@#$% taste?

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to volpreacher:

I agree, I think 8-4, but no worse than 7-5. Someone said something about Vandy playing Ga close. They always do. I believe it is a let down game for Ga after playing UT the week before. Next, these naysayers won't be eating anything in 2013 & 14. They will be saying, "we knew Dooley could get it done, we need to extend his contract." Don't you know that most of the guys on here are fair weathered fans?

"Someone said something about Vandy playing Ga close. They always do."

Preacher, you're killing me. For someone who thinks he knows a lot about football, your knowledge seems to be driven more by assumptions that make you feel good than actual facts. So Vanderbilt ALWAYS plays UGA close?

2000: Vandy loses to UGA by 10
2001: Vandy loses to UGA by 16
2002: Vandy loses to UGA by 31
2003: Vandy loses to UGA by 19
2004: Vandy loses to UGA by 30
2005: Vandy loses to UGA by 17
2006: Vandy WINS by 2
2007: Vandy loses to UGA by 3
2008: Vandy loses to UGA by 10
2009: Vandy loses to UGA by 24
2010: Vandy loses to UGA by 43

The ONLY time Vandy played UGA close was during a three year stint from 2005-2007.

Take a closer look at the score from 2010. I feel like I need to remind you that that was LAST year. 40 - ZERO. James Franklin comes in and almost beats a more talented UGA squad one year after the team he took over got plastered 43-0. A team that has to recruit Ivy League caliber players. If you try to tell me that James Franklin isn't facing the challenges that Dooley is...I might have to punch my computer.

Yeah...Vandy's close win over UGA was just a fluke. No worries for UT. None at all. We're just about to turn the corner.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to volpreacher:

As I stated on another post. I've talked with Johnny Majors personally, he is fully behind Dooley saying he is doing the right things to get this team back to where it was. Peyton Manning said the same thing Saturday. I think those two know what they are talking about. I do see improvement. When you look at a glass as half empty, you don't see improvement. Hey, they went toe to toe with the number one team in America Saturday for the first half. Team depth dictatated the second half collapse, not the competitive nature.

Ask Coach Majors if he thought Fulmer was the right guy to get UT to a championship when he learned he had been fired after heart surgery.

I wonder if he correctly predicted UT's success then.

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