Justin Worley to start against Middle Tennessee State

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley throws the ball as he is grabbed by South Carolina's Antonio Allen at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. South Carolina won the game 14-3. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley throws the ball as he is grabbed by South Carolina's Antonio Allen at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. South Carolina won the game 14-3. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Derek Dooley on Justin Worley's performance

Derek Dooley isn't second-guessing the decision in hindsight.

The Tennessee coach also isn't changing his mind moving forward.

Despite an underwhelming debut for Justin Worley in his first start at quarterback, Dooley isn't wasting any time worrying about what might have been different with somebody else taking the snaps. And he's also not looking for a mulligan, officially giving the true freshman another shot to lead UT's stagnant offense at it prepares to take on Middle Tennessee State at Neyland Stadium on Saturday (TV: FSTN, 7 p.m.).

"I don't know what the result would have been (against South Carolina) if I didn't start him," Dooley said during his Monday news conference. "If I knew the result was we would have won the game, then, yeah, it was a terrible decision. If the result was going to be the same, I don't know. If we would have got blown out, then it was a good call.

"I don't know what the answer is, but I can't look back now. I guess only time will answer that question."

Worley is going to get more of it against the Blue Raiders (2-5, 1-3 Sun Belt), even after getting pulled in the fourth quarter of the loss to the Gamecocks having completed just 10 of 26 passes for 105 yards with a pair of costly interceptions.

The Vols (3-5, 0-5 SEC) had other issues offensively as their streak without a touchdown reached 10 quarters, and Dooley stressed they weren't all related to the quarterback — either Worley or backup Matt Simms. And one disappointing performance from the reigning Gatorade National Player of the Year hasn't changed any of the thinking that prompted the switch to Worley in the first place.

"Justin, obviously, didn't play great," Dooley said. "Made some good throws, did some things we felt good about and then made some really bad decisions and some throws that he could have thrown better. Hopefully we'll see some

improvement in his play. I think we will.

"I think there was a lot of nerves out there that affected him, especially early on. I don't think anybody really played well around him, and that was the disappointing part. So everybody has to do their part and play better around him and I think we'll be fine."

That starts with more productivity from the running game, which struggled with Marlin Lane nursing an injury and unable to provide a secondary option behind Tauren Poole in the backfield.

It includes better blocking from the offensive line, a unit that only allowed one sack but had issues allowing too much penetration by the Gamecocks, particularly in the red zone.

And Worley also needed a bit more help from his receivers, especially after Da'Rick Rogers let a possible touchdown go right through his hands — a potential game-changing play that might have given his first start a completely different look.

"I felt confident in him," right tackle Ja'Wuan James said. "He looked confident, he went out there and he tried to lead us. I feel like for his first game, he did a pretty good job.

"He wasn't really down on himself. We as an offense tried not to let him get down on himself and keep encouraging him to go out there and play. ... The coaches always stress to just worry about the next play. We can't go back and change anything."

With no guarantee about a change in the outcome had he gone another way at quarterback, Dooley had no interest in dabbling in revisionist history.

And as he turns the page from a dreadful October to November, he hasn't changed his mind, either.

"We've got to do a better job of trying to keep it simple for him," Dooley said. "We might have put too much on him as coaches, and that's always the first thing we do is, 'Where did we screw up?' We probably put too much on him when I look back on it, just because he gives you that confidence.

"He handles it well in practice, but you just forget what it's like when you step out there for the first time."

Either way, the Vols are set to send Worley back out there for the second time now.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 256

volnsc51 writes:

Good call coach. This is a game to gain some confidence. Simms will be there if we need him, but Worley needs the reps.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

I am to the point that I don't care who starts. Many VOL Fans will be watching the LSU/BAMA game. MTSU could be our last win this season.

KenRan (Inactive) writes:

I'm glad that Dooley is starting Worley again. MTSU should serve as a much needed confidence builder for him. I'm sure that the nerve factor played alot in his performance against SC and this game should get him some much needed game experience as he moves foward. Wish you the best Justin.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

I am to the point that I don't care who starts. Many VOL Fans will be watching the LSU/BAMA game. MTSU could be our last win this season.

something really missing in team confidence. I would not look past MTSU

NashvillePreds writes:

I can't believe I'm saying this, but if MTSU puts up some TDs in the first half, it could spell disaster for us.
My concern is growing, in regards to our coaching/teaching/"process".

VOLliven2it writes:

I can say only one thing, we need to go out and smack around an inferior opponent. If we don't and barely win, then likely this is our last win of the season. I still have mixed feelings but we are where we are and Coach Dooley is the head man. I really want to know when our offensive line will wake up and be the uglies some of us barely do but still believe they can be. GO WORLEY, GO VOLS!

MemphisHog writes:

Vols need to start Worley, groom him through experience to either compete next year with Bray to be starter or at least be a back-up in whom you can have confidence. Time for Simms to receive a lovely parting gift - a degree, perhaps? - and go into post-college partnership with big brother Chris. Worley will get the same confidence against MTSU that Bray got last year in his first start against Memphis. Those cupcakes are on the schedule for a reason boys.

Ironcity writes:

Once committed we needed to stay committed. Its an understatement to say the players around him did not play well. I hope we see bray back in time for Vandy because without him I don't see us winning that game

Ayres_Hall writes:

I'm ready for some cupcake.

RomanRoomRedux (Inactive) writes:

Great. Now we'll have to listen to both Vandy and Middle Tennis Shoe bashing us all year. With the way Dooley's thrown the players under the bus, plus 45,000 in Neyland ( the rest home watching two real coaches) it's likely a highly motivated MTSU jumps on our guys early and Dooley does one of his patented meltdowns.

This will be the highlight of MTSU players life and if anybody can fork it up, it's Dooley.

volholic#282380 writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

I am to the point that I don't care who starts. Many VOL Fans will be watching the LSU/BAMA game. MTSU could be our last win this season.

Sorry, I can't bring myself to miss the Vols to stay home and watch Alabama. I will not honor Alabama with my time in that way. It's just not in me. If I don't go to Neyland, I may go to the movie. But I won't stay home to watch the Tide.

Rockytop38 writes:

I hope that our problems are talent wise and not coaching. We are young as most of the TV analyst seem to want to bring up. Injuries do play a part but you have to have someone talented enough to step in and be ready to play.example: Brandon Wilds RB for SC last night really stepped up. You have to give SC credit also as their recruiting in the last couple of years has stepped up talent wise. I am not sure what the Vols lack or need but I do know Coaching is a big part of the game. Worley will get better with time. Go Vols!

FearlessFreep writes:

I'm in this for the long haul and am willing to give time for the program to be rebuilt.

But, given the clear cavernous gap between UT and the elite conference programs, it's a fair question to at least start to examine the role of the coaching staff.

Yes, you have to have the horses, but seems like there's some on-the-job training going on with this staff as well.

Next year is critical. If the Vols aren't markedly better, then I doubt it's going to improve much more.

reelvol writes:

No surprise - and maybe this is a great coaching strenght, I guess time will tell - but Dooley is proving to be a very stubborn coach. Once he makes a decision, aka James Stone must snap right handed, James Stone must be our center.... - He is very slow to change his mind.

It seemed obvious that we were not going to win the SC game with Worley. Dooley finally came to that viewpoint - but I wonder why he didn't change earlier. As he says, none of us knows how that might have played out and I'm not really trying to second guess - just noting that he is steadfast in his decisions - possibly to a fault.

orangeman1 writes:

From what I saw, Simms will give UT the best chance to win. Why not get him reps in case Bray isnt back for Vandy and Ky? It just didnt look like Worley was ready. Also, I know its a team sport and its supposed to be what best for the team, but does anyone else think that Dooley owes it to Simms to play him vs weak opponents just to see what he can do?

Artistspot writes:

in response to jandjhome#228397:

I am to the point that I don't care who starts. Many VOL Fans will be watching the LSU/BAMA game. MTSU could be our last win this season.

Im so with you ....... can anyone of these QB's throw a F'n 5 yard pass and make more then ONE read???? I dont think so ......

SneakyPete writes:

Man......Nance Nash (or is it Nash Nance?) anyway, he must be a slawdog. Wonder who made who look good in high school?
Is he even getting PT on the scout team?

RomanRoomRedux (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Volunatic writes:

I like Matt Simms, but I don't think he's ready to lead the Vols to any victories over great opponents.
Justin Worley gives the Vols a great arm, and with some game experience, he gives the Vols a chance to win tough games.
I'm glad the coaches are sticking with him.

Artistspot writes:

in response to Rockytop38:

I hope that our problems are talent wise and not coaching. We are young as most of the TV analyst seem to want to bring up. Injuries do play a part but you have to have someone talented enough to step in and be ready to play.example: Brandon Wilds RB for SC last night really stepped up. You have to give SC credit also as their recruiting in the last couple of years has stepped up talent wise. I am not sure what the Vols lack or need but I do know Coaching is a big part of the game. Worley will get better with time. Go Vols!

Sorry to inform you .... 50% coaching (Offensive Coordinator cant adjust to game time situations) AND single read QB's w/no "pocket instinct".... jus sayn :o

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

Yay!!! Great call coach!

The kid will be alright. And if needed, Simms is better in relief.

MemphisHog writes:

in response to orangeman1:

From what I saw, Simms will give UT the best chance to win. Why not get him reps in case Bray isnt back for Vandy and Ky? It just didnt look like Worley was ready. Also, I know its a team sport and its supposed to be what best for the team, but does anyone else think that Dooley owes it to Simms to play him vs weak opponents just to see what he can do?

Really, really good point. I've never seen circumstances play against one guy so much. Aside from the first couple of non-conference games last year, Simms has started against nobody but heavyweights. Bray is just the opposite; all lightweights with the exception of this year's Georgia game that he didn't finish. Not saying Simms is better; just saying he's had unbelievably bad luck with who he's played against.

VolzsFan writes:

I am just so hapy with the change. I mean trying to get a ticket to a game that had an average TURNSTILE attendance of 106K, all those wins, averaging almost 10 wins per year, all those future NFL players, having to keep up with the rankings and the BCS etc. was just getting old. Thanks Hammy for letting me do other things instead of worry about all that winning and all.

not_on_the_rug_man writes:

Dear Dooley, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease survive MTSU! I will have to move from the boro if that sub par , weak conference team beats my alma matter. I'll never hear the end of it. All I have heard for the 9 years I have lived here is we are too scared to play them and now I'm worried about it? THAT IS REALLY SAD!!! You're loosing me Mr. Dooley...better get this thing back on the right track.

OrangePride writes:

Well, Worley's debut was a flop. BUT...that said, it might easily have been A LOT better had 1) Rogers just caught the TD PASS....not Worley's fault, that ball was on the money and 2)had the 1st and goal been a call other than run the ball up the middle against a 9 man front...NOT the kid's call. For example...how about a roll out option, OR play action into the line with a swing pass to Neal? OR ANYTHING other than the obvious. To my mind that is 14 points Worley could easily have been credited with and they would have TOTALLY changed the game and everyone's perception of the kid's overall performance...so GO WORLEY AND GO VOLS!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to MemphisHog:

Really, really good point. I've never seen circumstances play against one guy so much. Aside from the first couple of non-conference games last year, Simms has started against nobody but heavyweights. Bray is just the opposite; all lightweights with the exception of this year's Georgia game that he didn't finish. Not saying Simms is better; just saying he's had unbelievably bad luck with who he's played against.

and you might add he did not really look good in the GA game. If he's plays in the Vandy game and wins I would give credit for a quality win. These Vandy kids are smelling the blood.

UTKin1992 writes:

Worley, Mr. Furley, Moe Larry & Curly, who cares? Dooley and Chaney will sketch some half-wit game plan 5 minutes before kick off that will doom us to failure. The fill-in QB doesn't matter...

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

Matt Simms should quit.. or turn and hand the ball to the defense. Simms took a beating last year vs the best teams in the SEC, then Bray stepped in during gravy time. Now Simms takes a beating vs Bama and LSU and Dooley sits him again. I bet Lamison is loving UTEP and all his sucess there over staying at UT and dealing with inferior coaches. Mike Price is much better than Dooley, so Lamison made a great decision. That Kid can play. So much talent has walked away from this coaching staff. But who can blame them.

WelovePat writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

something really missing in team confidence. I would not look past MTSU

Those of us that are true "vols fans" will be watching VOLS play!! All other fans watch what you want...

drone#208075 writes:

Play calling for where we are is very questionable.

UTVOL2001 writes:

in response to Rockytop38:

I hope that our problems are talent wise and not coaching. We are young as most of the TV analyst seem to want to bring up. Injuries do play a part but you have to have someone talented enough to step in and be ready to play.example: Brandon Wilds RB for SC last night really stepped up. You have to give SC credit also as their recruiting in the last couple of years has stepped up talent wise. I am not sure what the Vols lack or need but I do know Coaching is a big part of the game. Worley will get better with time. Go Vols!

The problem is not that we a freshman on the field, it is the shear number of them that creates the problem. In a game of inches and a few plays that can determine the game, the more kids that played HS ball last year, the more it hurts. IT HURTS! Good thing is, they are only freshman for a season! GO VOLS!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Matt Simms should quit.. or turn and hand the ball to the defense. Simms took a beating last year vs the best teams in the SEC, then Bray stepped in during gravy time. Now Simms takes a beating vs Bama and LSU and Dooley sits him again. I bet Lamison is loving UTEP and all his sucess there over staying at UT and dealing with inferior coaches. Mike Price is much better than Dooley, so Lamison made a great decision. That Kid can play. So much talent has walked away from this coaching staff. But who can blame them.

it's strange call as this coach gets 2 more years even if he does not win another game. I think Worley was inserted by a very emotional panic stricken Dooley, This Middle game will show if there is an ounce of metal in this recovery.

KenRan (Inactive) writes:

in response to RomanRoomRedux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I addmitt, I don't bleed orange. I don't hate UT either. I have no favorite team...I just love college sports.
I've only been on this message board a little over a week but I've already learned that you are one who's messages I will no longer read. When I see your name before a message I will skip the comment and move foward. To call people "fool's" is downright ignorance on your part. This is college football we're talking about here, not world war III.
If you don't like Dooley, then that's your business. I, along with many others here happen to like him. Get used to him, he's not going anywhere after this season. He deserves a chance and 2 years is not enough time.
You will not here from me again!

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Matt Simms should quit.. or turn and hand the ball to the defense. Simms took a beating last year vs the best teams in the SEC, then Bray stepped in during gravy time. Now Simms takes a beating vs Bama and LSU and Dooley sits him again. I bet Lamison is loving UTEP and all his sucess there over staying at UT and dealing with inferior coaches. Mike Price is much better than Dooley, so Lamison made a great decision. That Kid can play. So much talent has walked away from this coaching staff. But who can blame them.

Pick Nick...?

Nice try but me don't think so...

agentorange writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Matt Simms should quit.. or turn and hand the ball to the defense. Simms took a beating last year vs the best teams in the SEC, then Bray stepped in during gravy time. Now Simms takes a beating vs Bama and LSU and Dooley sits him again. I bet Lamison is loving UTEP and all his sucess there over staying at UT and dealing with inferior coaches. Mike Price is much better than Dooley, so Lamison made a great decision. That Kid can play. So much talent has walked away from this coaching staff. But who can blame them.

how much glue did you huff at lunch?

UTKin1992 writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

I am just so hapy with the change. I mean trying to get a ticket to a game that had an average TURNSTILE attendance of 106K, all those wins, averaging almost 10 wins per year, all those future NFL players, having to keep up with the rankings and the BCS etc. was just getting old. Thanks Hammy for letting me do other things instead of worry about all that winning and all.

No kidding!

Then he slithered into the sunset with a pile of cash and fell in the awaiting arms of a non-profit. I give him six months before he fires experienced volunteers (no pun intended) and replaces them with a paid, incompetent staff which he never monitors.

agentorange writes:

one problem, gentlemen, is that we cannot do anything well on offense since the two best players on it were injured. Dooley is trying to win...not favor Bray over Simms or any of this other nonsensical drivel that gets spewed on this message board. The Vols have never had such a gross lack of depth. It's like trying to play blackjack with one card. You aren't going to win much unless the dealer is a moron.

LibertyVolance writes:

in response to orangeman1:

From what I saw, Simms will give UT the best chance to win. Why not get him reps in case Bray isnt back for Vandy and Ky? It just didnt look like Worley was ready. Also, I know its a team sport and its supposed to be what best for the team, but does anyone else think that Dooley owes it to Simms to play him vs weak opponents just to see what he can do?

I would go with Simms if he is the most adept at checking into run plays when needed, but I'm not coaching. I'm just hoping for something positive in the final 4 weeks. From what I saw from Worley, he wasn't ready for primetime.

flatrock writes:

Playing Worley is about next year- not this year. He has a huge upside and he will not get there sitting on the bench just watching a woeful offense continue to struggle. He had 2-3 bad throws-about on par with what Bray and Simms usually offer. But he made some big-time tosses, too. I like his poise, footwork, release and arm. He will push Bray to get better and give the Vols 2 talented and experienced QBs in the future...Now, if we can get the O-line to grow up and develop some push, the Vols will be markedly improved next fall...By the way, go check Peyton's first start (vs. Washington State)...It was not pretty, but he got better faster as a result of the early playing time...Go Vols!

SummittsCourt writes:

All you fair weather fans down on Dooley need to get a clue or at least try to support your team instead of constantly bashing everything and being negative.

We are all disappointed the season hasn't gone better but what did we really expect? I shared some hope that this season would have gone better but I am also realistic to understand why it hasn't.

We lost too many players before the season even started to overcome our depth issues and then when we loose quality players to injury it just makes matters worse. And when our freshman and sophmores make mistakes we just don't have a team capable of overcoming them YET!

We will get there! Be patient and be supportive. I know you are mad, frustrated, and even a little embarrassed but things could be much worse and Dooley has gotten rid of malcontents and the criminals and is bringing in the high character guys who will play hard and fight each down.

One thing we can all say is that this team hasn't quit even though teams in the past, yes, even more talented teams quit. We are not Colorado, Duke, Ole Miss or Kansas but to see what some of you think you would think we are.

6-6 and a bowl game is not as bad as some of you make it out to be when you consider what this team is up agains. For the second year in a row the team has had to rely on 16 freshman starters - unheard of on any level. The few seniors and juniors we have on the team are inexperienced and provide little or no leadership - Dooley is trying to change that but it takes effort on their part.

I thought we could do 8-4 or 9-3 if things had gone our way this year, but they haven't - injuries are hurting us, inexperience are hurting us and poor execution is hurting us too, and I'll throw in some questionable play calling as well. But we have to remember that our entire coaching staff has been together for less than 2 years.

Cut this team some slack for a change.

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

I am just so hapy with the change. I mean trying to get a ticket to a game that had an average TURNSTILE attendance of 106K, all those wins, averaging almost 10 wins per year, all those future NFL players, having to keep up with the rankings and the BCS etc. was just getting old. Thanks Hammy for letting me do other things instead of worry about all that winning and all.

Right,wrong, or indifferent:
1.Fulmer is gone.
2.Fulmer is not coming back.
3.Deal with it.

MemphisHog writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

All you fair weather fans down on Dooley need to get a clue or at least try to support your team instead of constantly bashing everything and being negative.

We are all disappointed the season hasn't gone better but what did we really expect? I shared some hope that this season would have gone better but I am also realistic to understand why it hasn't.

We lost too many players before the season even started to overcome our depth issues and then when we loose quality players to injury it just makes matters worse. And when our freshman and sophmores make mistakes we just don't have a team capable of overcoming them YET!

We will get there! Be patient and be supportive. I know you are mad, frustrated, and even a little embarrassed but things could be much worse and Dooley has gotten rid of malcontents and the criminals and is bringing in the high character guys who will play hard and fight each down.

One thing we can all say is that this team hasn't quit even though teams in the past, yes, even more talented teams quit. We are not Colorado, Duke, Ole Miss or Kansas but to see what some of you think you would think we are.

6-6 and a bowl game is not as bad as some of you make it out to be when you consider what this team is up agains. For the second year in a row the team has had to rely on 16 freshman starters - unheard of on any level. The few seniors and juniors we have on the team are inexperienced and provide little or no leadership - Dooley is trying to change that but it takes effort on their part.

I thought we could do 8-4 or 9-3 if things had gone our way this year, but they haven't - injuries are hurting us, inexperience are hurting us and poor execution is hurting us too, and I'll throw in some questionable play calling as well. But we have to remember that our entire coaching staff has been together for less than 2 years.

Cut this team some slack for a change.

Let's see....16 freshman starters last year and 16 freshman starters this year. I guess 10 of those freshman starters from last year graduated! Does UT-Knox still have a math department?

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to flatrock:

Playing Worley is about next year- not this year. He has a huge upside and he will not get there sitting on the bench just watching a woeful offense continue to struggle. He had 2-3 bad throws-about on par with what Bray and Simms usually offer. But he made some big-time tosses, too. I like his poise, footwork, release and arm. He will push Bray to get better and give the Vols 2 talented and experienced QBs in the future...Now, if we can get the O-line to grow up and develop some push, the Vols will be markedly improved next fall...By the way, go check Peyton's first start (vs. Washington State)...It was not pretty, but he got better faster as a result of the early playing time...Go Vols!

Actually his first start was 1994 UCLA and he looked great LOL....He just was allowed to hand it off a few times and he came out.

graphpro#231211 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

From what I saw, Simms will give UT the best chance to win. Why not get him reps in case Bray isnt back for Vandy and Ky? It just didnt look like Worley was ready. Also, I know its a team sport and its supposed to be what best for the team, but does anyone else think that Dooley owes it to Simms to play him vs weak opponents just to see what he can do?

He has... the UAB game that almost was a loss.

Simms continually can't see open receivers and throws into coverage. He's simply not a Div. 1 QB. Nice kid but not a good QB.

This isn't AYSO soccer where you get playing time for showing up. You earn playing time by performing well in games and in practice and if that doesn't occur. The coach has to look elsewhere.

Obviously the coaches see more upside in practice with Worley.

Anyone else hear that UT only had 2 running plays in the USC game? The OC really needs to be accountable for that!

volsn3 writes:

in response to volnsc51:

Good call coach. This is a game to gain some confidence. Simms will be there if we need him, but Worley needs the reps.

I agee 100 %

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to graphpro#231211:

He has... the UAB game that almost was a loss.

Simms continually can't see open receivers and throws into coverage. He's simply not a Div. 1 QB. Nice kid but not a good QB.

This isn't AYSO soccer where you get playing time for showing up. You earn playing time by performing well in games and in practice and if that doesn't occur. The coach has to look elsewhere.

Obviously the coaches see more upside in practice with Worley.

Anyone else hear that UT only had 2 running plays in the USC game? The OC really needs to be accountable for that!

I think the OC is gone. It would buy Dooley some more recovery time and he could actually get it done. If he keeps him then Dooley still gets 2 more years.

doh writes:

in response to Rockytop38:

I hope that our problems are talent wise and not coaching. We are young as most of the TV analyst seem to want to bring up. Injuries do play a part but you have to have someone talented enough to step in and be ready to play.example: Brandon Wilds RB for SC last night really stepped up. You have to give SC credit also as their recruiting in the last couple of years has stepped up talent wise. I am not sure what the Vols lack or need but I do know Coaching is a big part of the game. Worley will get better with time. Go Vols!

Dooley has had two recruiting classes. He was left with simms. UT is extremely young with no studs in their jr and sr classes. But there isnt an excuse for letting wilds run all over them.

RomanRoomRedux (Inactive) writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

All you fair weather fans down on Dooley need to get a clue or at least try to support your team instead of constantly bashing everything and being negative.

We are all disappointed the season hasn't gone better but what did we really expect? I shared some hope that this season would have gone better but I am also realistic to understand why it hasn't.

We lost too many players before the season even started to overcome our depth issues and then when we loose quality players to injury it just makes matters worse. And when our freshman and sophmores make mistakes we just don't have a team capable of overcoming them YET!

We will get there! Be patient and be supportive. I know you are mad, frustrated, and even a little embarrassed but things could be much worse and Dooley has gotten rid of malcontents and the criminals and is bringing in the high character guys who will play hard and fight each down.

One thing we can all say is that this team hasn't quit even though teams in the past, yes, even more talented teams quit. We are not Colorado, Duke, Ole Miss or Kansas but to see what some of you think you would think we are.

6-6 and a bowl game is not as bad as some of you make it out to be when you consider what this team is up agains. For the second year in a row the team has had to rely on 16 freshman starters - unheard of on any level. The few seniors and juniors we have on the team are inexperienced and provide little or no leadership - Dooley is trying to change that but it takes effort on their part.

I thought we could do 8-4 or 9-3 if things had gone our way this year, but they haven't - injuries are hurting us, inexperience are hurting us and poor execution is hurting us too, and I'll throw in some questionable play calling as well. But we have to remember that our entire coaching staff has been together for less than 2 years.

Cut this team some slack for a change.

I wiil do everything possible to encourage true Tennessee fans to get rid of Dooley, the biggest loser in Tennessee history. I'll also try and expose you Bama, Gator, and Dawg trolls who keep calling for patience just because you want us to keep Dooley so you can have an automatic win every year.

Don't listen to these Bama and Gator trolls. Get rid of Dooley now.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I cant recall a year with so many injuries. Could this reflect any lack of physical conditioning or just terrible luck?

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

something really missing in team confidence. I would not look past MTSU

MTSU is one of the worst FBS teams. Granted we can't overlook anyone, but this should not be a close game.

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