Derek Dooley says Vols are confident

Difference this year is believing it

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, left, and emcee Bob Kesling talk during Wednesday night's 2012 UT Football Welcome Back BBQ at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Brendan Quinn, News Sentinel

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, left, and emcee Bob Kesling talk during Wednesday night's 2012 UT Football Welcome Back BBQ at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Dooley at the annual Welcome Back BBQ

Know your Vols: The D-line choir

A year ago today, things weren't so comfortable.

That didn't mean Tennessee coach Derek Dooley wasn't saying all the right things.

"We wouldn't have all we have without you and I remind my players of that every day," he said the at the 2011 UT Football Welcome Back BBQ at Thompson-Boling Arena. "It's our job to earn it and we look forward to doing that."

The next day Dooley booted Janzen Jackson, an All-SEC Second Team selection at safety in 2010, out of the program. The Vols had five returning starters and 17 question marks, most of which were freshmen and sophomores.

This time around, Dooley has 10 returning starters on offense and seven on defense. Whereas the past saw confidence and positivity preached on uneasy footing, there's now a foundation when optimism is extolled.

At Wednesday night's 2012 UT Football Welcome Back BBQ, an annual event sponsored by Knox County Chapter of the UT Alumni Association, Dooley again stood before a sea of smiling orange faces.

"More than anything, I think our team is in a real confident state and I don't think it's false," he said. "They know what lies ahead and feel good about the commitment and work level they've put in over the last eight months. I think they're just anxious to go out and prove that we're going to be a real fun team to watch."

Following a 14-minute question and answer with emcee Bob Kesling, Dooley left the stage to a round of applause.

Moments later, outside Thompson-Boling Arena, he was asked the difference between hyping up

the UT faithful in 2011 versus 2012.

"It's a genuine confidence that we haven't had in the last couple of years," Dooley said. "The confidence stems from a lot of experience and the investment they've put in."

But confidence was preached last season as well. Just as it was in 2010. Those two years produced 11 victories and 14 losses.

The distinction in 2012, Dooley said, is the shift from believing it as opposed to simply saying it.

"If you've never been in the wars, then you don't really know what's coming ahead," he said. "Otherwise, it's just youthful exuberance."

Back inside, UT alumni began pouring out toward their cars. The ceremonies included a question and answer session with senior linebacker Herman Lathers and junior wide receiver Justin Hunter and speeches from UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and an alumni association representative.

The real fun was had before the formalities, though. UT players posed with grandmothers and grandchildren. They autographed helmets, footballs, posters, shirts and anything else a Sharpie marker could sign. Vols chatted casually with diehards soaking up every word.

"The unconditional support the fans give you is unbelievable," Dooley said. "Whether you're 5-7, 8-5 or 12-0, it doesn't matter. It's really incredible."

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 69

TheVolSnake writes:

I for one support you and the team, we are going to have a great year and surprise a lot of people.

Dooley is the Man, Go Vol's

Orangeblood13 writes:

Just go out and Bleed Orange, you men will do fine
Go Vols

FWBVol writes:

Today, I will give my all for Tennessee. If they can do that for 60 minutes a game, 12 games in the regular season, I think we fans will be happy with the end product come the end of November.

I'm not going to say we will win 10 or 12 games, but if the running game is productive and the defense does what I think it will under coach Sal there's a chance for this to be a special season that put teh Vols back into the conversation of all things SEC football.

Rumblefish writes:

Alright....we have the tools on offense. 100+ sportswriters and 100,000+ fans can't be wrong on that accord.

But, with a suspect (and thin) new defense, and the past 2 losing seasons....where in the world is all this "confidence" coming from that the players and coaches have been telling the media about lately???

Yeah Yeah...I understand you can't go into the season not being confident that you can win any game on the schedule. But, let's be a little realistic here.

Rumblefish writes:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

orange_eVOLution writes:

Just focus each game and PLEASE give those Gators a beat-down in the big K-Town. We'll take it from there.

LOVE MY VOLS !!!

keepitreal4vols writes:

"The unconditional support the fans give you is unbelievable," Dooley said. "Whether you're 5-7, 8-5 or 12-0, it doesn't matter. It's really incredible."

Ughhhh, yes it does matter. 5-7 is not acceptable.

Pullingguard writes:

Make all the die-hard Vol fans proud of this 2012 team..Give it your all..Staff and Players.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

"The unconditional support the fans give you is unbelievable," Dooley said. "Whether you're 5-7, 8-5 or 12-0, it doesn't matter. It's really incredible."

Ughhhh, yes it does matter. 5-7 is not acceptable.

I'll still support them, just as I did while a student 1958 through 1963 (the 6 years included law school). These were some really tough years.

lstbodeanvol writes:

Senior leadership......I believe in this team play hard stay healthy!!!!!! GO VOLS

Rumblefish writes:

in response to lstbodeanvol:

Senior leadership......I believe in this team play hard stay healthy!!!!!! GO VOLS

ummm....don't you mean "junior" leadership?

Oenoboy writes:

5-7 or 9-3...as long as the boys play with heart 60 minutes straight for 12 games, I'm all in,

GO VOLS!!!

OrangePsyched writes:

They said that CDD was confident the past 2 years also..I don't remember that. CDD was usually somewhat negative in my opinion. I see a real difference in his demeamor this year. I believe that he really believes this is the fruition of his rebuilding program that started at ground zero here. Let's talk the talk AND walk the walk.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

ummm....don't you mean "junior" leadership?

Well, the juniors certainly outnumber the seniors, and a few of them are stepping up, but I still see Herman Lathers as one. He's a natural leader who's been playing that role for a while.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

Correction CDD. That support isn't unconditional. Lose to Ky again or Vandy and you will see merciless support for your head. Win at UT and you will experience the wiind at your back and a euphoric high unmatched in college football. So, you've had your shot. Don't blow it!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

They said that CDD was confident the past 2 years also..I don't remember that. CDD was usually somewhat negative in my opinion. I see a real difference in his demeamor this year. I believe that he really believes this is the fruition of his rebuilding program that started at ground zero here. Let's talk the talk AND walk the walk.

I agree. I remember Dooley saying stuff like, "We aren't where we need to be," and "We're not a very good football team." He was brutally honest about it, and I think he's being that way now. It's what makes me think he really is feeling confident about the team this year. I'm all in too.

Simply_Orange51 writes:

The football team will be better. How much better? Well, that remains to be seen. It all happens on the field - I am cautiously optimistic about the year if no key players are lost like last year.

Snapshot writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

"The unconditional support the fans give you is unbelievable," Dooley said. "Whether you're 5-7, 8-5 or 12-0, it doesn't matter. It's really incredible."

Ughhhh, yes it does matter. 5-7 is not acceptable.

Ughhhh, I don't think you quite grasp what he was saying. He said the unconditional support the fans give is unbelievable, meaning regardless of the record. I didn't take it as meaning a 5-7 record is acceptable. Anyway that was my take on it.

DannyVol writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

If we stay healthy at LB, this is a top-tier
3-4 defense. We now have enough size up front to allow our linebackers to be aggressive. And these are not your run-of-the-mill linebackers either; these are elite LB's with great size and speed. As far as CB, I don't really see a problem there...

BruisedOrange writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

As for the potential in ANY year to have an incredible--or disastrous--season, think back no further than 2005. Preseason ranked third... finished 5 - 7.

But that's what makes football so fun to watch (and so stupid to gamble on). Every game is like watching a movie where the plot is being written and acted on the spot. At any moment a turnover or great individual play can reverse the plot toward an ending no producer would consider.

But this UT team is still a year away from having true SEC-quality depth. We aren't yet capable of absorbing the predictable number of injuries, dismissals, and academic failures should they occur in an UNpredictable pattern--like at tight end (or, hopefully not again, at middle linebacker).

It's true that, with enough bad breaks, we could end up with the same record this season. But I can't imagine these boys will ever look as hopeless or lost as last year's team did on occasion. IMHO we're more than one year better and stronger.

arkyvol writes:

o.k., so he'll do better than last year. considering his record, that's an achievement of sorts. winning record? maybe (the second one in his career). in conference? (are you out of your mind?) look at the recruiting standings. the vols are light years behind those teams people take seriously. there are some coaches who seem to make contenders out of mediocre talent (petrino for one), then there are those coaches...

usafvol writes:

in response to OrangePsyched:

They said that CDD was confident the past 2 years also..I don't remember that. CDD was usually somewhat negative in my opinion. I see a real difference in his demeamor this year. I believe that he really believes this is the fruition of his rebuilding program that started at ground zero here. Let's talk the talk AND walk the walk.

Totally agree with you. I see a big difference in CDD's demeaner this year as opposed to the last 2..

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Go Dooley. Go Bray and Worley. Go Lathers and co.. Go Sunseri. GO DEFENSE! Go cheerleaders. Go band. go fans. Go Vols. GBO. Go everbody.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

Hey Mumblefish....why don't you pick an "opinion" and stick with it? Are you a Vol or a troll? Inquiring minds want to know.

Either support the Vols 100% or go root for Vandy.

gc_scvol writes:

True vol fans. We have reason to be excited. We now have experience, talent and a good coaching staff. I am PROUD to be a VOLUNTEER. We have a great year ahead of us. Back our VOLS and ignore the naysayers who fear and envy us. They know we are back. ORANGE PRIDE...GBO..VFL

Pompey writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

....you seem to ramble without a point....are there question marks about this team? Yes.
I clearly remember that there where also question marks about the 1998 team as well....!

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

Way to take a stand Mumblefish....are you always so decisive?

"This season has every option to be an incredible one"

"it also has the potential to be just like the last 2"

Let me suggest you abstain from posting until you figure out exactly where you stand on the Vols. Flip a coin, try rock-paper-scissors, call the Psychic Hotline, ask your mommy....anything!

SCVFL writes:

in response to Simply_Orange51:

The football team will be better. How much better? Well, that remains to be seen. It all happens on the field - I am cautiously optimistic about the year if no key players are lost like last year.

S_O51
Exactly the term I have been using "cautiously optimistic". I read a lot of hype about the VOLS and so much want to believe it, but can't get past few years out of my head. I hope next Friday, the VOLS knock NCST on their @$$ and knock the cbwebs out of my head.
I do truly believe that CDD is taking the program in the right direction, but I am still not confident that they are completely back yet.
VOLS 35 NCST 24
Love me some VOL football
GO BIG RNG...VFL

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

This team needs to start off with a win, if they can do that, I predict a good season. If they drop the first game, it may be another long season. I will wear my Tennessee Orange proudly on every gameday and cheer on the Vols, hopefully to many victorys. Let's light this candle and start off with a victory in Atlanta!!

GO VOLS!!

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Get it done Sept.15 and then we can talk. Go Vols!

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

Here is an article on NC State:
http://www.wralsportsfan.com/ncsu/sto...

Bark_at_the_Moon writes:

The question I have is will either team be able to slow down the other team's offense. NC State's QB is really good folks! We all know Bray - Rogers, Hunter Patterson will give NC State fits.

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Go Dooley. Go Bray and Worley. Go Lathers and co.. Go Sunseri. GO DEFENSE! Go cheerleaders. Go band. go fans. Go Vols. GBO. Go everbody.

We are the 12th man.... We better get our game face on.... raise hell in the stands and never quit... we're gonna have to be balls to the walls when the gators come to town

GO VOLS!!!

arkyvol writes:

yawn. wake me when orange pants gets his second winning season.

min32926#266113 writes:

I'm excited and ready for Tennessee football. GBO!

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to arkyvol:

yawn. wake me when orange pants gets his second winning season.

Wake us up when you post something other than horse****. Troll.

Jakevol writes:

OK,, it's time to stop talking and start playing,, I only hope all the hard work will pay off. I'm looking for some major upsets. No one is even talking about the Vols with regards to "major teams" to look out for this year. That may be a "good thing". Beat the Wolfpack, which will produce wind for your sails. Go Vols, Go Big Orange! Look out,, Orange will return!

VolGrad writes:

in response to arkyvol:

yawn. wake me when orange pants gets his second winning season.

Nah, I think we'll just let you keep sleeping.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

Alright....we have the tools on offense. 100+ sportswriters and 100,000+ fans can't be wrong on that accord.

But, with a suspect (and thin) new defense, and the past 2 losing seasons....where in the world is all this "confidence" coming from that the players and coaches have been telling the media about lately???

Yeah Yeah...I understand you can't go into the season not being confident that you can win any game on the schedule. But, let's be a little realistic here.

Go back and reread the 4th and 5th paragraphs of this story. If you still don't understand the difference between the quality of the mood of 2011 as opposed to 2012, I just can't help you. It doesn't get any plainer than that, no matter how trolls and negaVols try to spin it.

Given the various frustrations of the last several years, it is natural that even fervent Vol fans are apprehensive. No matter how much the measurables have improved, there is ample reason to this point to wonder about the intangibles. At any given level, the difference in talent between any two teams is very small; therefore, the difference in won-lost records often comes down to factors not always so easily measurable, such as leadership and morale.

In the last two years, the balance in talent, numbers, and experience between the Vols and their opponents was heavily in favor of the latter, so much so that the intangibles didn't have as much opportunity to come into play. This year the intangibles will FINALLY be more important than those other things. THAT is why we will know if Dooley has what it takes THIS year while we COULD NOT know that, one way or the other, based on the previous two.

People have made some awfully definite statements on here about these aspects of the UT program, given the fact that almost none of them is in a position to know for sure what they are talking about. We will have all the answers we are ever likely to get about all aspects of the team by the end of the first month of the season. The final record won't be in, but the general trajectory of the season will likely be set. I guess it is up to each of us whether we choose to pass that time in hope or fear.

luvmatersoup writes:

As I’ve been saying for several months (wish the season started this evening so I wouldn’t have to keep repeating it) I really feel our boys will throw the ole’ Rocky Shock on some folks this year. I think it’s important to keep expectations reasonable but between the 4 big SEC games this year, I have a weird feeling that we’ll sneak out an upset. While I’m not absolutely sold on Coach D yet, I do like and can appreciate the direction he has the team going in. I believe coach Dooley is instilling in his players more than just X’s and O’s/proper technique etc……I think he’s getting them to buy into the idea that playing football for Tennessee is more than just about putting on pads and a uniform, it’s representing VOL NATION. For the first time in quite a while I can say I am happy to see the direction the program is heading and more importantly, believe we are making progress in the right direction!!!!! Go Vols and bring on NC State!!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Rumblefish:

And now before all the "get lost troll" and "negative nancy" comments come....

Let me just say....I hope we light it up in the air. That will put the D on their nickle/dime and FORCE an open running game. Dare I say it....a la Steve Spurrier at Florida.

This season has every option to be an incredible one and open some eyes across the country. However, it also has the potential to be just like the last 2.--granted, the potential to be like the last 2 years is a lot less given the added depth and returning starters. But it's still there with a new D and thin spots at crucial positions (TE, LB, CB)

Good post. I specifically remember one year when UT went to a nickel package as the base defense to slow the Gators' passing game. Spurrier had his team run the ball every time they saw that defense, keeping the ball, grinding out first downs, and piling up more rushing yards than passing yards.

If I have a major lingering question about the Vols this year, it is whether or not the staff can discover and exploit edges like that and counter similar weaknesses their opponents might try to exploit. Though I support the team and this staff, that is one area in which I would like to see a bit more success. That strategic aspect hasn't pleased me at all to this point, though again, the numbers and experience on the squad might have something to do with that.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

I'll still support them, just as I did while a student 1958 through 1963 (the 6 years included law school). These were some really tough years.

I was an usher in Neyland Stadium in those days. It was indeed a grim time to be a Vol fan. The stadium, maybe half the size it is now, was only about two-thirds full except for the biggest games, which they almost invariably lost. The fans who were there were as fervent as ever, but there weren't as many of them all the time. The dip was both longer and deeper than the one the Vols are climbing out of now. With the hiring of Dickey the following year, the trend began to turn upward. This team's visible climb starts now.

VolGrad writes:

ArkyVol:"i've got season tickets to razorback games (my wife is native arky and the reason i'm way out here), but i refused to go to the tennessee game last year. i had painful memories of the last time the vols played in fayetteville and didn't want to undergo a round of remarks about my orange gear again."

With "supporters" like that, we don't need any trolls.

None of us like it when we lose, whether it is to an obviously better team or a lesser one. But a "fan" doesn't waiver in his support. To an ArkyFan trying to give me a hard time after that game: "Good job, guys. Keep doing that for 9 more years and you'll have a .500 record against us. And, btw, remember 1998? Enjoy this while you can. My Vols will be rolling back in here one day soon to kick your butts, and I wonder how many of you I'll be seeing on that day."

C'mon man. Be a "FANatic" for your team.

Go Vols! Beat the Pack!!!

VolGrad writes:

in response to Bark_at_the_Moon:

Here is an article on NC State:
http://www.wralsportsfan.com/ncsu/sto...

Thanks for the link. Good read.

"No ACC school has won playing against an SEC school in the college football kickoff game in Atlanta and coach O'Brien wants to be the first that does."

Like how he is using that to try and motivate his team. I think it will be a good game. We will certainly get their best shot. It would be a great win to kick off our season this year.

Go Vols! Beat the Pack!!!

TheVolSnake writes:

On the NC State game:

#3 Receiving Corp (Vol’s) goes against the #4 secondary (Wolfpack) so on the surface it looks like a great match up.
But both the Vol’s and the Wolfpack know this is the strength of each team, the Vol will be and must establish a run game this is imperative not only for this game but for the rest of the season. If the Vols establish the run game early it will cause every opposing Defensive coordinator fits trying to figure a way to stop the Vol’s offense.

Expect the first series for the Vol’s offense to be heavy on the run and if we throw it will be short passes to bring the Wolfpack secondary up to the line therefore setting up the deep route later in the game. A key is the Wolfpack lost all their LB’s this year and are playing a whole new group, so when the running back gets though the line should have some success at the second tier.

Last year the Wolfpack had issues running the ball but had a great passing game, the problem is for them is all their WR’s graduated or left and their top receiver went down with an injury earlier this year, So all their receivers are inexperienced. Their line is like the Vols mainly juniors or seniors with a lot of playing time so their running game should be improved.

We have changed to the 3-4 and have a lot of big and big-time players on the defense with the heart and soul, being our LB’s lead by soon to be all SEC Lathers. (Most don’t remember he was all SEC as a freshman, but has been hurt since then). They have had issues with the run during the scrimmages I see this as two issues 1. Lathers wasn’t in making the alignment calls (He is not back) 2. Our run blocking and running back skills has dramatically improved. (Thanks greatly to a running back coach) So all this being said our defense puts a lot of pressure on the QB who is prone to mistakes when pressured, we stop the Run and the Wolfpack is in trouble moving the ball.

Our Offense establishes the run game Big Time, then when the secondary moves up hit with the passing attack. Prediction Vol’s win and have 200+ yards running the ball, Neal will have a career day and the Vol’s will be around 300 yards passing. The Vol’s defense stops the Wolf pack passing attack and run game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to arkyvol:

o.k., so he'll do better than last year. considering his record, that's an achievement of sorts. winning record? maybe (the second one in his career). in conference? (are you out of your mind?) look at the recruiting standings. the vols are light years behind those teams people take seriously. there are some coaches who seem to make contenders out of mediocre talent (petrino for one), then there are those coaches...

The Vols are NOT "light years" behind the elite in recruiting. I agree that a true star player or three makes a class look good, and can make an immediate impact, but the average "star" ratings of the classes are much more closely bunched than the rankings might indicate.

I don't study these things that closely, but I did read an article by somebody who works for one of the recruiting services. He said that they don't claim to be more than 65% accurate in their ratings over the long haul. That is a large margin for error. Furthermore, when all the recruit ratings are averaged, there is less than a "half-star" difference between the #1- and the #30-ranked class. As long as the Vols are in that range and are filling their team needs in both numbers and talent, they will have enough of both to be competitive.

TheVolSnake writes:

I made a spelling error that I caught after posting should have read 1. Lathers wasn’t in making the alignment calls (He is now back)

Also remember the Vol's Line has heard for the last 7 months about how they couldn't run block, they will come out with a major chip on their shoulder and will play mean to prove to everyone they can run block. The O. Line is going to be outstanding this year, and have back up's at every position that will aid in keeping the line fresh and means we don't have to move lineman around if one goes down or needs a break. We all know how great they are in the pass blocking.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Bark_at_the_Moon:

The question I have is will either team be able to slow down the other team's offense. NC State's QB is really good folks! We all know Bray - Rogers, Hunter Patterson will give NC State fits.

From here in Greensboro, NC, it looks to me like NCSU will try to control the ball with their experienced QB and O-line. None of their returning RBs or WRs have great stats; lots of newcomers will get long looks at both positions. I do not think NCSU wants to get in a shootout with the Vols. If the Vols can avoid turnovers and other critical mental mistakes, I think they will win, possibly by a lot, but they had surely better not go in thinking they are GOING to win by a lot.

volvann writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Thanks for the link. Good read.

"No ACC school has won playing against an SEC school in the college football kickoff game in Atlanta and coach O'Brien wants to be the first that does."

Like how he is using that to try and motivate his team. I think it will be a good game. We will certainly get their best shot. It would be a great win to kick off our season this year.

Go Vols! Beat the Pack!!!

VolGrad, good statement on the motivation. But when I read the article, my curiousity kicked in. O'Brien made the statement as if it was a long time, so I looked it up. It has been 3 games, the kick-off classic in Atlanta is very new. Last year was when Boise beat Georgia. The other 3 are as follows:

2010: LSU 30 - NC 24
2009: ALA 34 - VT 24
2008: ALA 34 - CLEM 10

This year there are 2 games as we know.
UT v NC St and Auburn v Clemson (Sat)

Not a long running history to build on, but then again, the young people of today are clueless about history, so the NC St players probably think it has been 20 games.

Section A, Row 43, Seats 28-29, the hottie next to me is my wife.

crappieking writes:

You guys are going to be very disappointed. Dooley couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper sack. After the upcoming 5-7 or 6-6 season, it will be time to hire a well known proven coach. Not someone who was 17-20 at La. Tech and 11-14 at UT. You guys do realize that we are a miserable 4-12 in SEC play under doofus? The bar has not been lowered, it is on the ground.

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