Mark Wiedmer: UT Vols relish rare joy

Tennessee running back Marlin Lane, left, is congratulated by teammate Tyler Bray after scoring the winning touchdown against Troy at Neyland Stadium, on Saturday. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee running back Marlin Lane, left, is congratulated by teammate Tyler Bray after scoring the winning touchdown against Troy at Neyland Stadium, on Saturday. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

KNOXVILLE — We forget sometimes that they're basically still kids playing a kids' game, even if it's often an insanely violent one.

So while the University of Tennessee's more discerning fans might understandably grumble, if not blow an entire gasket, over their Volunteers' narrow 55-48 homecoming win over Troy on Saturday, the UT players didn't necessarily see it that way.

"It was pretty nice," said junior wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, whose 219 receiving yards were a very big reason the Big Orange broke a four-game losing streak. "We haven't won in so long. When we all got to the locker room, everybody had a smile on their face. It just feels great to win."

And it was great to see those smiles, to hear the laughs, to feel a positive vibe inside the UT locker room for the first time since Sept. 22, when the Vols outlasted Akron inside a similarly nervous Neyland, 47-26.

Continue reading at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Comments » 29

ivyvol writes:

Has the trading deadline passed?

dannasman writes:

WOW... How Far We Have Fallen As a Program! LA Tech would not even consider taking Dooley back, 3 years after his exit THEY are a Nationally Ranked Program! SPEAKS VOLUMES about DOOLEY and HIS coaching ability!

arkyvol writes:

if dooley is the head coach next year, i will conclude we need a change of athletic director as well.

shulessjo writes:

Been a Vol fan a long time. Instead of cursing the darkness, let's just accept this game for what it was.....a high scoring affair that this Tennessee team ending up winning.....How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't. And for all those who can't believe how "far we have fallen"...get over it and go look at a few box scores over the past years: Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?

Good article Weeds...at least you know how to keep it in the correct perspective

JDX47 writes:

I am glad for the kids that played their hearts out. I am sure they are doing the best they can with what they are being taught. I don't question them or their heart (even on defense).

voloffaith writes:

A win is a win...Missouri looks even more formidable after playing chompers tough yesterday......

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to shulessjo:

Been a Vol fan a long time. Instead of cursing the darkness, let's just accept this game for what it was.....a high scoring affair that this Tennessee team ending up winning.....How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't. And for all those who can't believe how "far we have fallen"...get over it and go look at a few box scores over the past years: Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?

Good article Weeds...at least you know how to keep it in the correct perspective

Your mentality is the reason that we are a second tier program in the SEC. This "let's just celebrate what we got" attitude is great...but only if UT is auditioning for a hallmark Christmas movie special. If you haven't noticed, our stadium seats over 100,000 people. We're waaay past the "lets just accept" what we are given stage of college athletics.

"Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?"

This??? This is your counter-argument to those of use screaming at the top of our lungs that we should expect better? That we should look back to 1933 (loss to Duke) as a the standard for Vols football???

Please...stop posting. Some of us live in the modern era and realize that for all of college football's pastoral history, it's a business now and if you want to win, you pay for the best coach. You don't sit around and feign being impressed by saying, "How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't." (Btw...this is a common praise/excuse normally used by Vandy fans.)

Saban is out recruiting with a Gruden quote comparing Bama to the NFL and actually using the phrase "pipeline to the NFL" and fans like you are on these message boards saying, "Just think happy thoughts."

It pains me that so many UT fans have just accepted this pathetic mediocrity and will do anything to defend this coach and his "awww shucks" excuses. Call me a troll, but I'm going to speak the truth.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked team.
Dooley hired Sunseri...not Hart.
Dooley is NOT going to win an SEC championship at UT not matter how much time he gets.
Dooley is NOT the answer.

I don't care how Dooley came to be UT's head coach, he needs to be fired.

vol4good#206163 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Your mentality is the reason that we are a second tier program in the SEC. This "let's just celebrate what we got" attitude is great...but only if UT is auditioning for a hallmark Christmas movie special. If you haven't noticed, our stadium seats over 100,000 people. We're waaay past the "lets just accept" what we are given stage of college athletics.

"Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?"

This??? This is your counter-argument to those of use screaming at the top of our lungs that we should expect better? That we should look back to 1933 (loss to Duke) as a the standard for Vols football???

Please...stop posting. Some of us live in the modern era and realize that for all of college football's pastoral history, it's a business now and if you want to win, you pay for the best coach. You don't sit around and feign being impressed by saying, "How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't." (Btw...this is a common praise/excuse normally used by Vandy fans.)

Saban is out recruiting with a Gruden quote comparing Bama to the NFL and actually using the phrase "pipeline to the NFL" and fans like you are on these message boards saying, "Just think happy thoughts."

It pains me that so many UT fans have just accepted this pathetic mediocrity and will do anything to defend this coach and his "awww shucks" excuses. Call me a troll, but I'm going to speak the truth.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked team.
Dooley hired Sunseri...not Hart.
Dooley is NOT going to win an SEC championship at UT not matter how much time he gets.
Dooley is NOT the answer.

I don't care how Dooley came to be UT's head coach, he needs to be fired.

I concur

laraccoon writes:

while i dont feel any pity for those on here boo whooing how bad this makes them feel, i do however feel bad for these kids , they deserve better. There is some things Dooley might be able to survive but empty seats aint one of them !

nocleats writes:

Yes Coaching, Yes Schemes, Yes Execution, But This problem is solved with RECRUITING! Load up on Super Players and these problems go away. Its Recruiting.. Did anyon watch LSU?BAMA... There were probably 14 5 star and 8 4+star players on the field on 85% of every down last night.
Recruiting the best of the best is a must every second of every day,,, always recruiting in everything. If we need a new stop sign on campus, get one recruits love, a new furnace in the library...get one that recruits love... get it ! Recruit Recruit Recruit!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to JDX47:

I am glad for the kids that played their hearts out. I am sure they are doing the best they can with what they are being taught. I don't question them or their heart (even on defense).

Good point, I'm definitely proud of the effort out there, it's the results on defense that disappoint me most; And that falls squarely on the coaching staff.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to shulessjo:

Been a Vol fan a long time. Instead of cursing the darkness, let's just accept this game for what it was.....a high scoring affair that this Tennessee team ending up winning.....How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't. And for all those who can't believe how "far we have fallen"...get over it and go look at a few box scores over the past years: Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?

Good article Weeds...at least you know how to keep it in the correct perspective

+1

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

A win is a win...Missouri looks even more formidable after playing chompers tough yesterday......

Happy for any win..Tigers have a defense similar to So Carolina and will blitz like crazy!!Bray kind of got over his big game jinx in Columbia and hope he can stay on a roll..Franklin is not a good passing QB and if we allow another QB to come in and have Heisman numbers;I might jump off a bridge..Both Troy QB's are better than Franklin but my nephew could throw against what is now the worst secondary in Vol history..Sadly short of Charles Woodson coming in to coach the secondary this week;I have no reason to believe anything will change

shulessjo writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Your mentality is the reason that we are a second tier program in the SEC. This "let's just celebrate what we got" attitude is great...but only if UT is auditioning for a hallmark Christmas movie special. If you haven't noticed, our stadium seats over 100,000 people. We're waaay past the "lets just accept" what we are given stage of college athletics.

"Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?"

This??? This is your counter-argument to those of use screaming at the top of our lungs that we should expect better? That we should look back to 1933 (loss to Duke) as a the standard for Vols football???

Please...stop posting. Some of us live in the modern era and realize that for all of college football's pastoral history, it's a business now and if you want to win, you pay for the best coach. You don't sit around and feign being impressed by saying, "How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't." (Btw...this is a common praise/excuse normally used by Vandy fans.)

Saban is out recruiting with a Gruden quote comparing Bama to the NFL and actually using the phrase "pipeline to the NFL" and fans like you are on these message boards saying, "Just think happy thoughts."

It pains me that so many UT fans have just accepted this pathetic mediocrity and will do anything to defend this coach and his "awww shucks" excuses. Call me a troll, but I'm going to speak the truth.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked team.
Dooley hired Sunseri...not Hart.
Dooley is NOT going to win an SEC championship at UT not matter how much time he gets.
Dooley is NOT the answer.

I don't care how Dooley came to be UT's head coach, he needs to be fired.

take a deep breath. I didn't say I liked it or wanted to put up with it. But the sky isn't falling in....you and your friends aren't the ONLY Vol fans who want to win so get off your high horse. I'm just keeping it in perspective. I'm not wearing rose colored glasses so give me a break...I'm not your problem. And please don't tell me not to post....what a ridiculous comment.

MikeNPS writes:

Entering this season, I supported Dooley since he took over a program that was in total chaos. However, after watching yesterday's game, I cannot support him any longer. The team continues to beat no good teams and struggles against teams it should easily defeat. The defense is pathetic. The stadium has thousands of unsold tickets and thousands more no shows. Sorry, Dooley, but a change is desperately needed right away.

DavidB writes:

The players have the same problems these boards have. The fans on this board spend as much time talking phooey about other fans as they do about football. One fan makes a post with his comment and then 10 fans attack that fan for his beliefs. Crazy right.

Watch the players, they have the same issue. One player tries to tell another player what they need to do and it causes an argument. They look to the sideline hoping their coach has an answer but he is clueless.

Fans on this page ask KNS to remove a post and they are clueless.

The real problems point back to teaching. Our players have not been taught how to play at this level. They are trying to figure things out on their own and their teachers are misleading them.

Too many fans have not been taught to be a great fans. The first thing a fan has to realize is that these are still kids on the field. If you want to be upset with the a product on the field, be upset with the coaches first and foremost. I can promise you that the players are giving their all for Tennessee 99% of the time.

As a fan you dont even have to like a single coach on the sidelines but you still need to cheer for those young men on the field. They play for your cheers. As bad as our defense is I saw them constantly asking for our cheers.

One thing the players saw saturday was that much of the fan base has given up on them. These young guys dont see the half full stadium and thing oh the fans our protesting our coaches. They look up and say man, our fans have given up on us.

I was in my seat and I looked around the stadium. They can announce there were 84,000 all they want. I would be shocked if there was actually 54,000 at the game.

I agree the coaches should be ashamed of what they are are doing to these defensive players but at the same time I will say many fans should be just as ashamed.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to shulessjo:

take a deep breath. I didn't say I liked it or wanted to put up with it. But the sky isn't falling in....you and your friends aren't the ONLY Vol fans who want to win so get off your high horse. I'm just keeping it in perspective. I'm not wearing rose colored glasses so give me a break...I'm not your problem. And please don't tell me not to post....what a ridiculous comment.

Don't ever apologize to any of these negative arse's on this site..You have more right to voice your opinion than the trolls do..GBO!!

LovinMyVols writes:

I was in the stands yesterday. It was the emptiest I have ever seen Neyland in 44 years of going to games there...it was also the quietest. While it was nice to get a win, I can promise you that the Alumni (of which I am one) were not happy that it was a nail biter against Troy.

Once again, we saw that the defense cannot communicate with itself. Once again we saw big time receivers lose focus on some very easy cathes. Once again we had to call a time out because we could not get the right alignment on special teams. Once again we saw some breakdowns in the kicking game.

What is the point in having a coach if they are not correcting problems from week to week? We keep seeing the same errors! I cannot believe that this is the players fault. UT may not have top SEC recruiting classes with Dooley (which IS a problem), but they are top 20 in the nation. We have the talent. I just can't find a reason to conclude that it is anything other than coaching.

I really believe that in 5 or 6 years that Dooley may have the ability to run a top SEC program, but he needs to hone those skills with a team like Troy...not Tennessee.

As sad as it is...and as damaging as it may be...we really need to find someone who can begin to re-establish UT dominance in football. The 8th most winningest program in the history of college football deserves it.

AncientVolFan writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Your mentality is the reason that we are a second tier program in the SEC. This "let's just celebrate what we got" attitude is great...but only if UT is auditioning for a hallmark Christmas movie special. If you haven't noticed, our stadium seats over 100,000 people. We're waaay past the "lets just accept" what we are given stage of college athletics.

"Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?"

This??? This is your counter-argument to those of use screaming at the top of our lungs that we should expect better? That we should look back to 1933 (loss to Duke) as a the standard for Vols football???

Please...stop posting. Some of us live in the modern era and realize that for all of college football's pastoral history, it's a business now and if you want to win, you pay for the best coach. You don't sit around and feign being impressed by saying, "How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't." (Btw...this is a common praise/excuse normally used by Vandy fans.)

Saban is out recruiting with a Gruden quote comparing Bama to the NFL and actually using the phrase "pipeline to the NFL" and fans like you are on these message boards saying, "Just think happy thoughts."

It pains me that so many UT fans have just accepted this pathetic mediocrity and will do anything to defend this coach and his "awww shucks" excuses. Call me a troll, but I'm going to speak the truth.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked team.
Dooley hired Sunseri...not Hart.
Dooley is NOT going to win an SEC championship at UT not matter how much time he gets.
Dooley is NOT the answer.

I don't care how Dooley came to be UT's head coach, he needs to be fired.

Sorry, Dwayne, I might understand your pain, but not your thought process. People complained heavily about Fulmer and demanded he be fired. Has that helped the program? I think you would be among the first to say it's not better.
I'm indifferent as to Dooley. But I did note that shulessjo was talking about the team not the coach and keeping their spirits up. I see nothing wrong in trying to keep the team's spirits up.

thevoice writes:

in response to LovinMyVols:

I was in the stands yesterday. It was the emptiest I have ever seen Neyland in 44 years of going to games there...it was also the quietest. While it was nice to get a win, I can promise you that the Alumni (of which I am one) were not happy that it was a nail biter against Troy.

Once again, we saw that the defense cannot communicate with itself. Once again we saw big time receivers lose focus on some very easy cathes. Once again we had to call a time out because we could not get the right alignment on special teams. Once again we saw some breakdowns in the kicking game.

What is the point in having a coach if they are not correcting problems from week to week? We keep seeing the same errors! I cannot believe that this is the players fault. UT may not have top SEC recruiting classes with Dooley (which IS a problem), but they are top 20 in the nation. We have the talent. I just can't find a reason to conclude that it is anything other than coaching.

I really believe that in 5 or 6 years that Dooley may have the ability to run a top SEC program, but he needs to hone those skills with a team like Troy...not Tennessee.

As sad as it is...and as damaging as it may be...we really need to find someone who can begin to re-establish UT dominance in football. The 8th most winningest program in the history of college football deserves it.

Amen, Lovin. You might want to have this comment ready to cut and paste in hopes of swaying the D drinkers. If not, I may do it for you!

I'd add this: 7-2-1 to T-R-O-Y.

UTK '88

govols0463 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Your mentality is the reason that we are a second tier program in the SEC. This "let's just celebrate what we got" attitude is great...but only if UT is auditioning for a hallmark Christmas movie special. If you haven't noticed, our stadium seats over 100,000 people. We're waaay past the "lets just accept" what we are given stage of college athletics.

"Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?"

This??? This is your counter-argument to those of use screaming at the top of our lungs that we should expect better? That we should look back to 1933 (loss to Duke) as a the standard for Vols football???

Please...stop posting. Some of us live in the modern era and realize that for all of college football's pastoral history, it's a business now and if you want to win, you pay for the best coach. You don't sit around and feign being impressed by saying, "How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't." (Btw...this is a common praise/excuse normally used by Vandy fans.)

Saban is out recruiting with a Gruden quote comparing Bama to the NFL and actually using the phrase "pipeline to the NFL" and fans like you are on these message boards saying, "Just think happy thoughts."

It pains me that so many UT fans have just accepted this pathetic mediocrity and will do anything to defend this coach and his "awww shucks" excuses. Call me a troll, but I'm going to speak the truth.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked team.
Dooley hired Sunseri...not Hart.
Dooley is NOT going to win an SEC championship at UT not matter how much time he gets.
Dooley is NOT the answer.

I don't care how Dooley came to be UT's head coach, he needs to be fired.

Excellent post. If he doesn't get fired, it's very conceivable that we only beat Austin Peay, South Alabama, and Kentucky next year, and if Kentucky hires the right person, that's not even a given. None of our skilled players will come back. They'd be stupid to only to risk injury playing for a 3-9 or 4-8 team. I said 5-7 this year, and I'm dead on. I hate to say it or see it, but as bad as the stands were yesterday, maybe the higher ups at Tennessee need to see the stands look like Vandy at UK yesterday before they finally get it. It's coming if they don't get him out of here.

govols0463 writes:

in response to DavidB:

The players have the same problems these boards have. The fans on this board spend as much time talking phooey about other fans as they do about football. One fan makes a post with his comment and then 10 fans attack that fan for his beliefs. Crazy right.

Watch the players, they have the same issue. One player tries to tell another player what they need to do and it causes an argument. They look to the sideline hoping their coach has an answer but he is clueless.

Fans on this page ask KNS to remove a post and they are clueless.

The real problems point back to teaching. Our players have not been taught how to play at this level. They are trying to figure things out on their own and their teachers are misleading them.

Too many fans have not been taught to be a great fans. The first thing a fan has to realize is that these are still kids on the field. If you want to be upset with the a product on the field, be upset with the coaches first and foremost. I can promise you that the players are giving their all for Tennessee 99% of the time.

As a fan you dont even have to like a single coach on the sidelines but you still need to cheer for those young men on the field. They play for your cheers. As bad as our defense is I saw them constantly asking for our cheers.

One thing the players saw saturday was that much of the fan base has given up on them. These young guys dont see the half full stadium and thing oh the fans our protesting our coaches. They look up and say man, our fans have given up on us.

I was in my seat and I looked around the stadium. They can announce there were 84,000 all they want. I would be shocked if there was actually 54,000 at the game.

I agree the coaches should be ashamed of what they are are doing to these defensive players but at the same time I will say many fans should be just as ashamed.

If you think Tyler Bray is playing for your cheers, you are high. He's playing for commas in his NFL paycheck. He could give a dam* if any of us show up. I promise.

LibertyVol writes:

First, would rather win than lose. But, for us to be "excited" about squeaking out a last minute win over Troy is just pathetic. Add to that the utter collapse of our defense and Vol fans have every right to stay home. Especially since the head coach says he has spent no time with said defense.

And the AD stays silent.....what else can the fans do???????

6972 writes:

Sorry, I just couldn't get excited about this "win". Glad the team could. They need something to give them a lift.

cyclonevol87 writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

Your mentality is the reason that we are a second tier program in the SEC. This "let's just celebrate what we got" attitude is great...but only if UT is auditioning for a hallmark Christmas movie special. If you haven't noticed, our stadium seats over 100,000 people. We're waaay past the "lets just accept" what we are given stage of college athletics.

"Memphis? Wyoming? Chattanooga? Duke?"

This??? This is your counter-argument to those of use screaming at the top of our lungs that we should expect better? That we should look back to 1933 (loss to Duke) as a the standard for Vols football???

Please...stop posting. Some of us live in the modern era and realize that for all of college football's pastoral history, it's a business now and if you want to win, you pay for the best coach. You don't sit around and feign being impressed by saying, "How freaking easy would it be for these guys to lay down at this point, but they didn't." (Btw...this is a common praise/excuse normally used by Vandy fans.)

Saban is out recruiting with a Gruden quote comparing Bama to the NFL and actually using the phrase "pipeline to the NFL" and fans like you are on these message boards saying, "Just think happy thoughts."

It pains me that so many UT fans have just accepted this pathetic mediocrity and will do anything to defend this coach and his "awww shucks" excuses. Call me a troll, but I'm going to speak the truth.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked team.
Dooley hired Sunseri...not Hart.
Dooley is NOT going to win an SEC championship at UT not matter how much time he gets.
Dooley is NOT the answer.

I don't care how Dooley came to be UT's head coach, he needs to be fired.

GREAT POST!!!

DavidB writes:

in response to govols0463:

If you think Tyler Bray is playing for your cheers, you are high. He's playing for commas in his NFL paycheck. He could give a dam* if any of us show up. I promise.

Last time I checked Bray was not the only player on the field. Say what you want about him but without him at QB yesterday we lose that game. Bray may be trying to decide if he is ready for the pros. He may know he needs another year in college and he could be struggling to make that choice when he knows the coaching staff may not be able to hone his skills.

I believe players in general feed off the crowd and Saturday there was no crowd.

govols0463 writes:

in response to DavidB:

Last time I checked Bray was not the only player on the field. Say what you want about him but without him at QB yesterday we lose that game. Bray may be trying to decide if he is ready for the pros. He may know he needs another year in college and he could be struggling to make that choice when he knows the coaching staff may not be able to hone his skills.

I believe players in general feed off the crowd and Saturday there was no crowd.

Just making a point about one particular kid. I never said he wasn't phenomenal against a weak team again. The stands will continue to look sad if they don't make a coaching change very soon. KY already has a head start on us. They were smart enough to go ahead and pull the trigger and they have the same number of SEC wins as we do. Zero.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to AncientVolFan:

Sorry, Dwayne, I might understand your pain, but not your thought process. People complained heavily about Fulmer and demanded he be fired. Has that helped the program? I think you would be among the first to say it's not better.
I'm indifferent as to Dooley. But I did note that shulessjo was talking about the team not the coach and keeping their spirits up. I see nothing wrong in trying to keep the team's spirits up.

Ancient. You're 100% right that firing Fulmer has not improved this program, but I still think it was the right call at the time. Of course, what we needed was to actually hire a proven winner of a coach to replace him and what we got was an a-hole who was fired for making the Raiders worse than they already were (which was impressive).

On behalf of all of us who wanted Fulmer fired, I sincerely apologize, but I will also say that we expected Hamilton to actually go out and hire a REAL head coach.

As for Dooley...it isn't a rush to judgment on this guy. He loses when he should win. That isn't going to cut it going up against the Les Miles, Sabans, Richts, Muschamps, and (sadly) Mullens of the SEC. As for Shulessjo's comments...I think it's kind of ridiculous to talk about how the team didn't give up...when the Defensive half of the team clearly gave up.

ps11824 writes:

nocleats writes:
Yes Coaching, Yes Schemes, Yes Execution, But This problem is solved with RECRUITING! Load up on Super Players and these problems go away. Its Recruiting.. Did anyon watch LSU?BAMA... There were probably 14 5 star and 8 4+star players on the field on 85% of every down last night.
Recruiting the best of the best is a must every second of every day,,, always recruiting in everything. If we need a new stop sign on campus, get one recruits love, a new furnace in the library...get one that recruits love... get it ! Recruit Recruit Recruit! ]]

You can recruit the best, but you can't make them sign.

We don't have much talent, and the talent we do have is not being developed nor disciplined. Discipline is a huge part of development. Sunseri need to be dismissed. He may not be the whole problem, but his coaching is a huge problem

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