Mark Wiedmer: Dooley's guts should have shown earlier

KNOXVILLE — You can't say Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley lacks guts. When you call for a fake field goal in overtime knowing that if it fails you've probably lost your sixth Southeastern Conference game in six tries in a season, you've got guts.

And that's just what Dooley did in Saturday's second overtime against Missouri. Facing a fourth-and-3 at the Missouri 5, the game tied at 35, he called for a fake field goal, and junior holder Tyler Drummer took the snap and raced to his left and into the end zone for a 42-35 lead.

It briefly launched most of the announced Neyland Stadium crowd of 89,272 into an emotional mix of rejoicing and relief, albeit knowing that Mizzou could still win, which it did two overtimes later, prevailing 51-48 on a 35-yard field goal.

But it shouldn't have necessarily come to that bold moment. Had Dooley shown that same riverboat gambler's confidence in the final 43 seconds of regulation, the Vols might have at least had a chance to kick their own field goal for victory.

Continue reading at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Comments » 56

laraccoon writes:

i wonder if there is an "being inept" clause in Dooleys contract because in this case i think UT could prove it in a court of law . Firing him during the season never made much sense to me till yesterday, but seeing how much effort he had to put into losing this game has really given me reason to rethink that idea.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

"Guts"? Guts, stupidity, and desperation sometimes look exactly the same.

dvhill100 writes:

In a season full of mistakes, the failure to even try in the last 40 seconds of the 4th quarter will probably be the one to doom CDD if he wasn't already gone. He just doesn't seem to have a "feel" for the game.

On the other hand, give him props for the gutsy fake field goal call he made. Given the accuracy of our place kicker, maybe that decision was made for him.

VolNavy writes:

I have been very patient with this team and coach as a fan. I have looked long and hard and in most games, have been able to find the pony in the room. Yesterday, in the last 43 seconds of the game, all I could find was "pony residue"..

I just can't stomach it any longer.. Time for change..UT Leadership--time to man up and put on your big boy pants and make some tough decisions.. That's what senior executives do you know...

VOLFORLIFE writes:

I posted on facebook as I left the stadium yesterday that if a coach could be fired for stupidity, Derek Dooley should be fired before nightfall.

I've tried to support Dooley for the third year now. I've tried to tell myself that he would bring the program around. But, obviously, I've been lying to myself. He's cleaned up the "character issues" well enough, and I give him credit for that. But he also has to be able to coach in the SEC, and he JUST CAN'T DO IT!!

Time for a change. I hate starting over...AGAIN! But the same ole same ole just ain't cuttin' it either.

My heart hurts for the players who give their all for Tennessee, but they deserve better. They deserve a coach (coaches) who can guide them to winning seasons. This staff isn't it.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

stevefrommemphis writes:

Wiedmer gleefully gets to write yet another smarmy article rehashing all the Vols' woes. A few weeks ago, he asked which school would be the first to hire Petrino, Auburn or Tennessee. I think we know that the only school in the SEC willing to do that would be Wiedmer's beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Got my uniform ready for church this morning...

Just want to say thanks to everyone for saying "Thank you for your service" It's an honor to serve, and I'd raise my right hand again in a heartbeat for this great country for ours...

But my duties have never put me on the front line, so for those who have truly put themselves in harms way, let ME say THANK YOU for YOUR service. And my prayers for those who have yet to come home, and for the families of those who never will because they made the ultimate sacrifice.

Everyone goes through adversity now and then. The measure of a man, I believe, is how he handles that adversity. I'm proud to be an American AND a VFL! God bless you all!!

hikerdude writes:

There is absolutely no way to justify Dooley's decision to pack it in with 40 seconds left in the first half.

dvhill100 writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

Got my uniform ready for church this morning...

Just want to say thanks to everyone for saying "Thank you for your service" It's an honor to serve, and I'd raise my right hand again in a heartbeat for this great country for ours...

But my duties have never put me on the front line, so for those who have truly put themselves in harms way, let ME say THANK YOU for YOUR service. And my prayers for those who have yet to come home, and for the families of those who never will because they made the ultimate sacrifice.

Everyone goes through adversity now and then. The measure of a man, I believe, is how he handles that adversity. I'm proud to be an American AND a VFL! God bless you all!!

Thanks. As a Marine grunt I always appreciated the support the Navy provided. Happy Veterans Day to all.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Thanks. As a Marine grunt I always appreciated the support the Navy provided. Happy Veterans Day to all.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND SEMPER FI!!

BigOrangeRock writes:

Only an idiot would think that being a Vol is anything other than for life.

Hopefully when DOOLEAVE is gone he will take that stupid Vol For LOSERS program with him.

dvhill100 writes:

To all who want to see CDD gone (and there are a lot of you including me), please have some class. There is no need for name calling, moving vans, harassment of his family, etc. He has tried his best, and it wasn't good enough. He has improved the program, just not enough. I just don't think he was ready for a Div I position of head coach. I do think he has given it his best shot, but has unfortunately for all of us reached his Peter Principle at this time. Be gentle, the big bucks will take care of things.

Colliervol writes:

in response to dvhill100:

To all who want to see CDD gone (and there are a lot of you including me), please have some class. There is no need for name calling, moving vans, harassment of his family, etc. He has tried his best, and it wasn't good enough. He has improved the program, just not enough. I just don't think he was ready for a Div I position of head coach. I do think he has given it his best shot, but has unfortunately for all of us reached his Peter Principle at this time. Be gentle, the big bucks will take care of things.

Excellent post. No question he has improved the program from the "Dumpster Fire" (as Climer put it in his article) that he started with. (Most of you don't know the issues on that team when he arrived. It was worse than bad.) But he has had chances to show his coaching accumen which is all any of us ever asked. We'll give you an chance, just show us you can coach. After yesterday, it is obvious now that he can't. Hart needs to do his job now and we all need to show some class in letting Dooley move on. He gave it all he had but what he had isn't enough for this job and this league.

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

For a short time, I thought I might escape the neverending pokes and jabs from my Gator buddies, but low and behold they somehow won, and somehow we didn't, again. I agree with the previous poster who asked we show some class, no one is happpy with the results since the latest coaching change. As diehard fans, its difficult to see our beloved team sink to new lows every week. It has to be hard on the players, and everone involved in the program. We can't go back and change the past, but the movers and shakers who control this program need to put into motion, changes in coaching to put this program back on track.

As a Veteran, thanks to all who are and have served.

God Bless American, and God Bless our Vols!

orangepowerT writes:

Well we just lost a great shot at getting Derrick Green, the number one running back in the country because of all this talk of firing. Makes me sick that folks get on here and pound the team and coaches knowing recruits are watching these boards. Its a shame> These post are killing our team and our schools rep. Please stop......we all can see we have problems with our football team right now and it will be fixed, but please stop all the negative talk because it will do nothing but heart the next coach coming in to take over the program. You all are so harsh with words that a good coach as you all call it will not want to come to Tennessee.

NeedForSpeed writes:

Dang, checking in this morning and hoping for an early Christmas present - a big box labeled coach dufus and company are gone.

Looks like I'll have to wait a while longer. Why oh why oh why is our Chancellor and AD department as incompetent as our Football coaching staff? I just have no faith in them either. It's like the dumb, dumber and dumbest comedy act for 15 years running. WTF happened to our institution? Can we just clean house of everyone???

There's no way even they could have not seen this train wreck in the making about 4 games ago and been better prepared for this day...

NeedForSpeed writes:

Oh, as a former Air Force officer and proud graduate of the UT AF ROTC unit, I just want to shout out Happy Veterans Day! Now get to CPK for your free dinner today, you've earned it! :-)
On Sunday, November 11th or Monday, November 12, all veterans and active military can receive a FREE pizza and non-alcoholic beverage at California Pizza Kitchen. Just show proof of service to get this freebie (uniform, military id or other proof).

formervol1950s writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND SEMPER FI!!

As a former Navy F-9F driver i say Semper Fi indeed.You guys were and are the best.No contest.

makelemonade writes:

"Had Dooley shown that same riverboat gambler's confidence in the final 43 seconds of regulation, the Vols might have at least had a chance to kick their own field goal for victory"

Yes, the fake field goal was riverboat gambler confidence but don't compare that to what he should have done at the end of regulation. 43 seconds, 2 timeouts, great field position, potent offensive weapons all around, attempting to score in that situation isn't gambling, it's basic football coaching 101 and Dooley failed that course.

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

in response to orangepowerT:

Well we just lost a great shot at getting Derrick Green, the number one running back in the country because of all this talk of firing. Makes me sick that folks get on here and pound the team and coaches knowing recruits are watching these boards. Its a shame> These post are killing our team and our schools rep. Please stop......we all can see we have problems with our football team right now and it will be fixed, but please stop all the negative talk because it will do nothing but heart the next coach coming in to take over the program. You all are so harsh with words that a good coach as you all call it will not want to come to Tennessee.

I agree with you except for your first sentence. We aren't going to lose this kid because of firing talks, we're going to lose this kid because he wants to win in Div 1 football.Some of these kids don't care about the school per se. They want to glory and what can you do for me. A buddy of mine that loves that yellow and blue team from the North told me they had a kid that committed with a full ride but wanted to "check out another school". What did they do they took the offer back from him. They want to be on tv and other things. Education is second to some of them. So my point is this, the way Tennessee has been playing and coached this kid had his mind made up already. If he was a die hard fan like so many of us on here he would still want to come play for The Volunteers. So I say come for the education but give your all to be a Vol.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Considering it was 3rd and 10 and no progress was being made I kind of get Dooley's logic but If it forced a punt you just simply punt it out of bounds and nullify a big return..Too much has been made of this call..It had no bearing on the game especially since Palardy can't make a FG' longer than 25 yards..Palardy makes the 43 yarder or Kicks the ball for a touch back instead of giving up a TD return we aren't even having this discussion

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

in response to BigOrangeRock:

Only an idiot would think that being a Vol is anything other than for life.

Hopefully when DOOLEAVE is gone he will take that stupid Vol For LOSERS program with him.

You obviously don't have a clue about the VFL program!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Considering it was 3rd and 10 and no progress was being made I kind of get Dooley's logic but If it forced a punt you just simply punt it out of bounds and nullify a big return..Too much has been made of this call..It had no bearing on the game especially since Palardy can't make a FG' longer than 25 yards..Palardy makes the 43 yarder or Kicks the ball for a touch back instead of giving up a TD return we aren't even having this discussion

All he had to do was try a play down field on 3rd & 4th down. The game was on the line you go for it on 4th down. Also he should have faked the extra point in the first OT and tried to win it then. His fake only meant UT would continue playing.

shulessjo writes:

Been wanting to remain loyal but....taking knees and allowing valuable clock time to expire when it could be put to good use, especially since UT has offensive playmakers just lacks the confidant nature to win which this team sorely lacks already. Also the obvious....The Vols had this game won a dozen times and wouldn't/couldn't wrap it up.

govols0463 writes:

They're still gonna' finish 5-7 (maybe), but the fact that TN can still even be mentioned in the same sentence as bowl eligible says a lot about our bowl system. We live in a world where this team can possibly be awarded with a bowl game. Unbelievable.

Razzle writes:

Hopefully the new coaching search is underway.

Cousin_Eddie writes:

If he had guts, he would have tried to win the game in regulation. At least there's only 14 more days of this debacle.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

All he had to do was try a play down field on 3rd & 4th down. The game was on the line you go for it on 4th down. Also he should have faked the extra point in the first OT and tried to win it then. His fake only meant UT would continue playing.

Can't not disagree ,all coaching mistakes but like I said before this loss was on the players.Missed field FG, gave up a special teams score and long run from scrimmage for TD,another fumble inside the 10, and the worst pass coverage I've seen in 40 years...I could go on and on! Players lost this game not the coaches..This secondary practices against 2 great WR's and have learned absolutely nothing..Doesn't take a brain surgeon to know you have to look back at the ball to break up a pass but these dim wits didn't do that one single time ,best they can hope for is the pass hits them in the back off the head..Truly Pitiful

DavidB writes:

First want to say Happy Veterans Day, thanks to all that are serving or currently served. Many of us were standing yesterday when our branch was called upon. Always great to see so many veterans at the games.

Second, I dont think Hart is going to make a move until after the Kentucky game. I am sure that he has already made up his mind but I believe he doesnt want to crush the players any more than they have already been crushed.

Except for making many fans happy I dont think you gain anything by firing a coach during the season. Most of the coaches you want to talk to about replacing the coaches now are currently coaching somewhere else and may not even want to talk about coaching somewhere else until their season is over.

RememberWhen writes:

a man who by his own words had no confidence his offense could convert 3rd and 10 at the end of regulation and had no confidence his defense could stop them in overtime has no guts! This man basically said after the game that he had no confidence in EITHER SIDE OF THE BALL SO WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING AS HEAD COACH!!!

RodneyHopper writes:

in response to orangepowerT:

Well we just lost a great shot at getting Derrick Green, the number one running back in the country because of all this talk of firing. Makes me sick that folks get on here and pound the team and coaches knowing recruits are watching these boards. Its a shame> These post are killing our team and our schools rep. Please stop......we all can see we have problems with our football team right now and it will be fixed, but please stop all the negative talk because it will do nothing but heart the next coach coming in to take over the program. You all are so harsh with words that a good coach as you all call it will not want to come to Tennessee.

we were never getting him away!!!!!!we will stop only when dooley is gone!

crappieking writes:

FIRE DOOLEY!
FIRE SUNSERI!
FIRE HART!
FIRE CHEEKS!

ASAP!!!!!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Good points from you all. And I agree 100% about the taking 2 timeouts into the locker room and not at least taking a few shots to get into reasonable distance to maybe have a shot at the field goal.

But again, not much has been said about the 4th O T ending. 2nd and 3 at the 18, and we went pass happy. At that very moment, I was truly expecting at least 3 shots on the ground to pick up the first down, but they went pass happy and we lost the game.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Can't not disagree ,all coaching mistakes but like I said before this loss was on the players.Missed field FG, gave up a special teams score and long run from scrimmage for TD,another fumble inside the 10, and the worst pass coverage I've seen in 40 years...I could go on and on! Players lost this game not the coaches..This secondary practices against 2 great WR's and have learned absolutely nothing..Doesn't take a brain surgeon to know you have to look back at the ball to break up a pass but these dim wits didn't do that one single time ,best they can hope for is the pass hits them in the back off the head..Truly Pitiful

Yeah, they missed a FG and didn't execute at times..However, the coaching let them down more than the players let the coaches down. This loss is squarely in the coaches corner, they choked, not the players.

BeRealistic writes:

If Hart doesn't have a new coach in place a week after KY game, our recruiting will hurt bad. These recruits want to know more than we do.

braintree writes:

in response to dvhill100:

In a season full of mistakes, the failure to even try in the last 40 seconds of the 4th quarter will probably be the one to doom CDD if he wasn't already gone. He just doesn't seem to have a "feel" for the game.

On the other hand, give him props for the gutsy fake field goal call he made. Given the accuracy of our place kicker, maybe that decision was made for him.

A "feel" for the game is one way to describe it. There are some exceptions out there, but for the most part his teams have played pretty well in the first half of games, only to fall flat in the second half.

That "feel" is the complete inability to coach during an actual game.

I like(d) Dooley and supported him solidly through the Miss St. game this year. Game over at that point for me.

The cupboards not bare, there is some really good talent here now to build on.

Thanks and bye!

PA-Vol writes:

Everyone has commented on the wasted timeouts at the end of the game, the premonition of this should have been the lame clock use as the 1st half of the Troy game last week. Inside the 5 yd line with time on the clock instead of trying for a TD we opt to run the clock down and kick a field goal. Misuse of the clock has been Dooley's trademark!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to PA-Vol:

Everyone has commented on the wasted timeouts at the end of the game, the premonition of this should have been the lame clock use as the 1st half of the Troy game last week. Inside the 5 yd line with time on the clock instead of trying for a TD we opt to run the clock down and kick a field goal. Misuse of the clock has been Dooley's trademark!

Yeah, he's shown a history of wasting TO's and making bad play calls..The man doesn't have a good fb IQ..It's befuddling.

utvols420 writes:

Our new head coach is right under our nose. Umm...Jim Chaney is the real deal. He is personable as hell and is an awesome offensive coach. There isn't too many teams with better numbers on the offensive side of the ball. I thought he should have been promoted when Kiffin left. Also it probably wouldn't take an oil tycoons fortune to hire him.

FWBVol writes:

in response to DavidB:

First want to say Happy Veterans Day, thanks to all that are serving or currently served. Many of us were standing yesterday when our branch was called upon. Always great to see so many veterans at the games.

Second, I dont think Hart is going to make a move until after the Kentucky game. I am sure that he has already made up his mind but I believe he doesnt want to crush the players any more than they have already been crushed.

Except for making many fans happy I dont think you gain anything by firing a coach during the season. Most of the coaches you want to talk to about replacing the coaches now are currently coaching somewhere else and may not even want to talk about coaching somewhere else until their season is over.

David, I have to respectfully disagree with you about the timing of what seems to be an inevitable firing of Derek Dooley. I believe there are merits to firing him now because I think it puts an end to the fiasco and questions surrounding the program. It can also start to unite the fan base again, and maybe put a few more fans in the stands for the Kentucky game.

Saturday's game in Nashville will probably be the first time in more than 50 years that Vanderbilt actually has more home fans at the game than Tennessee has visiting fans.

At this point, I believe the turmoil surrounding the program is probably worse on the players than any firing will be. Do it and get it over with so the players can focus on the rest of the season rather than worrying about the next game might be the last before the announcement.

I just wonder how much the speculation surrounding Dooley has affected the play of the team the last two or three games. Sometimes kids are so worried about the next mistake costing the coach his job they don't play relaxed and up to their potential.

If Dooley is fired now UT can get in the mix for the hot names out there and start talking those that represent those coaches.

I have supported Derek Dooley throughout and I will continue to support him as long as he is the head coach, but yesterday I joined the group that has seen enough and I think it's time for a change.

quickslant writes:

in response to orangepowerT:

Well we just lost a great shot at getting Derrick Green, the number one running back in the country because of all this talk of firing. Makes me sick that folks get on here and pound the team and coaches knowing recruits are watching these boards. Its a shame> These post are killing our team and our schools rep. Please stop......we all can see we have problems with our football team right now and it will be fixed, but please stop all the negative talk because it will do nothing but heart the next coach coming in to take over the program. You all are so harsh with words that a good coach as you all call it will not want to come to Tennessee.

Everyone on here is making valid points but you ^. Fan's here are no different than at any other school. It's just after yesterday, I'm positive that some UT fans actually would make a better coach. I would think any top-notch recruit would be very interested in the upgrade...

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to FWBVol:

David, I have to respectfully disagree with you about the timing of what seems to be an inevitable firing of Derek Dooley. I believe there are merits to firing him now because I think it puts an end to the fiasco and questions surrounding the program. It can also start to unite the fan base again, and maybe put a few more fans in the stands for the Kentucky game.

Saturday's game in Nashville will probably be the first time in more than 50 years that Vanderbilt actually has more home fans at the game than Tennessee has visiting fans.

At this point, I believe the turmoil surrounding the program is probably worse on the players than any firing will be. Do it and get it over with so the players can focus on the rest of the season rather than worrying about the next game might be the last before the announcement.

I just wonder how much the speculation surrounding Dooley has affected the play of the team the last two or three games. Sometimes kids are so worried about the next mistake costing the coach his job they don't play relaxed and up to their potential.

If Dooley is fired now UT can get in the mix for the hot names out there and start talking those that represent those coaches.

I have supported Derek Dooley throughout and I will continue to support him as long as he is the head coach, but yesterday I joined the group that has seen enough and I think it's time for a change.

Excellent post..I agree that severing ties with CDD needs to be done ASAP. The players are not playing loose because they want to help Dooley keep his job and feel immense pressure to win aside from the normal pressures they would normally have.

Vols4life77 writes:

The worst part is losing jay graham, Pittman and Chaney, those guys have done a terrific job. I especially like graham maybe the new coach will keep him.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vols4life77:

The worst part is losing jay graham, Pittman and Chaney, those guys have done a terrific job. I especially like graham maybe the new coach will keep him.

Yeah, those 3 and the WR coach Coiner did a great job with these receivers.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

"Riverboat gamblers confidence?"

Really? He went for the fake because of a lack of confidence, either in his FG kicker or his defense. Probably the latter. It's the same reason he tried to go for it on fourth down in the final overtime.

At the end of regulation, with 43 seconds and two timeouts, and only needing to gain 30 or so yards to be in (albeit, unlikely) FG range, and with an offense that is more capable than most of gaining yardage quickly, it didn't take any special quality to know what the proper course of action was. Every fan watching the game knew it. Mizzou's coaches were sweating, until they realized some moron was going to let the clock run out and go to overtime. Only Les Miles makes that kind of stupid clock management mistake and gets away with it.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Vols4life77:

The worst part is losing jay graham, Pittman and Chaney, those guys have done a terrific job. I especially like graham maybe the new coach will keep him.

Chaney didn't have to leave when Kiffin did, so there may be hope that a few of the good ones will be kept by whoever is hired.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Please Hart act now.

Vols4life77 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Yeah, those 3 and the WR coach Coiner did a great job with these receivers.

Yeah bivolar I left out coiner and he has to get credit too. I do hope they can be retained to keep continuity of this offense. Also may help to keep some of the recruits knowing some familiar faces.

etu_vol_fan writes:

in response to VOLFORLIFE:

I posted on facebook as I left the stadium yesterday that if a coach could be fired for stupidity, Derek Dooley should be fired before nightfall.

I've tried to support Dooley for the third year now. I've tried to tell myself that he would bring the program around. But, obviously, I've been lying to myself. He's cleaned up the "character issues" well enough, and I give him credit for that. But he also has to be able to coach in the SEC, and he JUST CAN'T DO IT!!

Time for a change. I hate starting over...AGAIN! But the same ole same ole just ain't cuttin' it either.

My heart hurts for the players who give their all for Tennessee, but they deserve better. They deserve a coach (coaches) who can guide them to winning seasons. This staff isn't it.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

I'm with you on that. I think Dooley is a decent enough fellow but it is about the wins. I don't like starting over (again) but it has to be done. We are turning into what LSU was back in the 90's as irrelevant joke in the SEC.

farmdog (Inactive) writes:

in response to utvols420:

Our new head coach is right under our nose. Umm...Jim Chaney is the real deal. He is personable as hell and is an awesome offensive coach. There isn't too many teams with better numbers on the offensive side of the ball. I thought he should have been promoted when Kiffin left. Also it probably wouldn't take an oil tycoons fortune to hire him.

Please tell me this was written tongue-in-cheek. Chaney should have been swept out with the rest of the Kiffin trash. This idiot sigle-handedly lost the Florida game with his pass-happy approach. We were gashing the Gators in the running game, running clock, and keeping Driskel and co. off the field. Instead we had multiple three-and-outs which allowed the lizards to get their heads out of their arsses and eventually win the game. This same abandonment of the running game has played a role in several games icluding the Mizzou game in OT. Who else has a former nose tackle for an offensive coordinator? IMO, he's a huge part of young Dooley's problem. But hey, what do I know? I'm just an old white Christian guy.

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