Derek Dooley: 'We got whipped by a great football team'

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray looks on from the sideline in the final minutes of the fourth quarter against Alabama at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night. Alabama won, 44-13 (Adam Brimer/News Sentinel)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray looks on from the sideline in the final minutes of the fourth quarter against Alabama at Neyland Stadium on Saturday night. Alabama won, 44-13 (Adam Brimer/News Sentinel)

The cheers washed down Saturday night over a Tennessee championship team and a Hall of Fame coach.

Neyland Stadium was filled, 102,455 strong, an old rival was in the house and the good vibes flowed.

Then the game kicked off.

Alabama 44, Tennessee 13.

Look hard enough and there is a silver lining.

That Michael Palardy field goal with four minutes left was the first time since 2007 the Vols have scored more than 10 points against the Crimson Tide.

“We got whipped by a great football team, in about every phase,’’ UT coach Derek Dooley said.

Dooley returned to the sideline after one game in the coaching booth as he continues to recover from hip surgery.

Whether his team can recover from a three-game losing streak remains to be seen,

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t go four quarters with these guys,’’ Dooley said. “We thought we could.’’

The fourth quarter, in fact, couldn’t end quickly enough for Tennessee. This is what the Alabama rivalry has come to:

Neyland Stadium almost devoid of orange as tens of thousands of Alabama fans are the only ones willing to stick around and see how the rout played out.

That’s the way it was in 2008, 2010 and again Saturday night for the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0) who have done nothing to dismiss themselves from contention for a third national title in four years.

There was a Tennessee title team present, but its eligibility has long expired.

Phillip Fulmer, recently elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, and the 1997 SEC champions — Peyton Manning included — took a bow prior to the game.

From UT’s standpoint, that would be the highlight of the night.

The current edition of the Vols (3-4, 0-4 SEC), are struggling to compete with the conference elite.

The search for an SEC win continues next week at South Carolina. The Vols’ four losses have come to ranked teams that are a collective 27-1.

In extending its winning streak over Tennessee to six years, the Crimson Tide became Tennessee’s third SEC opponent in four games to surpass 500 yards of offense.

Topping out at 539, Alabama fell just short of Georgia (560) and Florida (550).

“They say they’re not a big-play offense,’’ said Dooley, “but they do it every game. They’re more explosive than people give them credit for.’’

Alabama’s three second-half touchdowns came on AJ McCarron passes of 42 and 39 yards and a T.J. Yeldon run of 43 yards.

McCarron became the lastest thrower to manipulate Tennessee’s secondary. He threw four touchdown passes, two to Amari Cooper, for a career-high 306 yards, completing 17 of 22 attempts.

Tennessee’s only touchdown was a 2-yard run by A.J. Johnson in the second quarter, the third score of the season for the linebacker who doubles as a direct-snap, short-yardage option.

The nation’s top defense held UT to 282 yards, exactly 200 below its average.

Palardy added a pair of field goals, 32 yards in the first quarter, 21 in the fourth.

That’s not to say that Tennessee didn’t have its chances.

“I’m really disappointed we didn’t’ execute better,’’ Dooley said. “The quarterback didn’t play well. I’m not sure why.’’

The quarterback, junior Tyler Bray, was 13-of-27 passing for 184 yards.

The Vols paid a stiff price for both of his interceptions.

The first gave Alabama only 32 yards to drive for a touchdown in the second quarter. Yeldon’s 1-yard run put the Tide up 13-3.

The second was snatched by Alabama’s Robert Lester in the end zone, just as receiver Alton Howard was about to haul in a touchdown.

There was nothing wrong with the long ball Bray fired toward Justin Hunter late in the first half.

Hunter dropped the pass at about the Alabama 20 and the Tide maintained its 23-10 lead at the break.

In the third quarter, still trailing only 23-10, the Vols had third-and-1 at the Alabama 33, but missed on a pass and got stuffed on fourth- down.

Alabama pounced to extend the lead to 30-10 on McCarron’s second TD pass to Cooper, this one covering 42 yards.

Tennessee, wobbling on the ropes, struck right back with another threat late in the third quarter.

Bray and Hunter connected on a 44-yard completion to the Alabama 18.

Two plays later, however, Bray’s pass intended for Howard in the end zone was intercepted. Six potential points disappeared.

By that point, Alabama was ready to deliver the knockout and that’s exactly what happened.

Cue the exit to the parking lot.

McCarron fired a 39-yard TD to Kenny Bell.

“We just did a poor job,’’ said Dooley. “They threw four balls over our head.’’

Finally, they ran one around Tennessee’s edge. Yeldon took a handoff around right end and continued 43 yards down the sideline to the end zone to make it 44-10 with 9:07 to play.

“This is still a big rivalry for us,’’ said Alabama coach Nick Saban. “This is a big game to all of us: all of our players, and all of our fans.’’

Saban also threw in a good word for his former assistant, Dooley.

“Derek’s doing a fantastic job,’’ he said. “They have been better and better every year that we’ve played them.’’

But Alabama might be getting better and better too.

“They just keep pushing and pushing,’’ Dooley said. That’s what they do to most everybody and they did it to us too.

“We just joined the ranks of the rest of the country.’’

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Comments » 194

GloryDays writes:

Wait till next year! Dooley is just on the edge of turning this thing around!

Lifelongvolsfan writes:

Hearing "Wait til next year" from Dooley is like going to your favorite bar and seeing a sign that says "Free Beer Tomorrow!". The saying or sign doesnt change when next year or tomorrow comes people!!! Get rid of him now!

ACWLY writes:

Looks like Dooley is already sucking up to Saban, he knows he will need a job soon. You can't say the man isn't intelligent, and please when you go take Sunseri with you, the absolute worst coach we have ever has, makes Wilcox look like a genius.

KFDLaw writes:

Dooley must have memorized that speech about being beaten by a great football team. He keeps giving the same speech over and over. Dooley's pre-game interview was very revealing when he said "We recruit and Alabama drafts." This must be his way of saying, I think we are going to lose tonight and lose big. The team apparently thought the same thing.

GloryDays writes:

in response to Lifelongvolsfan:

Hearing "Wait til next year" from Dooley is like going to your favorite bar and seeing a sign that says "Free Beer Tomorrow!". The saying or sign doesnt change when next year or tomorrow comes people!!! Get rid of him now!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Alphatauri writes:

UT football has become a joke - this is sad

volipop3#328757 writes:

Best call you've made is getting the hip fixed while you still have insurance. Really pretty smart. Oh, wait you are a lawyer coaching oops destroying one of the top ten programs in history. See ya.

Alphatauri writes:

This team is coached by a bunch of clowns - the reason Saban never asked Sunseri to do anything more is obvious. Dooley is clueless

fearthehound writes:

I would never want to be confused with 'Walt' or that loser 'Kremser" or whatever his screen name is this week, but damn, can't we get somebody in here to compete? I'm saying this from a UT grad--UT lover position--not a troll like some of these others. I just gotta think we can do better than this --others have.

TDTN writes:

Enough. Bray disappears at crunch time. Hunter is as ell of what he used to be. He catches the ball and bits the ground. It is a sad state of affairs.

volipop3#328757 writes:

I guess it's time for another players only meeting. Someone please tell the players to go.

Colts_VolFan writes:

Was smart enough not to watch that pile. Finally enjoyed my Saturday for a chane. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Time for change.

fearthehound writes:

Could we at least bench Bray and Hunter? What else we got to lose? Both of those guys probably think they care, but they really don't care enough and they don't even know it...

OLROCKYTOP writes:

The bottom line is " this team does not know how to win". That goes from the waterboy all the way to the head coach.

Alphatauri writes:

I looked at UT football and Dooley with the glass half full attitude the past two years, but now all I see is an empty glass. UT needs a coach because Dooley and his staff are a bunch of clowns out there right now.

TommyJack writes:

We have a few talented players...I feel for them. They're poorly prepared. Week after week, after.....

volfast40time writes:

whats the odds UT goes to a bowl game this year?

TrouserCough writes:

Dooley loves Alabama and his buddy Nick. He is in awe of them. Said he had a hard time remembering he was coaching during the game he was enjoying watching Alabama so much.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to GloryDays:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sorry, Glory Days, but Dooley took over a football program that had already been destroyed by the two previous coaches, and Obama took over a country that was already in a state of disaster due to the previous President. Each inherited a bad situation from the guy who was in the job before him and neither has been successful in turning around the bad situation.

volsbandit writes:

Ohio State has really struggled their first year with Urban Meyer, huh? 8-0. No setback. That's what good coaches do. I'm tired of excuses. We are digging deeper and deeper with Dooley at the helm.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to volfast40time:

whats the odds UT goes to a bowl game this year?

Odds are not good since six wins are required. It is my understanding that the victory over Georgia State does not count toward the required six for UT since Georgia State does not become a "major" program until 2013. The Vols will have to win four of their remaining games to have the required six wins.

GreySmokey writes:

in response to GloryDays:

Wait till next year! Dooley is just on the edge of turning this thing around!

have you seen our schedule for next year? We are going to get buried next year if Dooley is still running this embarrassment of a program. No recruit worth his salt would want to play for this guy. I don't think a lot of this year's team like playing for him. "You're not going to have Tennessee to kick around anymore." Oh really, DD, looks like you have been getting kicked around all season long. I bet we lose to Troy or Vandy, maybe even both.

vollerdash writes:

Keep your chin up boys,dont listen to these band wagon fans.Teams go through these bad times once in a while.

tnwolfpup68 writes:

in response to volfast40time:

whats the odds UT goes to a bowl game this year?

Um, we're in the "Toilet Bowl" now.....but hopefully we can see some light after the SC game...still hoping.

volinJC writes:

in response to volfast40time:

whats the odds UT goes to a bowl game this year?

slim and none - we lose to SC, MO, and Vandy. Our record will be 5-7m tops, though I wouldn't be too hasty to count Troy or KY as wins....

RodneyHopper writes:

in response to volsbandit:

Ohio State has really struggled their first year with Urban Meyer, huh? 8-0. No setback. That's what good coaches do. I'm tired of excuses. We are digging deeper and deeper with Dooley at the helm.

best post on here!so true.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to volsbandit:

Ohio State has really struggled their first year with Urban Meyer, huh? 8-0. No setback. That's what good coaches do. I'm tired of excuses. We are digging deeper and deeper with Dooley at the helm.

It helps that Urban Meyer took over an Ohio State program where the prior coaches had done a good job of recruiting and developing players. Nevertheless, I agree with you. I am frustrated that the Vols are not improving. I do not see players being developed. I do not see good game preparation.

bobbyutvol writes:

in response to GloryDays:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are so right

volinJC writes:

in response to RodneyHopper:

best post on here!so true.

ditto. Hsving the right coach means everything in college sports....

dvol writes:

Bray cannot play under pressure. Hunter is waiting for the NFL draft. It is time to play Coleman for next year. Bray not going anywhere no Pro Team would draft him. If we don't get Coleman ready our next coach will have to. Defense played better at first but, offense let them down and they got tired. Secondary still can't cover anyone. Problems are so many with this team. We may not win again this year.

TucsonVol writes:

Fire Hart & Dooley. Hart is just as much of a problem for letting this go on so long!!

Show-me-your-TDs writes:

I think Philip can take it from here.... until we can find a real coach

GO VOLS !!

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

Maybe the coach can borrow a page out of the administration's book and blame it on a YouTube video. I say blame it on Hillary.

trl_x writes:

Right now it looks like we have a 100k seat stadium and a 40k seat team.

Sad times...

Gmoney58 writes:

Leadership is missing. The entire program is missing a key figure\ figures that can perform, and lead by exmple. The most tallented player on the team is CP, but to expect him to lead this team is unrealistic,given his short tenure on the hill.
AD Hart, is the key component to the recovery of a storied program, and it's his move. Feel free to communicate your intentions. You will have our undevided attention Mr. Hart.

TKO writes:

The head coach said " we thought we could". There s your answer. Thought instead instead of SHOULD. Good bye.

TKO writes:

in response to Show-me-your-TDs:

I think Philip can take it from here.... until we can find a real coach

GO VOLS !!

Agree 100 percent

auggievol writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Sorry, Glory Days, but Dooley took over a football program that had already been destroyed by the two previous coaches, and Obama took over a country that was already in a state of disaster due to the previous President. Each inherited a bad situation from the guy who was in the job before him and neither has been successful in turning around the bad situation.

wow. How are things on your planet. Here on Earth, we're struggling with 4 dollar a gallon fuel, and struggling with a coach that has had more than enough time. Just wondering, on your planet, do all the humanoids wear the same nike clothes? Is Lance Armstrong a God there?, are you still a freaking jaded moron. How the hell do you bring Obama into coach dooley's poor football team. Maybe Justin Hunter is all about Obama Care and that's what makes him a selfish joke.

Big_House_of_Ice_Gulp writes:

Talent+discipline+passion = Alabama.

As much as I cant stand losing, watching Bama play is beautiful. Coaching is everything. Don't know who is a great fit for our program but its time to search for a new direction.

Please, administrators, don't be afraid to make a change.

fearthehound writes:

Hey, what's the chance of say a five year contract for PF with him hiring a coach in waiting as a coordinator so we dont lose recruits once the change takes place? Did I just say that out loud?

orangeman1 writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Odds are not good since six wins are required. It is my understanding that the victory over Georgia State does not count toward the required six for UT since Georgia State does not become a "major" program until 2013. The Vols will have to win four of their remaining games to have the required six wins.

Georgia st does count towards 6 wins to be eligible for a bowl. Thats as long as there are enough spots with SEC bowl ties. Otherwise, Non BCS conference schools have to be selected by the bowl if they have a winning record over a team with a.500 record. The SEC has 9 bowl tie ins, plus a BCS bowl, so as long as UT goes 6-6, they will make a bowl. It looks as if the SEC will only have 9 teams bowl eligible

Vol_In_The_Ville writes:

Political posts on a football site show ignorance. I don't give two s$&@s who you want to win the presidency. STFU.

TheStupidPolice writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Odds are not good since six wins are required. It is my understanding that the victory over Georgia State does not count toward the required six for UT since Georgia State does not become a "major" program until 2013. The Vols will have to win four of their remaining games to have the required six wins.

You are under arrest for violating the Crowley Act; fact checking without the facts.

snafu14u#241639 writes:

Not so impressed with Mr Hart as well. BTW UTAD does not have the $$$$ for a BIG NAME coaching hire. Not in the cards. Get use to it. BonzaiVol

Gmoney58 writes:

No TRUE leader/leaders, are anywhere to be found in the program at present.
Somebody plz name just one!

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to MikeNPS:

Sorry, Glory Days, but Dooley took over a football program that had already been destroyed by the two previous coaches, and Obama took over a country that was already in a state of disaster due to the previous President. Each inherited a bad situation from the guy who was in the job before him and neither has been successful in turning around the bad situation.

You absolutely speak the TRUTH sir !

BigOrangeFreak writes:

Don't worry Coach; when you get that job at Temple, UNLV, or Florida Atlantic, there won't be as much pressure to win.

Then when you beat Georgia State, NC State, or Akron, people will be really impressed.

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to GloryDays:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What country has he destroyed? I'm still pretty damn proud of the one I live in.

Stick to the football talk.

mlsmith51 writes:

in response to vollerdash:

Keep your chin up boys,dont listen to these band wagon fans.Teams go through these bad times once in a while.

ONCE IN A WILE RILLY!!!! Can NOT Beat A Ranked Team , Let Bamma Play Us Like Water boys, And Did Not Play To Win . I HAVE BEEN A Tenn. FAN Since 1976 Win I moved from Bama To Knoxville , Know I'm back in Bamma and have to live with the Bad coaching decision!!!!!

BigOrangeFreak writes:

in response to auggievol:

wow. How are things on your planet. Here on Earth, we're struggling with 4 dollar a gallon fuel, and struggling with a coach that has had more than enough time. Just wondering, on your planet, do all the humanoids wear the same nike clothes? Is Lance Armstrong a God there?, are you still a freaking jaded moron. How the hell do you bring Obama into coach dooley's poor football team. Maybe Justin Hunter is all about Obama Care and that's what makes him a selfish joke.

CONGRATULATIONS! You've won the Bitter Idiot of the Night Award!

In one paragraph you blasted MikeNPS, Dooley, Nike, Lance Armstrong, and Justin Hunter. Quite a feat for someone with such obviously limited grey matter.

Do us all a favor and polish off that bottle of Mad Dog and go to bed.

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