UT coach Derek Dooley says there is hope for 'second season'

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley talks with referee Tom Ritter in the game against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley talks with referee Tom Ritter in the game against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Do you approve of the job Derek Dooley is doing as coach of Tennessee?

See the results »

View previous polls »

If there's any consolation for Tennessee after another heartbreaking SEC loss Saturday at South Carolina, it's this: The hard part is over.

After the game, Tennessee coach Derek Dooley spoke of salvaging 2012 by way of a "second season."

The first season — conference games against five ranked opponents — was a failure, Dooley acknowledged. The second gives players something left to play for.

"We didn't really accomplish what we wanted to against these SEC top teams. But we've got to turn the page," Dooley said Sunday. "There's a lot at stake down the stretch. We can still have a really good season.

"We have to view this as a second season ... The only way to claw our way out of hurting is to win the next one."

Tennessee (3-5) plays Troy (4-4) on Saturday (TV: FSTN, noon) at Neyland Stadium, the first of four games that the Vols will be expected to win.

The early line from Vegas gives the Vols a 20.5-point edge on Troy. Upcoming games against Missouri (4-4), at Vanderbilt (4-4) and Kentucky (1-8) could be more difficult, but the Vols are likely to be favored in all of them.

Tennessee's five "first season" losses came to opponents with an overall record of 36-5. The "second season" opponents are a combined 13-20. The final three SEC opponents are only 3-13 in the league.

The final four games are likely to be played amid intensified discussion of Dooley's job security. Dooley, in his third season at Tennessee, is 14-19 overall and 4-17 in the SEC. He's 0-15 against ranked opponents, and the South Carolina game was likely his final opportunity to break that streak in 2012.

Will he get another chance in 2013? There's been no indication that Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart plans to make a move now, meaning these final four games could factor in his post-season evaluation of Dooley and the direction of

the program.

In Saturday's 38-35 loss, players said they were aware of the stakes, but weren't focused on their coach's future.

"Yeah, I mean everyone's always talking about Coach Dooley being on the hot seat," said quarterback Tyler Bray. "No one really worries about that. He's going to put us in a great position to win, and we've got to execute, which we've failed to do."

Senior receiver Zach Rogers said the final games are important for everyone.

"We've got to play for coach (Dooley), we got to play for ourselves, we got to play for this university," Rogers said. "It's not just one individual we're playing for. This hurts the whole community when we lose like this."

Four of Tennessee's losses have been reasonably close, but Saturday's defeat was likely the toughest. The Vols were driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Bray fumbled after being hit by South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Troy suffered its own heartbreaker Saturday at Florida Atlantic. FAU drove 74 yards to score the winning touchdown with 17 seconds left in the game to break a 14-game losing streak in the Sun Belt conference.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2012 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 107

utfaninga writes:

Hope Rajion is healthy this week. TN run game has really missed him. Its almost non existent now.

volfast40time writes:

we could either win out or lose out the season...this will be a test of our teams mental toughness

jobrando#216494 writes:

Might be one last chance to beat a ranked opponent. Lets say OLE MISS beats georgia they would move into the top 25. Vandy then beats OLE Miss and could move to number 25. Far fetched but possible.

shorttail writes:

WHAT, where did the new safeties come from?

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to volfast40time:

we could either win out or lose out the season...this will be a test of our teams mental toughness

There is not a snoballs chance on a hot tin roof this team will "lose out". Baring injuries to critical players I fully expect this team to set the all time Volunteer total points scored for a season and all time highest average for points scored per game, under any Tennessee coach, including Neyland. That is good coaching, I don't care who you are. Were it not for having faced Bama's mature 3-4 No.1 defense in the nation they could be holding those records now. My only concern is Mizzou or Vandy playing way above their average defensive game this year. They will handle Troy with style and Caintuck better watch out, comin into our house this year! The "Water Barrel" returns home!

G8RH8R writes:

This is the SEC. The whole season is tough and you're either competitive or you're not. Guess which category we belong to? I will not attend another game or buy any Vol related merchandise until the coaching situation is repaired....

fan_for_life writes:

Not sure he deserves it but the USC game means Dooley will be back for at least one more year.

coach799 writes:

You fair weather fans go ahead and stay home and wear some crimson shirts like the majority of their fans! Us Real UT Fans will not miss you. Respect your Team, Coach, and University or find a team that suits your desires.

GO VOLS!!

TrouserCough writes:

Wow! Your gone, stop trying to spin it.

123forVOLS writes:

in response to G8RH8R:

This is the SEC. The whole season is tough and you're either competitive or you're not. Guess which category we belong to? I will not attend another game or buy any Vol related merchandise until the coaching situation is repaired....

How do I press Unfan for this post? The Vols do not need your Nots(not attend another game, not buy an Vol related merchandise...). I am sure you now have Coach Dooley and even the AD shaking in their boots.
Why can we not just all get behind the team some of us love and let the season play out. If I see one more time that we lost to KY...last year; I'm regurgitating promptly. If they win out, go 7-5, play respectably in a bowl, even win it, the Head Coach is staying, just like Kermit the Frog in Muppets Take Manhattan.

govols0463 writes:

I can't believe how stupid he is to publish this bulletin board material!!! This guy is an IDIOT!! "We didn't do as well against the top SEC teams"! Wow! He's gonna' say that, and now we have to play a Vanderbilt team that we barely squeaked by in OT last year by getting an incredibly lucky roughing the kicker call when our middle school kicker hit our own center in the *ss with the ball! He's gonna' say that and we've got to play a Missouri team that is looking for respect in the conference, and he said that about a team that beat is sorry *ss with a WR playing QB last year. What an idiot! Just shut your mouth, get fired, and open your law firm in Athens, GA, and get the h*ll out of our lives! I said 5-7 in July, and I'm standing by it. I could show you post after post where I've said 5-7. There is no way in h*ll this football team wins more than 2 of these last games. And for the last time, UT was in a 4-3 80% of the game yesterday, not a 3-4! They've dumbed it down so much, it's not even funny! They are just horridly coached, with a bunch of non-speed 2 stars running around in the secondary! It has very little to do with the defensive formation!

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

Based on some of the articles I have read in which Hart was questioned on DD's job security, I would be very surprised if he pulled the trigger on DD unless there were a monumental implosion of sorts in the home stretch. Many posters have insisted that the problem is the talent level and yet, according to Rivals, DD's 3 recruiting classes have ranked 9th,13th, and 16th nationally. I have long maintained that these players who chose to play for the U of T have been shortchanged in both the development and best use of their skills and abilities. Obviously DD was not ready to challenge the SEC elite when he was hired, and it's just as obvious that he is still not ready. But aside from a major scandal or possibly finishing with another losing record, or unthinkably, a 2nd consecutive loss to another horrid Ky team, I believe he gets at least 1 more year. But to think that last year we came so close to losing forever one of our fellow posters (volpreacher) who vowed never to post again if UT lost to both Vandy & Ky should be enough to cause any AD worth his salt to leave all options on the table.

govols0463 writes:

And I just went back and read the article again. It's basically saying "we are now getting to play some games against teams in our league". Absolutely pathetic! Thanks Derek.

GloryDays writes:

Sal Sunseri's defense is so bad that I am afraid the 4 teams will score a lot of points. At least one loss, 6-6 maybe the Music City bowl, Weedeater bowl. Things are looking up. Wait till next year Dooley will only get better, perhaps 7-5? What more could a Vols fan hope for?

redskinvol1 writes:

Dooley said we should all view the next 4 games as a second season.By Dooleys count then he has already had 5 seasons.5 losing seasons.FIRE DOOLEY NOW!!PAY GRUDEN WHATEVER HE WANTS!!

Big_House_of_Ice_Gulp writes:

CDD and ADH should be shaking in their boots because theres about 20 thousand fans that feel the way h8r does. Empty seats say it all. Will someone up there please pull up your boot straps and state for the record "these are not acceptable results for the UT football program. There is no overwhelming evidence that we will improve anytime soon. We expect a level of excellence and we are moving in a direction to return there." Usually doing the right thing is doing the hard thing. Someone make the hard decisions please.

tnvolfan30 writes:

It all comes down to 9.5 million bucks, give or take a few thousand. Does UT can him this season and go into debt or wait and pull the plug next year? And if you "fans" quit going to games then good, stay the Hell home!

thevoice writes:

in response to coach799:

You fair weather fans go ahead and stay home and wear some crimson shirts like the majority of their fans! Us Real UT Fans will not miss you. Respect your Team, Coach, and University or find a team that suits your desires.

GO VOLS!!

Careful. The one thing that will miss those fan$ i$ the UT Athletic Department.

thevoice writes:

in response to tnvolfan30:

It all comes down to 9.5 million bucks, give or take a few thousand. Does UT can him this season and go into debt or wait and pull the plug next year? And if you "fans" quit going to games then good, stay the Hell home!

A. The $9.5M will not be due at one time, but instead spread out over several years.

B. More than $9.5M will be lost in 2013 if Dooley is still coaching.

C. See 10:40 pm comment.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Has Dooley asked Dave Hart for 1 more year due to a medical hardship?

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to fan_for_life:

Not sure he deserves it but the USC game means Dooley will be back for at least one more year.

Not.

arkyvol writes:

just what hell is beating the next four stiffs supposed to prove? and btw, i wouldn't bet the farm on anything better than 2-2. i've mentioned the difference in petrino's, and muschamp's first years and been accused of an unfair comparison. well, here's another one: freeze at old miss. there's something electric about the enthusiasm a good coach brings with him. i felt it with kiffen; i've never felt it with dooley.

thevoice writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

Has Dooley asked Dave Hart for 1 more year due to a medical hardship?

I think he's asking for a redshirt season.

Scoon writes:

in response to Big_House_of_Ice_Gulp:

CDD and ADH should be shaking in their boots because theres about 20 thousand fans that feel the way h8r does. Empty seats say it all. Will someone up there please pull up your boot straps and state for the record "these are not acceptable results for the UT football program. There is no overwhelming evidence that we will improve anytime soon. We expect a level of excellence and we are moving in a direction to return there." Usually doing the right thing is doing the hard thing. Someone make the hard decisions please.

where did you get such a silly name?

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

I'm just tired of being an un-clutch team....we don't get the play we need when we most need it. I understand you can't win them all, but to have three shots to score, and one big chance to beat south carolina.... and then we could have kept the tide from turning against Florida after we stuffed that fake punt. The only team that really just flat out beat us was Alabama. It's hard to 100% blame our offense because except for the Alabama game, they have scored enough points to where they should have won an SEC game... but they don't capitalize on the opportunities they get late in the game.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to utfaninga:

Hope Rajion is healthy this week. TN run game has really missed him. Its almost non existent now.

Not to be picky, but a little over 90 yards rushing against SC, who gives up 104/game isn't that terrible. The only team to have a higher yards/rush against them was LSU. Bama only gives up 57.25 yards/game, and we ran for 79 against them with the highest per carry average of any opponent they've faced so far.

I wouldn't call it non-existent.

Lifelongvolsfan writes:

Instead of a hope for a "second season" I would rather hope for a "second coach this season" because the one we have stinks!

govols0463 writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

Not to be picky, but a little over 90 yards rushing against SC, who gives up 104/game isn't that terrible. The only team to have a higher yards/rush against them was LSU. Bama only gives up 57.25 yards/game, and we ran for 79 against them with the highest per carry average of any opponent they've faced so far.

I wouldn't call it non-existent.

I agree. We've ran it well. Makes me wonder why our offensive coordinator feels the need to constantly throw a fade on 3rd and 1 or break our normal offensive formation and snap it to a LB 6 yards deep, but oh well, what do I know? I'm all for balance, but he gets crazy with some of the silly calls. We've finally got an O-line, and he forgets (or doesn't know) how to use them. When it's 3rd and 1 and we have 2 downs to get 1 yard, I don't get all the craziness. We make it way too hard, especially with one of the better o-lines in the conference, if not country.

knoxtenn writes:

Tyler Bray was dancing on the sideline in the fourth quarter and Dooley was not in his face. Three friends of mine, along with myself, noticed it.

Few members of our defense understand the fundamentals of wrapping up and running through the offensive player for a tackle. We were taught that in high school.

0-5 three straight seasons in the SEC.

And there is a "second season?"

Lets hope there is not a fourth season. It'll just be a delay to getting back on track.

This coach quit his first profession. He's not handling his second one very well either.

Classof72 writes:

The good news: There is a new season.
The bad news: There is no new team.

The good news: There really is a new season.
The bad news: It's basketball season.

smokeybitesback writes:

Does anyone know or heard that Dooley met with the team tonight to tell them he was out as head coach?

FLVol97 writes:

Many folks have described Dooley as a "good guy". But yet over the last 3 years of failing to obtain at least 8 wins Dooley continues to blame his players (Bray/Hunter). As self seving as Lane Kiffin is, while he was the head coach at UT, Kiffin at least did not call out individual players in the media as scapegoats.

Orangeblood64 writes:

in response to smokeybitesback:

Does anyone know or heard that Dooley met with the team tonight to tell them he was out as head coach?

Did you hear that? Where from?

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to smokeybitesback:

Does anyone know or heard that Dooley met with the team tonight to tell them he was out as head coach?

yes its true. I heard it from a reliable source. Also, the same source told me Hot Chocolate will be served at Saturday's game. So, its obvious he knows insider stuff.

phhome writes:

in response to longhairedbigcat:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As long as Chaney keeps calling those plays my daughter can call before UT runs them we'll never get anywhere. Chaney will be the reason Dooley will lose his job, his sorry play calling keeps the defense on the field so much they just get worn down.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to knoxtenn:

Tyler Bray was dancing on the sideline in the fourth quarter and Dooley was not in his face. Three friends of mine, along with myself, noticed it.

Few members of our defense understand the fundamentals of wrapping up and running through the offensive player for a tackle. We were taught that in high school.

0-5 three straight seasons in the SEC.

And there is a "second season?"

Lets hope there is not a fourth season. It'll just be a delay to getting back on track.

This coach quit his first profession. He's not handling his second one very well either.

"Tyler Bray was dancing on the sideline in the fourth quarter and Dooley was not in his face. Three friends of mine, along with myself, noticed it."

You say that like you thought it was a bad thing.

I saw it on TV. It looked like Bray and at least two other players, I assumed WRs. They appeared to be dancing along with the stadium music during a break.

I thought it was great. I don't recall seeing players excited to be playing for quite a while. Not since Moore, Jones and Bray used to do that little "loco" sign thing. I miss that. I miss the energy and the chemistry they had. It wasn't like they were celebrating being behind.

pcshowtime writes:

in response to Olddogsrule:

There is not a snoballs chance on a hot tin roof this team will "lose out". Baring injuries to critical players I fully expect this team to set the all time Volunteer total points scored for a season and all time highest average for points scored per game, under any Tennessee coach, including Neyland. That is good coaching, I don't care who you are. Were it not for having faced Bama's mature 3-4 No.1 defense in the nation they could be holding those records now. My only concern is Mizzou or Vandy playing way above their average defensive game this year. They will handle Troy with style and Caintuck better watch out, comin into our house this year! The "Water Barrel" returns home!

Old doggy I respect you But please respond to my post. With your bama 3-4 Mature D. here is the link.
http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2012/o...

Are you a DFL (dooley for life)
or a
VFL vol for life.
PcShowtime.

pcshowtime writes:

I got a NEWS FLASH for you Dereck.
The University of Tennessee football coach Does not get paid to beat.
Troy, Mizzu, Vandy and KY.
0-12 against FL, GA, Bama, and So Car.
now I did not expect him to win 25% of that 0-12 but one or two f##ing games.

Wake up you DFL (dooley for life)fans
and become a real vol fan and demand better for our school.

VFL (Vol for life).
not dfl (dooley for life)

Pcshowtime

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to knoxtenn:

Tyler Bray was dancing on the sideline in the fourth quarter and Dooley was not in his face. Three friends of mine, along with myself, noticed it.

Few members of our defense understand the fundamentals of wrapping up and running through the offensive player for a tackle. We were taught that in high school.

0-5 three straight seasons in the SEC.

And there is a "second season?"

Lets hope there is not a fourth season. It'll just be a delay to getting back on track.

This coach quit his first profession. He's not handling his second one very well either.

man just shut up, its called being focused, Bray was fine whole game, he was called out responded. Take your pity party elsewhere

jbc writes:

in response to phhome:

As long as Chaney keeps calling those plays my daughter can call before UT runs them we'll never get anywhere. Chaney will be the reason Dooley will lose his job, his sorry play calling keeps the defense on the field so much they just get worn down.

It looks like UT is the third highest ranked offense in the SEC. Behind Texas AM, and Georgia.
http://www.ncaa.com/stats/football/fb...

29 Tennessee 456.00

yards per game

TooDlems writes:

Well Doofus, it all starts this week. If you and your team don't give Troy your respect and attention they will make you pay. Troy is a pretty good football team, especially on offense. Please win the rest of your games so they don't fire you.

signalcorps writes:

face it bray has become a player better off in the pro's nothing but a problems in colloge(cant play with the big boys)coach over looked to much should have been sent home long ago ,,dooley should be gone nothing wrong with the AD department

orangiac writes:

Coach says that we can still have a real good season. If you can't beat anyone of any consequince then you have not had a real good season regardless of how many 2nd rate teams you have beaten.

TheFuj writes:

in response to volfaninbuckeyeland:

Based on some of the articles I have read in which Hart was questioned on DD's job security, I would be very surprised if he pulled the trigger on DD unless there were a monumental implosion of sorts in the home stretch. Many posters have insisted that the problem is the talent level and yet, according to Rivals, DD's 3 recruiting classes have ranked 9th,13th, and 16th nationally. I have long maintained that these players who chose to play for the U of T have been shortchanged in both the development and best use of their skills and abilities. Obviously DD was not ready to challenge the SEC elite when he was hired, and it's just as obvious that he is still not ready. But aside from a major scandal or possibly finishing with another losing record, or unthinkably, a 2nd consecutive loss to another horrid Ky team, I believe he gets at least 1 more year. But to think that last year we came so close to losing forever one of our fellow posters (volpreacher) who vowed never to post again if UT lost to both Vandy & Ky should be enough to cause any AD worth his salt to leave all options on the table.

Recruiting is the key. He did well his first year, and continually dropped each year. I do not believe we will be top 20 recruiting this year.
All can talk about the recruiting polls and not being accurate, but usually teams in top 10 recruiting year in and year out are the better teams. Also, most SEC teams end up being in the top 20 recruiting. Even 16th-18th last year made us like 9th in the SEC recruiting.
Dooley is just attracting the top players.

SandySpringsVol writes:

I'm done. Not with UT, but these comment boards. The level of ignorance approaches a new high every week.

For Example, phhome: "As long as Chaney keeps calling those plays my daughter can call..." Chaney's the reason Tennessee was still in the SC game, the Georgia game, etc. And as an aside, if your daughter can call plays at Chaney's level, she clearly must be adopted.

knoxtenn: "Tyler Bray was dancing on the sideline in the fourth quarter and Dooley was not in his face." Did it impact Bray's performance? No. Did it show he was loose and ready to get back on the field? Yes. So your point is that the QB should not be loose and ready to play?

smokeybitesback: "Does anyone know or heard that Dooley met with the team tonight to tell them he was out as head coach?" Given the prevalence of social media, are you really so dumb as to think that would ever happen?

I'll continue to read the GVX articles, but here's a suggestion for the KNS -- hide the Comments section and make it so that you have push a button to see them. That way you have to actively seek out stupidity rather than having it foisted on you when you get to the end of an article.

klrigsby#1377153 writes:

Winning the next four games would be great but until they can beat the big 4 it does not matter we are a middle of the road team much like Vandy,Kentucky and the like.

BigOrange_supporter writes:

in response to smokeybitesback:

Does anyone know or heard that Dooley met with the team tonight to tell them he was out as head coach?

Yes, my doctors sisters uncles niece, who knows someone that goes to UT,was told,Dooley told the team if the beat Vandy he gets a contract extention.

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

It's to the point where I can't listen to or watch Dooley in a presser any longer..."Second Season?"

That is about as asinine as his Bamboo schtick... How freak'n far has this program fallen? It's unbelievable.

LifetimeVolFan98 writes:

in response to coach799:

You fair weather fans go ahead and stay home and wear some crimson shirts like the majority of their fans! Us Real UT Fans will not miss you. Respect your Team, Coach, and University or find a team that suits your desires.

GO VOLS!!

Agreed....

darbhoo writes:

in response to longhairedbigcat:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good riddance. Tennessee will survive without you.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features