John Adams: All in for Tennessee? Not after that

John Adams
Tennessee fans look on in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Florida on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. Florida won 37-20. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee fans look on in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Florida on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. Florida won 37-20. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Recap: Florida at Tennessee

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When Florida wide receiver Frankie Hammond sped through the Tennessee secondary Saturday night, it's a wonder the entire Neyland Stadium crowd didn't move just as swiftly for the exits.

Some stuck around for the last 9 minutes. Maybe they were too tired to leave.

UT fans probably felt as exhausted as their team looked in the fourth quarter of Florida's come-from-behind, 37-20 victory.

Hammond's 75-yard touchdown wasn't a game winner. It was a game clincher.

It also was the deflating dart in a Big Orange balloon that had been pumped full of optimism all week.

There was enough energy in Neyland Stadium to lift the Vols off Shields-Watkins Field as they ran through the "T."

Tennessee fans haven't invested that much emotion in a Neyland Stadium venture in years. And they won't again this season.

"What about Alabama?" you might ask if you were oblivious to what transpired against the Gators.

Alabama, like Florida, is a longtime UT rival and nemesis. Alabama, like Florida, will be nationally ranked.

But it's not just ranked. It's No. 1 and looking every bit as dominant through three games as it was in winning the 2011 national championship.

Never mind that the Gators entered the game with a seven-game winning streak in the series.

They offered hope.

Hope left town before the Gators did. And it won't be back in Neyland Stadium on Oct. 20 when the Tide comes to Knoxville with another winning streak in tow.

Even if the Vols beat Georgia and Mississippi State on the road, their fans won't risk the emotional investment they made against Florida. Who could blame them?

So much went into Saturday's game: money, time, emotion, and the anticipation that a series long dominated by the Gators was about to take a Tennessee turn.

Some fans spent Friday night on the premises, intent on securing a prominent position for ESPN GameDay the following morning. Tailgaters were there from morning to night.

All they got in return was a devastating fourth quarter and an epic post-game traffic jam. The traffic was still so bad two and a half hours after the game, I felt as though I had just covered a Talladega 500.

Sitting there in a car that wasn't moving, you probably wondered where this program is headed.

The Vols have more talent than they have had the last two years. But, based on what happened against Florida, they still lack the wherewithal to maintain their composure and make crucial plays in the fourth quarter of a tight game. Hammond's touchdown occurred with 9:55 to play. UT responded as though there were 55 seconds left.

If it responds as desperately to adversity in its next four SEC games, it can expect the same results. And by the end of October, fans will be talking more about a coaching search than a bowl destination.

Win a couple of those games, and the optimism fostered from an season-opening victory over North Carolina State will return. But don't expect fans to make a leap of faith in anticipation.

They will have to see it first.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 180

SEAL_9821 writes:

WELL SAID ADAMS!!! I can't argue with this article.

FlaVol2 writes:

It is amazing how uninspired the UT defense was in the latter part of the game. They let the team, the fans, and the coaches that prepared them down with their lackluster play. Now they need to pull up their bootstraps and get on with playing a whole game with spirit and total commitment for the rest of the season.

ktemaque1 writes:

The mark of a good team is how it responds to adversity. Sadly, this isn't a good team. To see Bray's and the defense's meltdowns was ugly and disheartening. I was one of those who absolutely couldn't make myself stick around for the last 9 minutes, and I have backed the Vols since 1962!

vollaw writes:

After almost 24 hours to reflect, the thing that most disappointed me, and I believe most Vol fans,was not the loss as much as how we lost. I did not go into this season thinking we must win x amount of games. I was just looking for a team that would compete for 4 quarters and play hard. I would have been satisfied (not happy, but satisfied) with 6 wins this season as long as we fought hard and were competitive in every game until the end. I can't, however, be satisfied wth a team that quits and doesn't compete for 4 quarters. Hopefully, the Vols will come together and compete the rest of the season.

vq4nfo writes:

Well, there is Akron coming up with Bowden as coach. High scoring offense. I think UT was counting this as a win with all of the other SEC games coming up. We shall see.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

The loss was ugly. It stinks. It hurts. I don't like it anymore than anyone else who is a Vol fan.

But the sun will rise tomorrow. Hopefully, our football can make the most of it.

Vol1973 writes:

The defeated look on Bray's face on the final offensive drives was disgusting and not that of a leader, but of a spoiled brat that needs some maturity and education !! Good article Adams !

bigdisbig writes:

My take is that the entire volunteer defense along with Tyler Bray bet on Florida and threw the game in the second half.

JWilly writes:

While the game was still very much win-able, T. Bray had the look of a deer in the headlights. He appears to lack the maturity and the character to keep fighting when things don't look so good. I, for one, am very disappointed in this pass-poor performance.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

Well, there is Akron coming up with Bowden as coach. High scoring offense. I think UT was counting this as a win with all of the other SEC games coming up. We shall see.

Tennessee's parking lot beer bottle throwing attack may not be even good enough to beat Akron. I doubt it. It's like the article says we have all lost faith and we want proof. Great article and it sums it up.

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

The loss was ugly. It stinks. It hurts. I don't like it anymore than anyone else who is a Vol fan.

But the sun will rise tomorrow. Hopefully, our football can make the most of it.

That sounds nice and all until you realize our Vols got taken out back by the 3rd-4th best team in the East. We all bought into the same hype that we did last season, and once again our intuitions were confirmed after last night's loss. Our head coach is in over his head. He has a team built mostly of guys that Lane Kiffin brought in, and he has gotten nothing out of them. We don't have any depth behind them with the guys he has recruited. He can't motivate. He has an OC that panicked in the middle of the third quarter and resorted to the shotgun formation on first down being down only seven.

Side note: I just talked to a friend who went to the game and he brought up a great point. Why do we continue to play UF the third game of the season? How much better would it be if we switched Vandy and Florida? What do you guys think?

I'm also a Vol in Carolina, Charlotte.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to bigdisbig:

My take is that the entire volunteer defense along with Tyler Bray bet on Florida and threw the game in the second half.

Once again your take is idiotic and inane..Congrats.

volfanlostnbama writes:

Last night one of the reporters tweeted, "See how Bray looks to sideline to get play call every time? Can't read defenses."

I am really beginning to believe this is the case. I think its possible that they are trying to coach around problems instead of dealing with them head on. Coddling players that need to get their act straightened out. Is this the reason for the no huddle, coaches are reading it for him and then calling the offensive plays? What makes me think this could be true is how lost & frustrated Bray was by FL 2nd half adjustments.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

That sounds nice and all until you realize our Vols got taken out back by the 3rd-4th best team in the East. We all bought into the same hype that we did last season, and once again our intuitions were confirmed after last night's loss. Our head coach is in over his head. He has a team built mostly of guys that Lane Kiffin brought in, and he has gotten nothing out of them. We don't have any depth behind them with the guys he has recruited. He can't motivate. He has an OC that panicked in the middle of the third quarter and resorted to the shotgun formation on first down being down only seven.

Side note: I just talked to a friend who went to the game and he brought up a great point. Why do we continue to play UF the third game of the season? How much better would it be if we switched Vandy and Florida? What do you guys think?

I'm also a Vol in Carolina, Charlotte.

In looking at the overall game performance (not just through the middle of the 3rd Q), if some major changes don't occur within our teams' resolve, it's very realistic that we lose to Georgia and then go 0-for-October, thus starting of 0-5 in SEC play. That won't cut it.

The 1990 and 1991 UF-UT games were played in mid-October. In 1992, it got moved up to mid/late September and has remained there since. Rumor has it Spurrier wanted it moved up and it happened. In my opinion, UT would fare better against Florida later in the season each year. I think ol' Spurrier knew his best shot to beat UT was early rather than later. Can't say he was wrong.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Hey, UF has been out-coaching UT since Fulmer was HC..I'm not surprised at this, especially with the predictable play calling in the 2nd half. I did see Bray thread the needle on several crossing routes that may have caught the eye of NFL scouts, and Hunter and Patterson dropped some passes hitting them square in the numbers. It's a team loss, kill Akron and be ready for a tough battle with Jojaa..GBO!!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to vq4nfo:

Well, there is Akron coming up with Bowden as coach. High scoring offense. I think UT was counting this as a win with all of the other SEC games coming up. We shall see.

Tommy Bowden can coach. He is also aware of SEC teams and their style of play. Don't take him lightly.
John again said it the way it is, many condemn Adams but he calls it correct most of the time. This time this team also had John fooled.
Have to fight off my disappointment because I really thought we were ready to make a statement. We did but not the kind I thought we would.
So staying with the program , here we go again.
Vols 9-3 Plus a bowl
Vols 28 Akron 17

snowvol writes:

John, you're spot on again. I've been a Vols fan for over 50 years and although I'll never give them up, I'm spent. Oh I'll still watch, but this program under Derek Dooley will not do this to me again.

This team quit in the 4th quarter. You're not less of a Vols fan to admit what you saw. This team quit. Regardless of what you want to believe with Coach Dooley, these guys do not lay it on the line for him and his staff when the game matters most... and they're actually in the game.

This was the first Vols-Gators game in years I actually believed - not thought, BELIEVED - they'd win. I was being idealistic, not realistic.

Once again, no matter the coach and no matter the players: Florida Expects to win. The Vols Hope to win.

It's a fundamental difference between Florida and Tennessee, and it's been largely in play for the better part of the past 20 years.

redskinvol1 writes:

Dooley is a loser and the team will not win while it has a loser to follow.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

In looking at the overall game performance (not just through the middle of the 3rd Q), if some major changes don't occur within our teams' resolve, it's very realistic that we lose to Georgia and then go 0-for-October, thus starting of 0-5 in SEC play. That won't cut it.

The 1990 and 1991 UF-UT games were played in mid-October. In 1992, it got moved up to mid/late September and has remained there since. Rumor has it Spurrier wanted it moved up and it happened. In my opinion, UT would fare better against Florida later in the season each year. I think ol' Spurrier knew his best shot to beat UT was early rather than later. Can't say he was wrong.

I think you are correct. Auburn always wanted to play UT very early because they knew we always start slow. I seem to remember that they refused to change schedules to where they would play us in Oct.

volaholic45 writes:

Having had a day to process, JA captures my thinking pretty well.

The UT fan is in an abusive relationship. We've been paying Ruth Chris Steak prices for a Taco Bell quality product for years on end. They call making it harder to pick up an unused ticket "improving the gameday experience." $16 for 2 hotdogs and 2 cokes, and go sit on 20 inches of aluminum and go pee in a trough (ever seen another large venue where they have those things - I mean, other than Auschwitz?). If the matchup isn't worth even the bottom-feeders televising, you can bet it will be offered as a ridiculously priced pay per view. "Fan Appreciation Day" is standing in line for 2 hours on the sacred turf of Shields Watkins and then get the h3ll off the field and wait another hour to watch a practice.

The crowd at the Akron game will be an accurate measure of the UT "base" - the number of "thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another" suckers who will pay any price, take any beating, absorb any insult, and refuse to see that they are being used.

Fear the Roo, Tennessee. Fear the Roo. Not because they will beat you on the field, but because they almost certainly treat ther fans, way, way better.

I've seen lean times. I've lived through the Battle years and Johnny's lean years. This is not the same. This is not the same.

N2TheVOLS writes:

in response to Vol1973:

The defeated look on Bray's face on the final offensive drives was disgusting and not that of a leader, but of a spoiled brat that needs some maturity and education !! Good article Adams !

I couldn't agree more. The whole second half his composure was that of a kid who doesn't get his way. If he doesn't grow up fast, this is going to be a long 2 seasons until he's gone.

CrankE writes:

Fire Adams! Had to get that out of the way because of what follows. He's literally reading my mail. I posted this on another article earlier:
___

Bray said this, speaking of the fans: "They just care if we win ballgames"

This illustrates the cart before the horse mindset that UT has maintained for far too long. If we can just win, then that somehow makes us tough. No sir. You're going to have to be tough in order to win games that mean anything. Why can't these knuckleheads get it?!

UT seems to play as if they'll only give 60 minutes of effort when the outcome is certain victory.

Fans expect their team to win and lose. What fans will not tolerate is a team that quits. Specifically what is intolerable to me is that UT raises expectations and predictably implodes on a perennial basis.

The mood of the fan base tends to mirror that of the team. When they quit, so does the fan base.

And that brings us full circle here. When UT makes the commitment to restore this toughness (and even meanness) as part of the identity of the program, then win or lose, Tennessee will have a team that gives their all for 60 minutes and never leaves their fans embarrassed-regardless of the outcome of the game.

Until UT makes such a commitment, nothing will change.
___

VolinCalif writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

That sounds nice and all until you realize our Vols got taken out back by the 3rd-4th best team in the East. We all bought into the same hype that we did last season, and once again our intuitions were confirmed after last night's loss. Our head coach is in over his head. He has a team built mostly of guys that Lane Kiffin brought in, and he has gotten nothing out of them. We don't have any depth behind them with the guys he has recruited. He can't motivate. He has an OC that panicked in the middle of the third quarter and resorted to the shotgun formation on first down being down only seven.

Side note: I just talked to a friend who went to the game and he brought up a great point. Why do we continue to play UF the third game of the season? How much better would it be if we switched Vandy and Florida? What do you guys think?

I'm also a Vol in Carolina, Charlotte.

JC maybe you didn't notice the game Vandy gave the Gamecocks. At this point I don't want to play BG in Sept. How about Tenn Wesleyan or Hiwassee. If either of them have a team.

ambrown64 writes:

Look. We're all disappointed. At the same time, I want to take something good away. I think this group has a good spirit. They help each other in workouts, they've been working harder, there is alot more team unity and support. I was around some of the guys this morning, they are hurting, but they are determined and sticking together. I want them to come back swinging, and I want all of you to keep loving them. All we did last night is watch - we didn't have to get out there and play the game. The guys that did have some hurting egos and bodies. Let's see what they do with it.

mdvol writes:

Based on the AP Poll, after Akron we play #5, #23, #1 and #7. We have ample opportunity to get a signature win and certainly have the playmakers to get it done. I hate the Gators but they will likely end up a top 10 team. The VOLS will be heard from before this thing is over.

Millisa writes:

Dooley has to go NOW ASAP. Bench Bray Start Worley. Pat Summitt for New Head Coach

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

JC maybe you didn't notice the game Vandy gave the Gamecocks. At this point I don't want to play BG in Sept. How about Tenn Wesleyan or Hiwassee. If either of them have a team.

I watched that game. I was impressed by Vandy, but more unimpressed by South Carolina. But I also saw Vandy lose to the football powerhouse that is Northwestern.

James Franklin can moonwalk from end zone to end zone, but it won't change the fact that Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.

Imagine what it'd do for our team and fanbase if we could be 4-0 and have confidence headed in the meat of our SEC schedule.

Instead this is what have to suffer through now. We beat two cupcakes, get hyped, lose to Florida, reality sets in, beat last cupcake, and proceed to be bent over unlubed through October, and finally wrap up the year with the cupcakes again. Wait for our invitation to a December 30th bowl. Wash, rinse, repeat.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to mdvol:

Based on the AP Poll, after Akron we play #5, #23, #1 and #7. We have ample opportunity to get a signature win and certainly have the playmakers to get it done. I hate the Gators but they will likely end up a top 10 team. The VOLS will be heard from before this thing is over.

I'm hurting real bad but I'm with you.
Vols 9-3 plus a bowl
Vols 28 Akron 17: just a little gun shy at this point

philgreen5#410561 writes:

Florida is not that much better than Tennessee, but they are mentally tougher and know we will fold. It will probably be a long October and we will have to beat Kentucky and Vandy in November for a bowl game that nobody cares about. I am a long time Vols fan, but I am beginning to think we will remain a mid tier SEC team until we get a big time coach. Remember what the Tide went thru before Saban arrived.

tensie2004 writes:

This is one of the few times I agree with John Adams. He is 100% correct in his view that the fans will not invest the time, money, effort, and support that you saw leading up to the Florida game again this year. It looked to me like the defense gave up totally in the 4th quarter and the fans saws it. This is not a good thing for the Vol Nation to have to deal with this year. Bet there will not be 75,000 fans for the Akron game!

ambrown64 writes:

Also, it did seem that there was alot of difficulty communicating on both sides of the ball. The repeated false starts and the blown assignments on "D." Not sure what it means. I do believe that the running game is a persistent problem, and setting up that passing game is tough when there is no threat of a run. I do not think Tyler quit. I think he is vey much a rhythm player, and when we are having to call 2 and 3 plays at the line while looking back to the sideline, it is a problem. The guys are in their stance too long, Bray is not kept in a rhythm, etc. Heck - if you have to do that, just get in a proper huddle and bring the play in from the sideline. If you are going to overthink things and lose, I'd rather sling it around playground style and go down swinging. Let the ballers ball and see what happens. Tyler's confidence was a perfect mirror of the coaching confidence, and he fell back into old habits. There were also a few plays there with a wide open Zack Rogers and/or Michael Rivera, where he just keyed on a double-covered Hunter. He lost his mojo, but I think that can happen when your coaches show their own fear/doubt. Not a slam on the Coaches - this is just what I observed through my lense.

vols48 writes:

I think we are 4-5 stand-out players away from being ready for the "big-time".I think we lack the power house back that runs north and south with authority,that has break away speed,how about that feared defensive lineman that takes control of the game by making a couple of sacks a game and hits the quarterback a few times a game just to keep him aware of your presence,a consistent kicker that once you cross the 40 you have the confidence to put him in to put points on the board and then a couple of offensive linemen that make a difference when they step on the field....we need 4 full quarters played with heart.We go every week ,win lose or draw...but will be much nicer when we win on a regular basis against ranked opponents.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

I watched that game. I was impressed by Vandy, but more unimpressed by South Carolina. But I also saw Vandy lose to the football powerhouse that is Northwestern.

James Franklin can moonwalk from end zone to end zone, but it won't change the fact that Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.

Imagine what it'd do for our team and fanbase if we could be 4-0 and have confidence headed in the meat of our SEC schedule.

Instead this is what have to suffer through now. We beat two cupcakes, get hyped, lose to Florida, reality sets in, beat last cupcake, and proceed to be bent over unlubed through October, and finally wrap up the year with the cupcakes again. Wait for our invitation to a December 30th bowl. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I hear you. Just don't know how we can get around this problem, The staff must identify the cause and correct it. But It hurts when things like this happen. It hurt me in the past with Auburn and things haven't changed very much.
Go Vols

wallingdad writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

I watched that game. I was impressed by Vandy, but more unimpressed by South Carolina. But I also saw Vandy lose to the football powerhouse that is Northwestern.

James Franklin can moonwalk from end zone to end zone, but it won't change the fact that Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.

Imagine what it'd do for our team and fanbase if we could be 4-0 and have confidence headed in the meat of our SEC schedule.

Instead this is what have to suffer through now. We beat two cupcakes, get hyped, lose to Florida, reality sets in, beat last cupcake, and proceed to be bent over unlubed through October, and finally wrap up the year with the cupcakes again. Wait for our invitation to a December 30th bowl. Wash, rinse, repeat.

"bent over unlubed"......I laughed and laughed ....what an image that conjured up...humor is the best medicine someone said long ago..I tend to agree. It cannot change reality but it certainly helps to endure it.

mtthw741 writes:

I was in that traffic. Never again!!

mdvol writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

I'm hurting real bad but I'm with you.
Vols 9-3 plus a bowl
Vols 28 Akron 17: just a little gun shy at this point

Ultimately I think we will beat Akron soundly but it will be a slow start. In reality the crowd will be sparse too. Maybe 80,000 because the kickoff time is so late. 4:00 for a cupcake game would have drawn a bigger crowd. But you know....TV.

Does anyone else see a similarity between Bray and Erik Ainge? I think they have the same arm, same attitude (good and bad), can be great at times but also can completely check out.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

I predicted we would win 7 games before the season started. I think we can still do it but we have to beat Akron, Troy, Vandy, Kentucky and Missouri. Forget Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi State. We will be outcoached in all those games.

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to vols48:

I think we are 4-5 stand-out players away from being ready for the "big-time".I think we lack the power house back that runs north and south with authority,that has break away speed,how about that feared defensive lineman that takes control of the game by making a couple of sacks a game and hits the quarterback a few times a game just to keep him aware of your presence,a consistent kicker that once you cross the 40 you have the confidence to put him in to put points on the board and then a couple of offensive linemen that make a difference when they step on the field....we need 4 full quarters played with heart.We go every week ,win lose or draw...but will be much nicer when we win on a regular basis against ranked opponents.

Everyone wants to put this on Neal. Why? Neal finished with a respectable 95 yards. You don't have to a homerun RB. A guy that can get you 5-6 yards a pop can be just as effective.

Maybe you're not breaking down the game like the rest of us. But the more important question is why did our OC panic after being down by only 7 points and completely abandon an effective run game in the middle of the 3rd quarter? You've got a guy who was averaging 4.5 yards a carry, and you're lined up in the shotgun on 1st and 10. Really? And after Bray went 3 incomplete duds and out, what did Chaney call? Three more consecutive pass plays. All incompletes. They took a clearly flustered QB and hung him out to dry. Unacceptable, and Tyler Bray deserved better.

Derek Dooley needs to grow a set, there was no excuse not to line up and go for it on 4th and 2.

Coach like a man that has something to prove. He overthinks it. He's in over his head.

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

Don't look for the Akron game to be a blowout. Especially after this emotionally draining loss. Akron will come in to this game with the 5th ranked passing attack and highly pumped up after dismantling a very good fcs team 66-6. Their offense will be much more potent than NC State.

UTGrad2012 writes:

I've been a Vol fan for a long time, and watching us implode in the 4th quarter (again) was really hard to watch. There a couple of things that I took away from this game. First, I really wonder whether Jim Chaney is cut out to be an SEC offensive coordinator, and I've been wondering this really since the NC State game. When we ran the ball in the first half we seemed to have some success, but I really don't think I saw a running play that wasn't out of the shotgun the entire second half. I don't think it's a case where we can't run the ball, we just don't other than the 3rd-and-10-run the draw again thing we keep doing. In the NC State game after Lane ripped off a huge run down to inside the 10 or 15, we proceeded to throw the ball 3 straight times. That's observation one.

Observation two is how you could see both Hunter and Bray get frustrated and basically give up. I'll be the first to say that I think Dooley was given an extremely rough hand and has done a great job starting to get us back to where we need to be talent and depth wise, and up until now it's been hard to distinguish what is lack of talent and what is lack of coaching. After watching the end of that game yesterday, it's apparent that something isn't quite right inside that locker room. I'm not sure if some of the players (especially on offense) aren't happy with the play calling or if Dooley just doesn't have control over some of the bigger egos on the team, but something needs to change. I think just about everything else is fixable (blown defensive assignments and such) and there is definitely improvement, but it's going to be interesting to see what we do from here. Just my .02

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Millisa:

Dooley has to go NOW ASAP. Bench Bray Start Worley. Pat Summitt for New Head Coach

I guess that stereotype about women not knowing JS about sports is true..Thanks for clearing that up.

UT4prez writes:

in response to volfanlostnbama:

Last night one of the reporters tweeted, "See how Bray looks to sideline to get play call every time? Can't read defenses."

I am really beginning to believe this is the case. I think its possible that they are trying to coach around problems instead of dealing with them head on. Coddling players that need to get their act straightened out. Is this the reason for the no huddle, coaches are reading it for him and then calling the offensive plays? What makes me think this could be true is how lost & frustrated Bray was by FL 2nd half adjustments.

Someone probably beat me to this but lining up and then looking to the sideline is common practice in college football. Tons of teams do it. Also, remember that Bray came into this season with only one seasons worth of starts. I'm not making excuses for him. He sucked. Just the facts.

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to UTGrad2012:

I've been a Vol fan for a long time, and watching us implode in the 4th quarter (again) was really hard to watch. There a couple of things that I took away from this game. First, I really wonder whether Jim Chaney is cut out to be an SEC offensive coordinator, and I've been wondering this really since the NC State game. When we ran the ball in the first half we seemed to have some success, but I really don't think I saw a running play that wasn't out of the shotgun the entire second half. I don't think it's a case where we can't run the ball, we just don't other than the 3rd-and-10-run the draw again thing we keep doing. In the NC State game after Lane ripped off a huge run down to inside the 10 or 15, we proceeded to throw the ball 3 straight times. That's observation one.

Observation two is how you could see both Hunter and Bray get frustrated and basically give up. I'll be the first to say that I think Dooley was given an extremely rough hand and has done a great job starting to get us back to where we need to be talent and depth wise, and up until now it's been hard to distinguish what is lack of talent and what is lack of coaching. After watching the end of that game yesterday, it's apparent that something isn't quite right inside that locker room. I'm not sure if some of the players (especially on offense) aren't happy with the play calling or if Dooley just doesn't have control over some of the bigger egos on the team, but something needs to change. I think just about everything else is fixable (blown defensive assignments and such) and there is definitely improvement, but it's going to be interesting to see what we do from here. Just my .02

This guy gets it.

I think it's the play calling that frustrates them. I watched on tv. You should've seen the loon on Bray's face when Dooley brought out then punt team on 4th and 2.

UT4prez writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

That sounds nice and all until you realize our Vols got taken out back by the 3rd-4th best team in the East. We all bought into the same hype that we did last season, and once again our intuitions were confirmed after last night's loss. Our head coach is in over his head. He has a team built mostly of guys that Lane Kiffin brought in, and he has gotten nothing out of them. We don't have any depth behind them with the guys he has recruited. He can't motivate. He has an OC that panicked in the middle of the third quarter and resorted to the shotgun formation on first down being down only seven.

Side note: I just talked to a friend who went to the game and he brought up a great point. Why do we continue to play UF the third game of the season? How much better would it be if we switched Vandy and Florida? What do you guys think?

I'm also a Vol in Carolina, Charlotte.

I actually thought it was to our advantage to play them early this year. They had a new starting QB, a new OC, already had injuries on D, and we had a lot of returning players. The one thing it did hurt this year was with the switch to the 3-4 but I'm not sure how much is attributable to the new scheme or simply a defense that lacks fundamentals. The really poor play against the read option makes me think poor fundamentals.

lomas98 writes:

in response to mdvol:

Ultimately I think we will beat Akron soundly but it will be a slow start. In reality the crowd will be sparse too. Maybe 80,000 because the kickoff time is so late. 4:00 for a cupcake game would have drawn a bigger crowd. But you know....TV.

Does anyone else see a similarity between Bray and Erik Ainge? I think they have the same arm, same attitude (good and bad), can be great at times but also can completely check out.

No similarity. Ainge beat FL, ga on the road twice and home once, beat a ranked arkansas team, top 10 cal team. All ranked teams. Also beat bama twice. Other than 2005 when the coaches got into ainge's head, he was solid mentally. bray has a much better arm than ainge but wins are what matters. I think Chaney has too much confidence in bray. Sometimes it is okay to take 3 minutes off the clock and punt, going for the home run ball all of the time is not the best thing. Running the ball a little and scoring at least a field goal after the missed fake punt would have demoralized Florida, especially if a couple minutes ran off the clock. Ainge at least had the ability to check into different plays when the wrong one was called.

Mama_Also_Calls_Me_Precious writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

Everyone wants to put this on Neal. Why? Neal finished with a respectable 95 yards. You don't have to a homerun RB. A guy that can get you 5-6 yards a pop can be just as effective.

Maybe you're not breaking down the game like the rest of us. But the more important question is why did our OC panic after being down by only 7 points and completely abandon an effective run game in the middle of the 3rd quarter? You've got a guy who was averaging 4.5 yards a carry, and you're lined up in the shotgun on 1st and 10. Really? And after Bray went 3 incomplete duds and out, what did Chaney call? Three more consecutive pass plays. All incompletes. They took a clearly flustered QB and hung him out to dry. Unacceptable, and Tyler Bray deserved better.

Derek Dooley needs to grow a set, there was no excuse not to line up and go for it on 4th and 2.

Coach like a man that has something to prove. He overthinks it. He's in over his head.

I totally agree with you on why Dooley didn't go for it on 4th and 2..The score was tied and obviously the momentum was starting to swing in Florida's direction. An SEC coach HAS to be able to determine momentum and that it could be the difference between a win or loss. Unfortunately for Dooley, he was to conservative and it more than likely cost him the win. As a matter of fact, he has made several bone headed calls that has cost him several big wins. One of the reasons he isn't an elite SEC caliber coach...

wolfram writes:

Dooley is a loser - Wiki him if you don't believe. We are now a stepping-stone job to the big-time programs. We have all the amenities of a top 10 program .. tradition, facilities, $$$. But, we have a WAC coach pretending to be an SEC coach.

UTGrad2012 writes:

in response to JCJ1986:

This guy gets it.

I think it's the play calling that frustrates them. I watched on tv. You should've seen the loon on Bray's face when Dooley brought out then punt team on 4th and 2.

I saw that actually, and you could tell Bray was pissed to say the least. We had the momentum and the running game was working, and I think that was sorta the start of things going downhill. They interviewed one of the linemen after the game (Dallas Thomas maybe?) and he didn't come out and say it but you could tell he wasn't happy with how they abandoned the run game in the second half.

UT4Prez, I'll agree with you on thinking that playing UF early this year was going to be an advantage. I thought rattling Driskel and him making mistakes was going to be the difference in the game, but I gotta give him and their OC credit, he came up big when it counted. They're going to be in contention for the East by the time the year is said and done. Talent wise I think we're still maybe a year away depending on this incoming class and how we bounce back after this one.

Sovol writes:

in response to mdvol:

Based on the AP Poll, after Akron we play #5, #23, #1 and #7. We have ample opportunity to get a signature win and certainly have the playmakers to get it done. I hate the Gators but they will likely end up a top 10 team. The VOLS will be heard from before this thing is over.

we may have oppertunity but remember a Dooley coached team at TN has never beaten a ranked team and I don't see that happening this year.

JCJ1986 writes:

in response to wolfram:

Dooley is a loser - Wiki him if you don't believe. We are now a stepping-stone job to the big-time programs. We have all the amenities of a top 10 program .. tradition, facilities, $$$. But, we have a WAC coach pretending to be an SEC coach.

He's not a loser. He just wasn't ready for this job. Every coach has to start SOMEWHERE, and he never had an opportunity to start somewhere before an opportunity like this was put in front of him. He had to take it.

No one else wanted the Tennessee job at that time. Muschamp, Gruden, Cutcliffe, Troy Calhoun, and Tim Brewster all eventually said no. Dooley wanted it, and our AD had to settle on him.

He deserved a fair shot. We gave him two full seasons. Last night was his chance, he blew it. No reason to attack him personally. He just wasn't ready for this job.

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