* Although there's no satisfactory reason for the late-game meltdown that led to Tennessee's 37-20 loss to Florida on Saturday, coach Derek Dooley said during his weekly news conference that he deserves some of the blame.
"We had a great game going, and then we had a series of events that we obviously weren't ready for," Dooley said.
Dooley said there were two things he would have done differently. First, he said he should have tempered the Vols' aggressiveness on defense in favor of more simplicity.
"We've been talking about this for a long time as far as exercising that balance (between) pushing the envelope of what we can do schematically defensively to where it's aggressive versus doing too much to where now we've created confusion and we're not playing fast."
Dooley said he thought the defense was playing well early and the confusion and communication issues didn't manifest themselves until late in the game.
"The hard part on here was that didn't really hit us that it was really happening until late," he said. "When you reflect back on it, we'd certainly tighten that down a little bit."
Dooley also said he would have put less of a burden on the offensive skill position players like receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarelle Patterson and running back Rajion Neal.
"(Hunter and Patterson) had over 70 snaps. Rajion had too many snaps," Dooley said. "That's my fault. ... We have to exercise trust in what we've been doing, rolling guys early, so we have every ounce of juice we need in the fourth quarter."
* Dooley said the loss hit the team hard, but that the emotional reaction was understandable.
"(Players) were gutted. There was a lot of emotional investment in that game by everybody associated with Tennessee," he said. "I think it's a good sign that kind of pain is on us. We felt like we could go toe-to-toe and we did. We screwed it up."
* Dooley also defended quarterback Tyler Bray, who some fans criticized for poor body language late in the game.
"I think the unfair thing is to say he doesn't care," Dooley said. "It's not fair to say that he shuts it down. He doesn't. But when he gets frustrated and things that are out of his control start bothering him, he doesn't perform as well. He knows that. He'll grow from it and learn from it.
"Nobody wants to play well more than Tyler. Sometimes he wants to play well too hard. He's better when he's not worried about playing well and he's just playing."
* Dooley said he doesn't know whether Michael Palardy or Derrick Brodus will handle field goals and extra points against Akron on Saturday.
The Vols have missed one extra point in each of their first three games. Palardy was responsible for the first two, while Brodus missed one against Florida.
"I don't know the answer to the kicker question right now," Dooley said. "We have the yips right now on PATs."
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.twitter.com/BFQuinn.