Postgame Quotes: Vols 45, APSU 0

Aug 31, 2013

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HEAD COACH Butch Jones

(Opening statement)
"First off, I'm proud of our program for accomplishing a milestone with our 800th program victory. There's not many programs in the country that can stay that, and that's a tribute to all the great players who have come before us and have laid this tradition, this passion. So congratulations to them.

"I'd like to thank our student body. We can't do it without them. We talk about making Neyland a home field advantage. Over 10 thousand of our students here. I greatly appreciate them and we're going to need them even more as we continue to move on.

"Ten true freshmen played tonight and eight redshirt freshmen, so a total of 18 freshmen played. Twenty-two made their debut.

"The big thing is that I wanted a clean game. I didn't want to have 10 men on the field and have to call unnecessary timeouts. I thought our special teams did a great job in terms of getting the right people on the field.

Second half, we have to do better. Even though we made some changes, the standard and the expectation does not change. I talk to our players all the time about consistency and performance, and this is just one game. We have a lot of work to do. We have an extremely, extremely, extremely talented football team coming in here next Saturday, so we have to continue to get better and we have to roll our sleeves up and come to work tomorrow.

"I'm very proud of these guys. I thought we came out with a collective energy about ourselves. We generated some turnovers early. I thought that really switched the momentum. Really once we gained the momentum, we never relinquished the momentum. I thought that was big as well."

(On first game and addressing unknowns going into game)
"Again, I thought our sidelines did a good job of handling all the many substitutions and all that. I'm just proud of our players. They've worked exceptionally hard. We have a long ways to go and a lot of work to do. You know, for me, the greatest peace of mind that I have is how proud they were to show me the Vol Walk, how proud they were to run through the T. You could see the pride of who we are coming out, and that's what we have here and that's what we're building as a football team. I see them continue to grow closer and closer. I also know their standard of accountabilities and expectations are growing, and we need that as we continue to progress because as you know, we're going to be challenged.

(On no penalties)
"We talk about the plan to win. In that plan to win is disciplined football. We can't be a team that has untimely penalties, and I thought our players did a great job. As we continue to progress, we're going to be challenged even that much more. We can't turn the football over. I thought our defense did a good job early with Daniel Hood and then Malik Foreman made a good play on the ball."

(On if he could recall a previous game coaching with no penalties)
"I don't, especially in the opening game of the year. Our coaches do a great job, but our players did a great job in terms of that."

(On fairly young team avoiding penalties mistakes)
"Everything is a learning experience, especially with the younger players. I'll tell you: that preseason practice we did where 39 thousand people showed up? We benefitted from that tonight. You could see the benefits of that, especially with our younger players. I thought that was a benefit with this football team and developing our players."

(On if he had any nerves before kickoff)
"I wasn't. I thought we had our best two practices of the year Wednesday and Thursday. I thought our players were locked in. Tuesday was average. We really challenged them, and on Wednesday and Thursday, their preparation was outstanding. You win the game through your preparation over the course of the week. We knew we had done all we could do. We had exposed them to just about every situation. I was more concerned that we had over prepared them. I could tell at the walkthrough this morning that they had that look in their eye and they were ready."

(On getting one game in the books)
"You're going to get to know me. I'm already thinking about Western Kentucky. We'll enjoy this one tonight but the more you win, the more is at stake. We're going to be challenged by a really good football team coming in here. We're going to enjoy it, but we've got a lot of work to do. Again, I didn't like our consistency and performance by a second and thirds in the second half. We have to finish drives, and we can't give up big plays. There's a lot to work on."

(On emotions personally at the Vol Walk and running through the T)
"Our fans are outstanding. That Vol Walk is incredible. Again, that's a difference maker. If you're a student-athlete, where else would you want to play football but at the University of Tennessee to represent this state, to have the opportunity to play in front of the greatest fan base in the country. We're going to get it. We're going to get it right, but it's going to take some work. This is truly a special place."

(On evaluating secondary and other concerns with so many substitutions)
"That's going to be an ongoing process. You're right, I believe there are some individuals who only had 29 reps tonight, but also we needed that. We needed to work on some depth. We needed to get the younger players some valuable repetitions. Now we'll get in there and really coach and critique and really work on getting better. We still have a long ways to go on special teams. I think we have a lot of work to do. We need to improve our team speed. We gave up a couple big returns, and we can't do that on special teams. Again as the season goes on, we're going to be challenged each and every week."

(On evaluating the secondary and others of interest)
"That is going to be an ongoing process. I believe there were some individuals who only had 29 reps tonight, but also I think we needed that. We needed to work on some depth. We needed to get some young players some valuable repetitions. Now we will be able to go back and really coach, correct, critique and really work on getting better. We still have a long way to go on special teams. I just think we have a lot of work to do. We have to improve on team speed. Especially on (special) teams I think we gave up a couple of big returns. We can't do that so we have a lot of work to do with our special teams because again has the season goes on we will be challenged each and every week."

(On Justin Worley and playing two quarterbacks)
"We went in playing two quarterbacks. I thought Justin managed the game outstanding. He hit a couple of hot throws. When he was hot I thought he had great command. I thought he had great poise. I told him you can't be emotional. You have to be the coach. It is like a surgeon, you have poised and disciplined and I thought he was."

(On the true freshmen corners)
"They are very, very young and inexperienced but talented. They are extremely competitive. They have great competitive character. I think that showed in Malik Foreman. Again, as we move forward we will be tested even more. Will there be growing pains? Yes, absolutely but I thought today was a good fundamental start for our entire team."

(On the defense's confidence)
"Yes they were confident in themselves. They have worked exceptionally hard. My biggest thing to them is how are we going to handle adversity. How are we going to handle when we give up a big play which I thought we responded we got off the field and they missed the field goal. But what is going to happen and how are they going to respond when we give up a touchdown? That is a mark of great defenses is they forget easily and move on. We have a thing in our program called snap and clear, you have to play the snap and clear it from your mind and play the next. We will continue to harp on that."

(On the team being emotionally where the coaching staff wanted)
"They were. That is what we expect from our football team week in and week out. I told them no longer would we hear the terms "flat"or "lethargic" in our football program. You work exceptionally hard, you lift all the weight, do all the 6 A.M standard periods, you are up here all summer and all of that is a means to be playing football. You get 12 opportunities to work at getting to 13 or 14 so take advantage of it. This is one opportunity and now we are on to the next but you need to enjoy that especially when we play at home. Playing with this fan base and the student body, it is special."

(On Marquez North)
"I will know a little bit more when I watch the film, but I thought we played hard. We expected a lot from our receivers just from terms of receptions but also in terms of blocking. I thought he did a lot of good things and there are a lot of good things to build upon."

(On the passing game)
"I thought we were efficient, but again as the competition continues to grow we have to be able to make the routine throws. I know Justin (Worley) statistically had 11 out of 13 and would probably like to have the two throws back and one of them in the red zone. Again, it was a great teaching point. The thing I liked most was that we were efficient."

(On the tempo)
"We still need to work on that. I thought at times we played relatively fast and at times we slowed down. Now we aren't in up tempo all the time. We have four different tempos, so we change it up and all of that. I would still like to get a little bit faster."

(On being 6 for 6 in the red zone)
"That was part of the plan to win. You have to win the red zone. Defensively you have to force your opponents to kick field goals. Offensively you have to score touchdowns. I thought we did an outstanding job. Everything becomes larger in the red zone because of rhythm, spacing and timing. The depth and everything shrinks, so the windows become that much smaller. Your routes have to be perfect and you have to protect the quarterback. You can't have tipped footballs. There is so much that goes into executing in the red zone."

(On Kirby Cannon)
"We are going through a lot of the same things. We is building his program and we are building our football program. I have a lot of respect for him. Their athletic director, Derek van der Merwe, is instrumental and helped me get the head coaching position at Central Michigan. He is a great friend and I appreciate everything he has done for me. They are going to do a good job there. I have a lot of respect for what they are building there."

(On Curt Maggitt's injury and status)
"We made that decision on Friday and we will know it will be an on going process. He is better than he was right now than last week. He is getting close. No new injuries tonight."


(On winning tonight)
"It was great. It was our 800th win as Tennessee and Coach Jones's first win of the season. You always want to win, so it was a good feeling."

(On the running game)
"I am really proud of Marlin (Lane) and Rajion (Neal), they did good. Also, (Deanthonie) Summerhill came in late in the game and showed us a lot. But that just goes to show you the work we have put in since the spring and coach Jake (Mike Bajakian) call those runs for us."

(On tempo and conditioning)
"Coach (Butch Jones) is always going to stress to play faster, you can never make in happy in that point. But I do feel like we can play faster. Sometimes out there we were late to the ball. I think he said we snapped it 16 times with 20 or more seconds left on the play clock, so we can try to get that number up to disrupt some defenses."

(On Butch Jones inspiring the team)
"It definitely makes you lock in and it makes you excited to go out there and play with effort. That's all he talks about, playing with effort, and play with energy. If the defense makes a big play, they should be chest-bumping, if we make a big play we should chest-bump. Just keep high energy throughout the game. So it is good to have him in the huddle calling the play."


(On feeling of the game) "I think the biggest thing is going back and watching the film and being really critical of ourselves, technique wise, you can always get better technique wise. Now we are focused on Western Kentucky, they have a lot of big transfers from other schools, so they are a good team. We have to focus on them now."

(On Justin Worley)
"He controlled the line of scrimmage. That is the biggest thing you can ask from him. I didn't really have to turn around a lot to hear him, he yelled a lot and did well."

(On Worley's confidence)
"His confidence definitely grew. Especially when he got that long run, I saw in his eyes that he was comfortable and it was really good to know, that since this was his first start, that he was comfortable with us."

(On if Worley's zone reads surprised him)
"He needs to learn to slide, but yes it is good to know that he is comfortable running the ball because running the ball is a huge part of our offense."

(On being able to score this year)
"was good, you can never devalue scoring. But I felt like the young guys came out and did a good job, but they have to respond to a big time team."

(On missed assignments)
"I feel like everyone was on one accord for the most part. I think the biggest thing was just technique wise; we were just a bit off, especially me and the whole left side. Like I said though, we will go back and watch the film and correct it."

(On Rajion Neal)
"He ran really well tonight. He read his keys and came off our hips, so it was really good to see him do that. It gives us confidence early."


(On running and success behind a veteran line)
"I think that is everyones running back dream to run behind one of the most experienced line in the SEC.They definitely gave me a great push and great reads. They just jump started me the whole game and gave me something to work with every time."

(On the offense scoring with the first 6 possession and what that means for the future)
"That is just confidence. It was a big confidence booster from switching the offense and kind of playing against our first opponent. It was big and something we needed it. We appreciate it and it definitely starts upfront with the O line, receivers, quarterbacks and everybody bought into the game plan."

(On Justin Worley)
"Everything is good. We believe in Worley. We play and are familiar with him. The O line is one of the best in the country so he feels safe back there. It is our job as running backs to just play off of him and protect him as much as we can."

(On this game being important and what the team needed)
"I think it is every coaches and players dream, it went as smooth as it could have gone. I think that is what we really needed."

(On Coach Jones on the sidelines)
"I am not going to lie, it is exciting. I like to see how energized he gets on the sidelines. It gives you a giant boost. You don't see too many coaches come in and be jacked up as much as he is."

(On tonight's performance)
"Honestly man, it was one of those nights, that it honestly it just starts and begins up front. You have to give the praise to the o-line for them giving me the reads and the starts-- just getting me started every time. They've helped me out to get started and I just have to finish."

(On breaking a big run)
"It was nice. I can't lie. It was set up kind of perfect-- o-line stretched it, took my read, then my receivers just helped me out by pinning one and I just walked it down the sideline."

(On today's atmosphere)
"Oh man, it was exciting. That Vol Walk, it did it for me. I can't lie. I think that's one of the highlights you look forward to as an opener-- seeing the Vol Walk, seeing the fans again, seeing how they react, just going out there and playing for them almost."


(On rating performance of the night)
"I thought it was consistent both with the running/hand off game and the pass game. I thought we moved the ball well as a whole. The offensive line did a great job establishing the run as well as Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane. I am pleased with our offensive performance tonight."

(On getting better with each drive)
"First drive you have a little bit of nerves. Once that first play hits you get in the flow of the game. Each and every drive you get a little more confident. You know what you are expecting out of the defense."

(On opinion of starting quarterback)
"I just have to take it one day at a time. I am pleased with our performance as a whole tonight. No penalties, I think the first group were 100 perfect on conversion rates with third downs and very efficient. We just have to take it one day at a time and prepare for next week."

(On looking back at film later with any missed throws)
"I missed Marquez (North). I threw it behind him a little bit and he made a good catch, but he could have walked in the end zone. I will be tough on myself. I have to be to progress as a quarterback. I will evaluate everything even carrying out fakes after handing the ball off. You have to be hard on yourself."

(On sliding)
"They haven't really told us what to do after that. I guess, you're an athlete, make somebody miss. Do whatever you can to get the yards you can.

(On quarterback execution)
"I thought we executed, both Nathan and I pretty well. I know it's pretty new to Tennessee offensive style, but it will progress. We're quarterbacks-- running the ball, I guess, is something we're going to have to work on, but it will develop throughout the season."

(On tonight's game plan)
"Yes. We talked about efficiency and knowing the game plan, knowing what we have to do, and I thought we executed very well and I'm pleased to see that."

(On crediting players)
- "I think it's just hard work throughout this fall camp, coaches being hard on us day in and day out, and us responding to their coaches as well. I think the receivers, I know there were a lot of true freshmen out there, they did a great job of coming out there and knowing what to do."

(On feeling like it was his first start)
"A little bit. Knowing there was young guys out wide and even some of the guys coming in later in the game, Woody Quinn and AJ Branisel, they, I know how they feel going in for that first game. You just have to help them build their own confidence and instill confidence in them."

(On Western Kentucky)
Yes. Big opponent. We can't overlook them at all. We just have to take this one day at a time and prepare for them like its our next opponent, which it is.

(On throwing passes "up for grabs")
"No. WE had some presure on a play action fake and aborted the fake, got some depth away from the pressure and their safety came down on our flat route and Devrin [Young] was just right behind them. It was scripted pretty well I guess for a pressure situation."

(On scripted plays)
"Not really. Coach Jake had several plays he knew he liked going into the week. They actually came out and did something completely different than we watched on film, but we were prepared for that and answered it pretty well I guess."


(On the game tonight)
"I thought it was great. We really played with some good effort, good intensity. Really strained all night, and had a great passion for the game overall as a team. So, that was great. Really happy to see how our team came out and played."

(On what he can improve on next week)
"A lot. I think I can give a little better ball location to receivers and that's the main thing I'm going to focus on. Just try to move in the pocket a little bit and try to keep managing the offense."

(On having no penalties)
"Yes sir, that was one of our goals coming in. Maxim number one: "The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win." So I thought as an offense, to come out and do that it's great to reach our goal like that. I'm really happy we did that, and I hope we can do it again next week."

(On playing in his first game)
"It was great, especially with the fan turnout. It couldn't have been a better first debut of getting out there. Vol Walk even seemed like it was backed up seventy or eighty deep. I just appreciate that and it was great to get out there. An opportunity I really relished."

(On if he thought he would play the entire second half)
"A little bit. I was planning on being ready regardless. So, I was ready to play. I think I can come out and execute a little better next time but I really enjoyed the opportunity out there playing."

(On how beneficial it was to see significant playing time tonight)
"Yes sir, definitely. It was very beneficial. I appreciate the opportunity to go out there and compete, and I really enjoyed it."

(On the offense's tempo)
"Yes sir. I was really pleased with the tempo, especially with the ones. Coach kind of wanted to slow us down with the twos at the end to milk the clock a little bit. Yes sir, sportsmanship. I thought as an offense we did a great job with the tempo."

(On if there were any missed routes)
"Nothing major at all. I think there's always going to be stuff we can work on. There are a few little things that we need to come out this week, that we can correct this week. That's part of being a football team, a young football team especially within the skill positions. We got to get better every week and we're going to see a lot better teams every week. So we've got to focus on that."

(On if they played a clean game as a team)
"Yes sir I do. I was really happy with everybody, how the offense executed, carried out our goals, and our whole team's passion on the sideline. The game overall, I thought it was great."

(On the efficiency of the passing game)
"I thought it was very efficient. I thought at least I could throw better balls. I'm going to work on that this week. I'm very happy with how the receivers played and how the o-line was up there blocking, also giving me some time. I really thought it was pretty good."

(On if he sees more confidence in the defense in practice)
"I do. I really do. They're playing with a little swagger, a little Tennessee swagger. They're swarming to the ball like their title is, Orange Swarm. They're doing a great job and they've got some playmakers on that defense too and I thought they did a great job tonight."

(On what he takes from tonight's game)
"I think to just get in there and calm myself down and just go out there and play ball and deliver accurate balls also. I was really happy to get the experience and really grateful for that. So just going to keep trying to improve."


(On getting the first game out of the way and have something to use for evaluation)
"Definitely. Also it was nice to play in front of the fans. Everybody in Knoxville was anxious to see the Vols come out and play. I want to thank the fans for coming out and showing the support. We just want to come out and be consistent and come out again with another win next week."

(On how the front seven helped the young guys in the secondary.)
"I think we did well today. I thought we communicated well. We've got all of the calls, all of the checks. We played fast. Coach Jones kept it simple. I was very impressed with the young guys when they got out and played in the second half. They came out, played consistent, played tough and relied on what we had practiced all week."

(On if the defense will get complex as the season goes on or if simplicity is something that is just part of it. )
"It's difficult to tell. We try to adjust to what other teams give us. So, we're see where that goes."

(On if it was good to keep the defense simple)
"That's good for communication - everybody's on the same page, playing the same thing. That's always good for a defense. Everybody has to come together and play together as one. We're just trying to work on being consistent throughout the week and get ready for next Saturday."

(On if, coming into this game, he felt the defense was ready to get to the ball fast. )
"I think the whole defense felt good. We had prepared really well this week. The coaches did a good job letting us know what we were going to see and what we needed to do to ease check. We just came out and executed."

(On holding Austin Peay to 79 yards rushing)
"It felt good. The D-line played really well - especially Daniel Hood, who had an interception and a tackle for a loss. I was very impressed with our D-line."

(On if he gave Hood a hard time for not scoring on the interception)
"At the end of the third quarter they gave me a hard time. They said I tried to intercept it."

(On Cameron Sutton)
"Cam Sutton, he prepares like a champion. He's been acting like he's been a starter for a long time. Like when we see something that we don't regularly see, he doesn't panic. He adjusts well and we just get it done."

(On Malik Foreman's body language after getting beat on a play)
"We have a `snap and clear' mentality. Play one snap and clear your mind so the last play doesn't affect the next one. We just incorporate that and he got an interception."

(On the confidence booster for the defense, throwing a shutout in the first game)
"It gives us great confidence, for the young guys and the old guys. The young guys got out and played tough. I was very impressed. We've just got to come out next week and beat the system, keep working on what we built this week."

(On what he thinks the defense needs to work on)
"We've just got to be very critical of ourselves when we come in and watch film. We got a shutout, but there's always things you can work on and things you can fix. It's always that way because you know we didn't give up zero yards. There's always something you can get better at."


(On his interception)
We were running just a little ET game, Corey (Miller) was coming inside and I had to cover. On a screen that is my play to make when they do throw it, and the quarterback threw the ball low and I was able to bat it and catch it. If Corey (Miller) would have been able to get a block on the quarterback we might have been able to get a touchdown.

(On if it was like playing tight end in his past)
It was a little like that. It was the first interception I have had since middle school. So it was nice.

(On confidence going into the game)
Going back to the 4-3 made things a lot more simple than the past. We knew Austin Peay would come out, but we didn't really know quite what they would do, so we kept things pretty simple and just played our techniques and that worked out well for us.

(On Coach Jones and the Vol Walk)
"It's an incredible experience, today was the best one we've had since Florida last year. It was just incredible to just see that many fans come out even for a team that is Austin Peay. It was just incredible to be a part of it. That's my last first Vol Walk. It was just insane."

(On the shut-out)
"It's one of the few we've had since I've been here, so it's nice to bounce back from what we had done last year and actually play a good defensive game where we held someone and shut them out and not have another Akron situation."

(On the intensity of upcoming games)
"Coach Jones wouldn't let anyone get too happy about it. He was already talking to us about Western Kentucky. I was watching some of the highlights, and they're up on Kentucky right now. We've known for a while that they were going to be a really good team and last time we played that coach he beat us pretty bad down in Arkansas. So we owe him a good one."

(On getting the shut out)
It feels great to finally get to go play against someone else and put on a performance like that. It definitely feels great as a new step forward in this new era. It was a big win for us, because it was the first one, now we have to continue to improve and get the next one.

(On if it felt faster)
Yes it definitely felt faster. We did not have too many calls, so we just lined up and played football.

(Byron On bringing the pressure early)
"It definitely felt good trying to come out and put the gas on the opponent so we just tried to come out the second half and definitely keep up that consistency. Keep playing hard and just not let up."

(On Coach Jones's reaction to the interception)
"He was definitely excited, Coach messed up a little bit, but he was still able to make a play on the ball. He was definitely happy for the first pick."

(On the freshmen interception)
"It definitely helps their confidence and seeing him out there make that play I was happy for him. He was excited, like I said. It definitely builds up his confidence to go again next week."


(On the performance of the team overall)
"I thought we were together and were playing with intensity. Chemistry showed and, like I said, we had everyone come out fired up. We are just humbled we got this win."

(On the team's passing game)
"There is always room for improvement. Like I said, we came out and executed, played with intensity. It's what I expected. We repetitioned it throughout spring and throughout camp so we were well prepared."

(On the ball being moved around to different receivers)
"It boosts everyone's confidence, and in general, regardless if one person scores we feel like we all score. We all play for each other."

(On his own confidence level)
"I faced injury in the past, I bounced back from that I'm one hundred percent. I'm looking forward to playing more ball games."

(On being a veteran receiver)
"We have a lot of young people, but at the same time they've come a long way, they have made a lot of improvement and we try to coach each other. I especially try to do a good job coaching on and off the field."

(On the efficiency of the passing game)
"My mindset was confidence all over going into that game. I chose to really pay attention to my receiving group, my offensive line, you know I thought the game out."

(On the increasing intensity of upcoming games)
"We're aware. No matter who we play we're not going to underestimate them. We're going to keep the fight for sixty minutes."

(On the confidence building of the first performance)
"A lot of the guys are getting the first touch on the ball. Some of their first games, their first catches, so that boosts their confidence level and their experience. As a group we're prepared."

(On Coach Jones first mentioning Western Kentucky)
"Since summer we have talked about each of our opponents in the past to mentally prepare for them. But at the end of the day we focus on who we have that week. We're going to sleep on that."

(On getting his hands on the ball in the slot and the reverse)
"In this offense you can get the ball in many ways. The slot is the bread and butter to the offense. I think in general that our game plan was similar to the way we played."

(On confidence after the game)
"We knew what type of team we were playing, but at the same time we weren't going to underestimate them. We put our defense on film no matter who we play, so we just want to let out next opponent know that we mean business."

(On fan support)
"I love the fans, and that's something that made me commit. They're always supporting. They're there through thick and thin, no matter if it's a win or loss, and I'm just thankful to have them as fans."

(On the message UT Football is sending forward)
"That we still got it. At the end of the day they're no individuals. As our receiver group we're way closer. I think we play tougher together as a unit. Experience and chemistry all around just better you in any situation."

(On the confidence building in the game)
"The confidence built consistently, and I would say momentum, intensity, just everything. At one point I made a play and we all got hyped. That's what it's all about."

(On Justin Worley's performance)
"Justin is really consistent. He did the same thing throughout camp in the spring. I think that in general he just shows what he can do."


(On scoring six touchdowns on six drives in the first half)
"We built a lot of confidence because we saw that all of us got each other's backs, whether we've got the ball or not. We just saw the tempo of the offense going and with our center being our gas pedal, we moved a lot faster tonight."

(On if scoring got the pressure off of him)
"Not exactly, I'm just happy to be back on the field. I try to do anything I can to help my team."

(On if they answered some of the questions about the team tonight)
"I wouldn't say that. With this new team 117, we're just going to stay humble and be consistent and just work to the next level."

(On if the game plan was to pound it on the ground)
"Our game plan was to just come out here and send a statement to everybody that was watching to see what team 117 was about. I feel like we did that, but we're going to do some more each week."

(On how good he thinks the ground game can be)
"I think it can be as good as we can just following behind our offensive linemen. Those boys, they really work and we've got to work with them."

(On what team 117 is about)
"Team 117? Just a whole different swag that everybody's going to see."

(On Justin Worley's performance)
"He did very well. Justin Worley, whatever he says, he's the voice of the offense. He's a great leader. We follow behind his footsteps I think we're going to be a successful football team."

(On if Worley had command of the offense)
"He did. He did. Him and the center made the offense faster and that's what we were looking for."

(On getting the first win under the belt)
"It feels good to go out there and win the first one, the opener. It put us at 800 wins in school history. We're just looking for the next team and keep dominating our opponents."

(On what he got out of the game)
"Just a lot of fundamentals. Just go look at the film and see what we did wrong, see what we did right. Go out there and just stay focused.

(On the pregame atmosphere)
"I guess the Vol Walk hit us. It had been a long time since we walked down the road, through the Vol Walk. Once we got in there, got in the middle of it, we just felt the excitement. We saw it in our fans' eyes and we just retaliated after that."

(On if the offensive linemen showed they can run block)
"Our offensive line, I feel like, is the best run or pass blocking in the country. They showed it tonight, and we're going to show it each and every week."


(On the first win)
"Yea it was good. I know this was a, this was a big game for us just to get out there and get the nerves out, all the anticipation since an entire offseason has been leading up to that moment so it was good to get out there and get going."

(On his touchdown catch)
"It was a misdirection play, lined up off the ball on the left side, play action that side, come back behind the line of scrimmage on that side in the flat. I was actually hot on the play. The defense blitzed so I popped wide open. Caught it and scored."

(On Justin Worley)
"I thought he played a great game. I thought as an offense as a whole we did really well. We executed well, we didn't - I don't think we had any penalties in the first half so, I don't think we had any turnovers so I was really happy with our execution and Worley did a great job."

(On the Dobyns-Bennett players)
"Malik, I think he had an interception did he not. Yea, that was good, that was real good to see."

(On area players getting some playing time)
"Again that was, I think they've been running with the twos for a while now so I mean they were ready and I'm sure they got in there and did a great job."

(On who the playmakers are)
"I think we definitely, as far as, we started to build more confidence during camp and this game definitely helped us out with that. We were, we were doing everything we wanted on offense today, catching the ball and running the ball so that goes really good for all of us."


(On being a wide receiver)
"You know I'm just trying to learn the ins and outs, trying to soak up everything that goes in they're throwing at me and I just want to play the best game I can."

(On his first career touchdown)
"I was just like `thank you God' and you know I'm just hoping and working to get back there soon."

(On the punt he caught out of bounds)
"I would like to bust a punt return or a kick return. "Yea man, yea I was kind of upset about that. I was really wanting to make the play right there. You know there is just nothing you can do about that."

(On if he was pleased with special teams)
"Oh yea definitely, everybody is just really executing what the coach is throwing at them. We have some guys that I'm really happy to have on the punt return team. I'm just really looking forward to watching film with them and getting better."



(On if his team was affected by the big crowd)
"Oh, no doubt. No doubt. It's tough to communicate and any jitters are magnified by the noise. It wasn't a factor on why we won or lost, but definitely a factor in the kind of start you get off to. I thought the kids took a couple hits, but I think they settled into it. It's a challenge being in this environment for anyone so for a team that wasn't as good, it was definitely tough."

(On if Tennessee's offensive line is as good as advertised)
"Oh yeah! I anticipated that we would make some plays, and we made a few at the d-line spot off the edge but I don't think our tackles saw the other side of the line of scrimmage, and when they wanted to get a great push, they were certainly able to do that."

(On how tough it is to recover from the quick start Tennessee had)
"Your confidence isn't there anyway and then it just looks like another page that it will get out of hand at some point. You're just trying to play as many guys as you can in that situation and keep the energy level up and more than anything else, just try to concentrate on the next play as you can. It's tough. Sometimes kids will be kids and be thinking about the last play on the next one and that's when it can really get away but I thought our kids did a decent job of regrouping every series and played defense on the second half and just kind of went out with a sense of purpose and recovered a little bit."

(On not starting Tim Phillips at running back)
"Well we didn't know if Tim was going to play. Tim had a hip flexer that's just one of those muscles that's day by day. He came up to me before the game and said 'Coach, I want to go.' and we said we'll get you going. He only took a few snaps in practice all week long, but we thought the threat of Tim Phillips was worth maybe not broadcasting that he was hurt and may not play. It turns out he could play, and he played very well. He had some nice runs. He's a guy that you probably can't beat Tennessee with him but there are maybe some people down the line that are going to have to have a day where Tim Phillips dominates the game."

(On if it was by design to use both quarterbacks in the first quarter)
"We wanted to make sure that Jacob (Sexton) was ready. Sometimes you go into those games and you say well we're going to play you early and unless you just say third series and you tell that player, sometimes he'll go out there and he'll be flat so we told him that the third series of the game he would definitely be out there and I thought he did a good job. There are some things that he does very, very well. I think he's going to be upright in some of his runs. I think he was pretty happy sometimes just getting four or five or getting a first down, whereas next week when his confidence grows a little bit then he'll be more upright and he might turn those seven or eight yard runs into 15 or 16 yard runs."

(On how he felt about the two solid drives they were able to put together)
"Having that diversity within the offense is rare. When you have to spend time practicing all of the different elements. What you don't want to do is be average at both of the schemes. That gets back to the individuals, I think. Our run schemes do not change that much when Jacob goes in there, he just is the primary ball carrier whereas when Andrew's in there he's handing it off, so for the offensive linemen it doesn't really change what they're doing very much, and we'll throw the ball with Jacob. He threw a nice pass down the field that was very close. If it was maybe six more inches on target, that's a touchdown. That's what we want people to do is crowd the line of scrimmage thinking that he's only a runner, put eight in the box and give us some one-on-ones on the outside. I thought our wide receiver corp did a nice job of catching some balls. That's going to end up being a very good group."

(On how this prepares them for their upcoming games against Vanderbilt and Ohio)
"Well any success you have, you can build on. Just getting a game under your belt with your freshmen and the players that haven't played as much is huge. I think the coaching line that you improve your most from Game 1 to Game 2 is true, no matter who you play in Game 2. I thought a couple of our penalties were needless, a couple of breakdowns maybe just a little bit on our administration on a couple calls, but I thought there was enough out there to say we'll be a better football team next week and if we just keep in proving then we'll be a good football team before it's all said and done."

(On using Clack's big frame in the passing game)
"Absolutely we wanted to take advantage of that. Tennessee was in a lot of two-deep stuff where you're going to get a jam and he's not special with that height and that length at getting off the ball and a lot of tall receiver struggle getting off the ball against press coverage, but if you give him an off-man alignment, now you're talking about a 6'6 guy who has a knack for timing his jump out and occasionally using a hand to his advantage and putting himself in that position so anytime we get inside the 20, the fade route or just the vertical jump ball, we have to try that out because I think he's going to win a high percentage of them."

(On going for it on 4th late in the game instead of kicking a field goal)
"We wanted to be aggressive and there's some value in saying we scored but we missed a kick and it's not a given that you'll get that, and we wanted to show some aggressiveness and make sure the team understood that we wanted to go out there. The whole team with the fake punt unit and some of those things, that's to show the kids that whatever we work on, we're going to use. It's a good weapon, the quarterback becomes the punter play and that was a nicely executed play. I guess we wanted to kind of flex our coaching a little bit, I guess you'd say, but having those things on film is important because it forces the other team to work on a lot of things, but more importantly it tells our kids that if we put in a fake or we put in a special substitution package or whatever, we're going to do it. Usually when you have success with one of those plays then the kids feed on it from that point on. Our philosophy on special teams is we need to score, -which we didn't tonight- we need to set up a score, and then we also need to steal a possession. We felt like we needed to find a way to keep the ball a few times and that was the idea behind that. We kept getting in a lot of 4th and longs or we would have shown them a few more tricks."

(On how playing in front of a big crowd like this helps the players going forward having been in that situation)
"You learn to focus, you learn to concentrate, and when you have these types of environments, the younger players become older quicker. Your older players can benefit if they use it correctly. Being the bad guy isn't all bad. We came out of the tunnel and got booed and that was nice. It was nice to be booed. That's what you want on the road because you don't want any sympathy claps or anything for us and we're better because of it. It certainly helps to play a game in this environment for the next one that's going to be in a similar environment, and then within our own conference the pressure of the games will amount to what the crowd gives you here in terms of distraction and breaking your concentration so I feel pretty good about it."

(On if Phillips will be used a lot as a kick returner as well going forward)
"Yes, once he gets to 100%, because he probably took 10 plays in practice this week and none of them were full speed. He's a very exciting player and he's going to have his day in the OVC. He was within a shoelace of two runs tonight of finishing and he's a very good player and an even better person."


(On impact of crowd)
"It's not the first time I've played in front of a large crowd. It was the largest crowd I've ever played in front of; I'm a junior so that crowd stuff doesn't bother me anymore, you just go out there and play."

(On one-on-one advantage)
"Definitely. We had a game plan and we stuck with it, so I can't complain."

(On big play offensively)
"I wish I would've known where I was at, I would have scored. It happens, it was a successful play."

(On multiple quarterbacks)
"I'm okay with it. As long as we are moving the ball, it's okay with me."

(On team morale after big Tennessee plays)
"Yes and no. The good part was we got down there and had the chance to kick a field goal. The bad is we missed it. We're going to do better next week."

(On message to younger guys)
"Just work harder, that's it. Work hard when you get out there and the ball will come to you."

(On advice after mistakes)
"You got another play, so just catch it next time and keep moving."

(On going forward)
"We're not going to quit. I mean the score was ugly, but nobody quit. It wasn't any hollering, "MF-ing", or all that... it was a team effort. We lost as a team, and hopefully things get better as we try to win as a team."


(On surprises from crowd)
"Not really, I felt pretty comfortable out there. Go out first drive and first play, soon as that's over I felt focused and ready to go. I wasn't really paying attention to the crowd. Obviously you could hear them but we could hear each other out there so it wasn't that big of a deal."

(On communication issues)
"Yeah it might have had a little bit to do with the crowd, but that's my fault. I took too long a couple times and didn't have my eye on the clock within the last ten seconds. That's on me, just like everything we need to sharpen up."

(On passing hot streak)
"I think things got a little bit slowed down for me. Just started trusting my line more, seeing things differently, and felt good and loose out there."

(On defensive struggles putting pressure on offense)
"Yeah, a little bit. You got to go out there and put long drives together so that the defense can get some rest. Obviously you want to put up some points, and that didn't happen so I'm a little disappointed. We just have to go back, practice, and get ready for next week."

(On Darryl Clack)
"Oh yeah, he's got an advantage against every corner in the nation. He's 6'6, goes up to get it, and is really athletic so that's a great guy to have out there."

(On first collegiate punt)
"I actually punted when I was a junior in high school for like the first five games, but definitely in college this was my first punt."

(On tempo)
"Well we ran a lot of quick routes and get the ball out of my hands on the pass routes as quick as we could. I didn't feel like it was too much faster, it was still the same reads. There's still space out there to put the ball, there's still space out there for the receiver. I think we keep getting the ball out of my hand without a lot of sacks, that's a good thing."

(On ball distribution)
"I think that just comes naturally with the reads. Take what they give you because I'm not thinking in my head go to this guy, then go to this guy. I'm just making my reads and getting the ball to whoever is out there."

(On passing accuracy)
"I didn't really feel there were so many drops that should have been caught. There were a few bad balls on my part; that bubble was low, and I can't really remember the others. That's what happens."

(On moving forward)
"I think it was an ugly score, but there was definitely some encouragement with our team. We got those first little jitters out of the way, we've played in front of the biggest crowd we're ever going to see, and I think that's good for us. We moved the ball, and it wasn't like there defense was just... it's not like we were missing a million tackles on every play and they were dropping seventy yard bombs on us. It was rough long drives, but I think we played well."


(On Neyland atmosphere)
"It was really loud. We prepared all week with music at practice and some of the older guys had played in big stadiums like this. Our freshman year we played at Wisconsin and it was a pretty packed stadium. The other guys were prepared as the younger guys got the hang of it as the game went on."

(On Tennessee's offensive line)
"It's the SEC, there's supposed to be like that. Other than that, I felt it was a great challenge for us and we did the best we could."

(On big plays)
"That's something we talked about and a goal for the year, not to give up big plays. So just giving up one was a little bit of an accomplishment for us."

(On Tennessee's running backs)
"Their running backs were good. Really not much to say, it's the SEC."

(On how game prepares for future)
"Future road games with an atmosphere of being loud; I feel like because we played a lot of young guys this year, I feel it will help us out on the road."

(On having chance to play today)
"It was fun, and glad I got the chance to start. I worked super hard in the summer so it was a blessing to get that."

(On road trouble)
"I wouldn't say there were any troubles that caused us a loss on the road away from Austin Peay. You know sometimes you just get outmanned."

(On in game momentum swing)
"I feel like we never back down from any challenge. We just have to get back on the field and keep going."

(On leadership)
"It helped tremendously. It helped us get calls in the game and throughout everything."

(On defensive penalties)
"I can't really say nothing on that one."

(On bouncing back)
"Just going to practice and preparing for Vandy next week. This game we just have to put behind us. I feel like we came out here and they didn't blow us out seventy to zero, so we know what to improve on for next week."





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