Sept. 3, 2011
Tennessee Locker Room
Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley
"Let me start by giving Montana a lot of credit. That is a good football team. We knew it coming in here. They whipped us at the line of scrimmage the whole game. That is a real tribute to them. They are a veteran team with some big physical guys, and we did not run (the ball) the way it needed to be run. So, we need a little improvement there but we did make some big plays in the throwing game which stretched the game out a little bit early. That was good."
"It was a good win. They all are and they are all never easy. But there is a lot of work to do, and we need to make a big jump from game one to game two if we want to be competitive next week. We made a ton of mistakes, a lot of them from young guys. We have to go look at the film, clean it up and show some improvement next week."
(On the running game)
"We were hoping we could run it a little bit better but Montana did a good job. They have all seniors and juniors on defense, and you could tell. They did a lot of stuff - moving, shifting, blitzing - and they are physical. (Tauren) Poole had 100 yards and averaged four yards a carry but we were hoping to run it a little bit better than we did. "
(On Tyler Bray)
"Tyler did a good job. He was poised out there. There are still some plays he could have done better but for the most part he managed the game very well. He had three touchdowns, and we have some guys who can make some big plays on the perimeter."
(On playing against the no-huddle)
"There were a lot of mistakes. We settled in pretty good. There were some times when it got a little edgy on the no huddle when we were late lining up. I thought we managed it a lot better than we did last year."
(On the first-half fumbles)
"We have not had the wet ball work we needed to. Every time we had lightening when it rained so we were not able to go outside, and it showed a little bit earlier. We were not protecting the ball the way we needed to. Fortunately, we did not have a turnover. Sometimes that's luck and sometimes it means guys are running to the ball."
(On the weather delay)
"It is all in how you manage it. It is amazing but I think this is my sixth coaching where we have had a lightening delay. So, it is like old hat to me. The guys managed it really well. They were relaxed, and they just shut it down in the locker room. I was pleased with them for being as young as they were."
(On the play of Marlin Lane)
"Marlin showed what I thought he would. He has some good ability. He scored a couple of touchdowns and made some guys miss. He had some good tough runs, and he is going to get better and better."
(On the big plays of WRs Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter)
"They have both being doing it all camp. They both have big play ability, and we are going to need them to have a lot of big plays this year for us to win some games. They showed you a little taste of what they can do. We have to do a great job as coaches to put them in position to catch a lot of balls."
(On senior defensive back Art Evans)
"Give Art a lot of credit because he had a lot of reasons to shut it down last year. He went through a tough time last year, and we signed all of these DBs. But to his credit he has never complained. He has never griped. He has just gone to work. He made probably the biggest play of the game. They had kind of inched back in it. He played the bubble the way we want him to play it, and he got rewarded."
(On his orange pants)
"I admit I was inspired when I saw "The Color Orange." There's nothing better than old footage. I just remember seeing the old footage of the coaches out there and they all had orange pants on. So I asked Fraiz (equipment manager Roger Frazier) if he could get a pair of orange pants. He didn't think I'd wear them. He thought I was wasting my money. So Fraiz got it done and I felt like, let's put it on. I'm not at the blazer yet. Everybody else wanted me to wear white shoes and a white belt. My wife intervened on that. That's why you never do anything without asking your wife."
Senior DT Malik Jackson
(On Montana Offense & Tennessee Defense)
"I think we played very well, you know the young guys really had a great week of practice and everyone knew what they were doing pretty much. With their tempo it got pretty hectic, but once we settled down and got there tempo down it got easier. We had some problems in the beginning but we worked it out."
(Different than what you expected)
"We knew that they ran plays every 13 seconds, but once you get in the game and get a team that really runs, it gets hard, and I come out the first series huffing and puffing and you just have to get it used to it. It's the first game of the season and we were just happy we went out there and got coached up and everything fell into place."
(On not having any scrimmage work)
"I felt pretty good out there. I felt the weeks of practice more seriously and went pretty hard this week. I work my butt off this week and the game was pretty easy this week."
(Surprised by the size of the offense of Montana offensive line)
"I thought they were bigger, they looked athletic, but I guess that is what you can say about any team on video. It was surprising, but they were still very good and I wish the best for them."
Senior TB Tauren Poole
(On the flea-flicker play)
"Normally it doesn't, but I say him out of the corner of my eye and normally you aren't supposed to pinch it, but I pinched it anyway. I tried to turn around as fast as I could and you try and make a play to make a play and I did."
Sophomore QB Tyler Bray
"We saw them when we were watching film and we were working all week in practice to make these combinations ready for the game." Got some young guys in there tonight and we got them some experience so it helps us out a lot to get everyone experience. Glad we got out of there with a victory. We were running the ball, throwing the ball and it was just a really balanced offense tonight. We were just trying to finish."
"We did okay, there were a few throws I should have made and a few reads I should have made different. I kind of left Da'Rick out to dry and I didn't like that at all and I owe him one for the next game. Tauren ran the ball great, we ran play action and that's what we wanted to do."
Senior DB Art Evans
"I thought the coaches called a great play. They were able to make an adjustment at halftime and they put me in the right place at the right time. I was able to capitalize on that play. We knew what they were going to do when they first came out, and like I said, one of the coaches made that adjustment for us and it was easy to make the play. I was just happy and excited to make the play. It's good for the offense to see the defense make a touchdown. I think that's the biggest thing."
RS Junior DB Prentiss Waggner
(On looks used on defense)
"Throughout the summer camps, the coach was telling us we were going to get a fair shot. Tonight, we saw a lot of young faces and they had an opportunity to get their feet wet on the back end and make some plays."
(On spots played tonight)
"Tonight I played two different spots. I played free safety and corner."
"I think the communication was pretty good. Theirs is an up-tempo offense. We had one or two errors on pre-snapping line up, but overall we did a pretty good job."
(On first game)
"The first game, I didn't really know what to expect. I was looking to get a comfort level. This is my second game at free safety. I think I did a pretty good job. The young guys did a good job getting lined up and doing their responsibilities. The team did pretty well. We'll see some things on the film that we can correct, but things like that happen in the first game, like fumbles and missed tackles, offensive and defensive. We're looking to go back to practice, have a positive practice, and look forward to next Saturday."
(On rain delay)
"It was the season opener, everyone was excited. The last thing I remember is that it was steaming hot, and we went inside before the game. Coaches told us we would have about an hour delay, and so that got everybody's spirits down."
Montana Head Coach Robin Pflugrad
"Tennessee was a good football team and I don't want to take anything away from our guys. I thought our guys played very courageous. They fought hard all the way down to the fourth quarter when we made the goal line stand. I thought that was very, very impressive to go through a game like that and make a stand. They called a timeout and went for it and I was very proud of our guys and how they stopped that last play. We did make too many mistakes and it did look like an opening game at times. We put the ball on the ground a couple times and that reallykilled some momentum. That was a disappointing part of it. I would have liked to hit the quarterback more than we did. We got in on him a few times. We did sack him, but he did have too much time to throw it and he is an outstanding quarterback who will probably go and making a living out of it. You have to hit those guys who are going to be in the NFL someday."
(On Montana's run defense)
"They have a tremendous back in Poole, who had over a 1,000 yards in the SEC. I credit our guys. He ran hard but our guys tackled him hard. I was really proud of how we tackled people. We missed a few in the open field but to me it was so much better than our second game when we played Eastern Washington and Taiwan Jones went crazy. It was not that way tonight and I think Tennessee for the most part had to earn their scores. I am glad it did not get further out of hand and I think it might have if we didn't tackle well."
(On the play of Gerald Kemp)
"Gerald is a great athlete and he is a guy who needs to have the football. I think that showed on a couple of his runs and he is such a great athlete. When he does play quarterback he gives us that dimension. He can start at about three or four different places for us and maybe in the secondary. We have to find ways to get him in the game a little bit more."
(On Tennessee compared to last season)
"I really thought they lost two outstanding receivers last year and I don't think they missed a beat in their receiver play. Eleven (Justin Hunter) is a special guy and he is going to be a great player. He has an extra gear for a really tall guy. I think they are better there. The quarterback had a whole `nother year of winter conditioning, spring ball and the summer and that will pay dividends for them. I think their defense is pretty good and they are bigger than we are, probably a little faster. Sometimes that showed, but again I thought we hung in there in the trenches and did a decent job.
Senior SS Mike McCord
(On the play of the defense and potential turnovers)
"It could have been a whole lot better. We should have got every one of those fumbles. It really didn't bounce our way. The defense played pretty good. We gave up a couple deep balls, which we shouldn't have, but our front seven did a very good job of containing Poole. That was one of our main focuses coming in. I think the deep ball really killed us today. They converted on third downs, which we don't like to give up. Tennessee is a good team but we could have played a lot better."
Sophomore QB Jordan Johnson
(On the deep touchdown pass)
"I saw the safety was real low pre-snap, so I figured play action he would probably bit a little bit. I looked over there and he did. I took a pretty big hit on the play but it worked out."
(On his first collegiate start)
"I didn't do as well as I would have liked but I felt like an offense we moved the ball pretty well but didn't finish. We need to get better to get where we want to go."
(On the noise level at Neyland Stadium)
"With the kind of offense we run it is kind of tough to get a delay of game penalty. I really didn't notice the crowd. To me, it wasn't that much louder than where we play."