Sept. 17, 2011
Derek Dooley, Tennessee Head Coach
"Let me start by giving Florida a lot of credit. They were well-coached and a good football team. They came out ready to play and we didn't handle it very well. I was most concerned coming into this game about our ability to keep our composure and we hit a buzsaw and made a ton of mistakes early that put us in a hole. Then every time we felt like we were inching back, we wouldn't play well. We didn't tackle very well. When they can run the ball the way they did you are not going to beat anybody. Of course we didn't run the ball well. We lost Justin Hunter, and that obviously hurt. I told the team, though, if you are going to compete for championships, you are going to get scars on you. I have been saying this all season. We didn't have any scars on us and today we got plenty of them. That is a good thing, we need them. We didn't handle the environment very well and when Justin went down we didn't respond well emotionally. We also made a ton of mistakes, so hopefully this game will be a lesson for us next time we get in this situation."
On team's response emotionally to Hunter injury:
"It was clear that it was a break in your spirit when you saw it happen. The whole team saw it happen. You have to move on. I could tell when he went down that it had an effect on our team. It is an effect and you have to come out of it and play out of it because it is part of the game. It is very unfortunate, but that is the way it is."
On Florida's running backs:
"There were a lot of times we were in position and they just ran around us and out ran us. We did a real poor job in pass coverage. They did exactly what we thought they would do because they are good coaches. They are going to get them the ball and get them in space. They are really good players. Rainey is a great player and they do a really good job of using him the right way."
On Tyler Bray getting frustrated
"I think he got frustrated a few times, but that is just because he is competitive. We weren't having the success that we needed and they were doing a good job of controlling the ball. We didn't get a lot of possessions and had some negative yardage rushing plays. It gets frustrating. I am sure he did, but I give him a lot of credit because he kept playing. We inched back and cut it to 10 points. We just needed to get a stop and get the ball back, but we can't stop them. They drive the ball down for a six-minute drive and kick a field goal."
On the blocked punt:
"Again, we lost our composure. That was something we worked on all week. We knew what they were going to do there and we didn't execute what we do. I started seeing it and probably should have called a timeout, but we couldn't get it in time. That was disappointing. They did a good job and they executed it well. That is their playmaker, and he has done that before in a lot of games. We thought we were prepared for it, but we obviously weren't prepared enough. That was the microcosm of some of the things that happened out there. It just so happens when you make a mistake on a punt it is a devastating blow. The defense did a good job, though. They came out and made a stop and kept them to three points."
Junior DB Prentiss Waggner
On Rainey and Demps:
"It was everything we were expecting, we just did a bad job of [setting] the edge. They executed pretty well."
On the team's response in locker room at halftime:
"At halftime there wasn't anybody down or nothing. We were just pushing the offense."
On Justin Hunter's injury:
"When I saw Justin go down I went straight to Da'Rick [Rogers] and told him it is his time. Step up and be that big leader right now "
Senior LB Austin Johnson
On falling behind early in the game:
"That's kind of what's been happening two games in a row now, letting quick scores really early in the game. We've got to come out with a little bit more intensity, little bit more focus and make sure we get a third-down [stop] on the first drive."
On the momentum of the game:
"They had some good plays on special teams and a couple of turnovers that pinned us back. I thought we bared our backs well and held them to a field goal, which was good for us. We've just got to make sure we can keep that up and hopefully give that momentum back to the offense."
Sophomore QB Tyler Bray
On losing Justin Hunter in first quarter:
"It's tough losing one of your go-to guys as a quarterback. But hey, we still had all three quarters to come back and make plays, which we failed to do."
On the game's outcome:
"I was definitely frustrated at times. We played Florida; it's a rival. You're going to get frustrated when things don't go your way."
On center James Stone:
"He just needed to relax. He had so many things going through his head. He was thinking too much."
On whether they would have won the game with a healthy Justin Hunter:
"We lost. You can't really say. There is always what-ifs. What if I don't throw two picks? What if I throw five touchdowns?"
Will Muschamp, Florida Head Coach
"I want to complement our fans. It was an electric atmosphere out there. Friday night we had Danny Wuerffel come and talk to our team. He's a guy that has won a national championship and Heisman Trophy; he's a heck of a football player but a better person. "Any win in the SEC is a positive. We have some things we have to clean up. We had to take some timeouts. I thought we moved the ball well, especially earlier in the game. Defensively, I thought we played very well. As the game changed with them throwing the ball, we had to change our whole game scheme. There are some communication issues that we need to clean up. The worst thing that you can do in that type of situation is to give up big plays. Our young men did a very good job tonight. I'm very pleased with the win. There are obviously some things that we can still clean up." On the pass rush: "We had some good pressures. The first interception in the second half was caused by Ronald Powell - that was huge for us. We have to get pressure with four guys rushing. Having Sharrif Floyd back certainly helps that. It's difficult to put pressure on all the time."
On Chris Rainey:
"I don't know if there is a more versatile player. He comes to work every day. He works awfully hard, playing football. Playing for Florida is very important for him, and that's important for me. He's a guy that's an example of what you want as a player and competitor, as far as I am concerned."
On Sharrif Floyd:
"He's a leader. He's an outstanding young man. When he walks on that field and says something, he commands a lot of respect."
On the overall speed of the Gators:
"I'm not surprised because I've played the Gators before. That credit goes to Urban Meyer and his staff - he did a great job recruiting. These aren't Urban's players, they're Florida's players - that's a big credit to him, though. To be able to have guys like Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, when you put the ball in their hands, they can score any time. With Charlie's [Weis] system we evaluate our talent and evaluate what we can do."
On Caleb Sturgis:
"Just to know that you feel good and comfortable when he walks on the field, you feel very comfortable when he goes to kick a field goal. Caleb has been outstanding for us. Tonight he had a lot of opportunities. He's a guy that gives me a huge comfort level, to know that when we hit the 35-yard line we're going to get some points."
On the defense:
"It's week-to-week, especially with our guys. We're going to look at what we did that was positive. You have to constantly coach players, especially younger and first-year scheme players. Those are things you can't afford have to happen. That will lose you a football game."
On Matt Elam:
"Matt makes the call for us in the back end, so you have to have a guy that you can go to ask how things are going. That person for us is Matt Elam. He has a good feel for where we are. He loves playing at Florida. To me, he's a guy that is going to continue to progress as a player and leader. He's made tremendous strides to this point."
On Chris Rainey's impact:
"I think more than anything, Charlie is looking at situations and thinking about how we can create plays in space for him. That's more than anything to me. Charlie does a great job of that. He comes to me midweek and says I think we're going to create these situations. We just need to win those one-on-ones. Football is all situational. It's just a game of matchups. I really like how Charlie has created those situations with players. "
On John Brantley:
"John has played extremely well. I have had all the confidence in him since we've started here. He does a great job in the offense and does what Charlie wants. He does a great job of managing the football team."
On facing Tennessee:
"This atmosphere in this stadium, it's incomparable. Our guys understand what's at stake playing in the SEC, and playing well in the SEC. it's certainly a different buzz around here. This counts for one, and next week counts for one. We need to wake up tomorrow and get ready for Kentucky."
On the secondary:
"I thought we did a pretty good job as far as our coverage is concerned. You don't want to go into a game and get beat by their guy. We're going to play aggressive, we're not going to play soft, I can tell you that."
Sophomore Defensive End Sharrif Floyd
On making his 2011 debut:
"It's amazing. I'm very grateful to be back with my team. It was the hardest thing I've had to do in my life, to sit back and watch my team go out there and cheer. I never want to have to do that again."
On playing defensive end:
"At a new position, that I need a lot of experience at, it was a little difficult. It took me a couple of weeks to get in the groove, but I got back into it. It's not as easy as it looks."
On the team's performance against Tennessee:
"It wasn't the best that we can do, but we did a good job. Mistakes are going to be made. We just have to get better."
On the defense's chemistry:
"Our defense is one unit. We're not broken up. If the front is getting a lot of pressure, we have to give it back. Pressure is key."
RS-Senior Quarterback John Brantley
On the team's overall performance vs. Tennessee:
"We worked all week on our pass protections. We know where our outlets are. Rainey got out clean and he was in that open area - he can do some special things with the ball. It was cool seeing him split some players, and then next thing you know, he's gone."
On Chris Rainey:
"Rainey is a special athlete. He is getting better each week. He has really grown up and bought into everything. He deserves everything that he's been doing right now."
On team improvements following Tennessee:
"It's tough to tell right now without going back to the film. Every week there has to be a concern. Even if you did do well in the red zone you have to concentrate on that, and we're going to do that week."
On the wide receivers:
"I have all the trust in the world in my receivers."
On the win streak against Tennessee:
"I heard a little about that streak that we had going on this week, and I really didn't try to think about that. I just want to go out and get the W."
On controlling the clock:
"It's big. Fourth and short, we have to keep running the clock out. That's what won us the game. It kept their defense on the field and their offense off the field."
On scoring on the opening drive:
"We wanted to come out hot. We wanted to come out and score. Coach Weis told us to execute and drive, and that's just what we do, execute and drive. The first SEC win is very important I think. That gives us the confidence rolling into the rest of SEC play. It always feels good to beat Tennessee."
RS-Senior Running Back Chris Rainey
On his 83-yard reception:
"Seeing John Brantley run out of the pocket, I saw him look at me, I turned, got the ball and I saw the biggest hole I've seen in my life and I took off."
On his successes this year:
"Just stay focused. Your time will come. For me, it was an emotional game. I just had to do what I had to do."
RS-Senior OL Dan Wenger
On the ball in the red zone:
"It's disappointing when you get in the red zone to move the ball with efficiency and then get stopped down there. It's just a matter of finishing for us. I am going to say that I myself, personally, need to finish better and that's what I am going to really focus on this week in practice - finish those plays in the red zone and give our team a better chance, get away from the field goals and start getting touchdowns."
On confidence in Caleb Sturgis:
"The amount of confidence we have in Caleb is just amazing. He and I are in the same graduate program and have gotten to know each other very well. We go through a lot of the same things, so I have 100 percent support for him any time he goes on the field. I am not even worried, not even taking a second look hoping it's going in. I know it's going in with Caleb."
RS-Sophomore Linebacker Jelani Jenkins
On facing Tennessee:
"Well, we knew they were going to try and run the ball. They're a great running team. They were a little successful with their pass games, and we put a lot of emphasis on it this week."
On the defensive line:
"I thought they did well. We have to watch the tape and look at it, but from what it looks like they were able to keep pressure on their quarterback and help us out in the back end."
On Sharrif Floyd:
"We've been real good friends ever since he got here. I feel like I play a lot better when he's in front of me. He was a great addition to the team and I'm glad we got him back."