Sept. 19, 2009
TENNESSEE LOCKER ROOM
Head Coach Lane Kiffin
"This was our first SEC game as a team and I really thought we had a great game together. I was proud of how physical and tough out players played today. We have a physical team; I knew we would play physical, tough and smart in a very hostile environment. Only four penalties and our guys were pounding it out. We lost a game which I thought we had a really good chance to win."
On Tim Tebow::
"Florida has the best offense of the country, so talented and so fast. Superman is always there with the ball and we had to figure out how to tackle him. I don't know how we did that. He's a great player, the pass defense was phenomenal. He's not only physical but he doesn't wear out. We were going to try and pound him but we can't stop him."
On who is more valuable between Tebow and Eric Berry:
"Tim Tebow. Eric is a phenomenal player, but Eric doesn't touch the ball every snap. Tim does. The difference is Eric can make a phenomenal two or three plays, which is a good game for him. Tim catches all the snaps; he's the most valuable player on the field."
On gaining respect in the Swamp:
"From our point of view, we have a lot of young players who are going be here for a while. Having success will show, and people notice it. The talent on the field gets to you, there's so much talent and so much speed. But our guys kept playing and what was the difference."
On the team's performance:
"We came here to win. I really wish that last drive we had the ball, we had a chance right there but we threw for an interception. We had great stops on offense, they were really aggressive, and had some great plays. Superman comes back out and it makes it hard. I was hired to win here, I wasn't hired for stats. We wanted to do the best thing and that was to control the clock. It's frustrating but we did the best thing we could do."
"I think we have a powerful message around the country about what's going on in Tennessee football. I think you'll see a lot of kids who just came here like Bryce (Brown) and our special teams. I think there is a real strong message about Tennessee football out there right now."
Senior quarterback Jonathan Crompton
On Florida's quarterback, Tim Tebow:
"We kept on coming at him. To have a guy like him who is persistent, we just had to keep coming at him."
On playing Florida:
"We played the number one team in the country this afternoon. They've been out here four or five years building and we're just starting."
Junior Defensive Lineman Chris Walker
On Tim Tebow's duration:
"He's a really tough guy to go one-on-one with. He's out there every snap of the game and we tried to wear him down a bit, but he lasted throughout."
On the game as a whole:
"It's tough only losing by ten and knowing we could've done better. We had to keep the momentum going. We're going to go back to the drawing board after this game."
FLORIDA LOCKER ROOM
Head Coach Urban Meyer
"Obviously I think we could have played better. I don't want to take anything away or disrespect our opponent. They have some talented athletes and this is SEC football, but I think as Coach Strong mentioned in the locker room, we missed a lot of tackles. Tim (Tebow) didn't play his best game but he played as hard as he's very played. He was a competitor. Does it mean that there's a lot of work to be done? Absolutely. A lot of time that work that is needed to get done is dictated by the caliber of athletes that you're going against and I think sometimes that gets lost in the nonsense. I'm happy to have the win, we will certainly enjoy it but we'll get back to work tomorrow."
On Brandon Spikes' lack of playing time in the second half:
"Brandon has tendinitis in his Achilles. Wednesday he really struggled in practice. It's not a major deal but it's a painful injury,"
On the team's injuries/illnesses:
"Jeff Demps had a 101 degree fever today. Aaron Hernandez had the flu so we had him in isolation on Friday. Jermaine Cunningham was on two days of isolation with the stomach flu. There are some tough guys on this team. For Jeff Demps to go like he did today after he looked like he saw a ghost, he was so pale this morning. We kept him in on pregame until right at the end because of the heat. He played really hard, but I thought Chris Rainey played tough too."
On the offensive line's heavy rotation:
"We had the ball in the third quarter for 11 minutes. I thought the checkmate of the game would be if we were able to punch it in when the score was 23-6. You have to be careful how you phrase it but in that kind of game, that would have been the checkmate. Obviously we fumbled the ball, but that was a good rotation created by (offensive coordinator) Coach (Steve) Addazio. It was good to see Maurice Hurt playing again and then we had James Wilson and Matt Patchan rotating so that was good to see."
On the drive ending with the Tebow fumble:
"We weren't throwing the ball pretty well but we played good defense. We struggled throwing the ball so we wanted to use the ground. The objective is to win the game so we managed to gain some yards but you have to take care of the ball. It would have been 30-6 at that point but like I said, we will just enjoy the win and keep it moving."
Senior Brandon James
On the game:
"It definitely feels good (to win). You can never take away from a win. As a whole, we didn't play the type of football we're capable of playing."
On having high expectations:
"We have high expectations for each other. The offense definitely holds each other accountable when we make mistakes. We could play a lot better than we played today. That (playing better) will come because it's still early in the season."
On special teams play:
"We had a couple of good returns. We started the game out well. All in all I thought we did a great job in special teams with field position."
Senior Ryan Stamper
On the game:
"We haven't lost to Tennessee since I've been here. I'm proud of that fact because of how great a rivalry it is. It was a big game where the defense came and fought hard. Offense made the plays they had to make and we came out victorious again."
On playing their first SEC game:
"This was our first SEC game and it was against NFL-caliber players. The SEC is the best conference in the nation, so it was a battle out there today. It was a great game."
On the defense's performance:
"Our defense fought hard today. We battled in the trenches, but gave up a touchdown. To hold Tennessee to 13 points is a pretty good day for us."
Junior Joe Haden
On the interception:
"They ran that play on me earlier in the game. It was an out route. I tried to overplay the route looking for it. I'd tried to undercut the route, but the receiver ran an out-and-up route. I turned around on it and when I looked up the ball was right there."
On the UF defense:
"We feel like we have the playmakers on defense where we can make any given play on any given down. We can cause an interception or force a fumble on any play. Everyone did their jobs today. Tennessee's running game did really well today, but we just need to focus on tackling."
On the win:
"At the end of the day we got the win. We're going to come in and work a lot harder. The win is the biggest thing we were looking for. They played a lot better than they played on film."