Sept. 20, 2008
Head Coach Phillip Fulmer: "As I told our football team in the locker room, that loss is on me. I've got big shoulders, and I take responsibility. That wasn't us. The penalties, the orange-area efforts... we've been outstanding in those areas (in our previous games). Our punt coverage has been exceptional (in previous games). We never gave our defense really a chance.
"I think our defensive team played really hard today. (Florida's) a good offensive team, they're going to make some plays along the way.
"Our team ... it seems like we've got to learn things the hard way. And so I think everything we do, we learn from and get better from it. As a coach, last year's team was one of those teams that drove you nuts, but they got better and better. We played with effort, we responded and we won. We played for the (SEC) championship in Atlanta when a lot of other people had given up on us early. We won't give up, and we have a chance to be there again. It's just a little bit harder road.
"We had good success running the ball, but when you get 28 points down, it's very difficult to stay with it."
On the plan for kicking to Brandon James: "We were kicking it to the boundary, to the sideline every play we could. (Brandon) James is a good player."
On QB Jonathan Crompton: "Jon's doing some really, really nice things. He's a new quarterback; he's young quarterback, and he's got to continue to improve. He's a competitor. He made some really nice plays today, but he also missed some opportunities."
Jonathan Crompton, QB: "Obviously this hurts right now. We just have to come back tomorrow and start work for Auburn. We moved the ball great at times on offense. We stopped ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot."
On the long drive at the beginning and the frustrations of the turnover: "Our offense a lot of the times was clicking, and we can move the ball and not many people can stop us except ourselves. I think our defense played a good game tonight and held them and we gave them points as an offense."
On the impact of the orange-zone fumble: "Anytime you don't get points in the red zone it hurts, especially on the 1-yard line. It hurt as an offense, but I think we will bounce back and we are emotionally strong as an offense."
On whether or not Tennessee could stay in the game: "We shot ourselves in the foot. We should have won the ball game in my opinion. We gave up 14 points in the red zone, and they scored seven points off turnovers. We fumbled on the first drive, and that gave them three more. Those things change the whole momentum of the game."
Head Coach Urban Meyer: "We really controlled the line of scrimmage. I think No. 27 (Arian Foster) is one of the best backs in college football. We held him in check. We really felt they had three good running backs that we had respect for. We loaded the box pretty good. We wanted them to be one-dimensional.
"Our whole game plan, the way we manage the game and call plays... it's certainly not because of style points or someone touching the ball or why this guy is in the game. It's simply we want to play the short field. Our whole focus is that. Our special teams and defense did a very good job.
"Brandon Spikes is the leader of our team on defense. (The defense works) hard. We were in full pads on Monday and Tuesday in a 106-degree heat index. I'm starting to like this team a little bit. I'm not going to say `a lot,' but I like this team a little bit because they know how to practice and are acting very mature right now."
On Brandon James 78-yard punt return for a touchdown: "I thought the one against Hawaii was the best one I'd seen. He topped it with this one. He even said to me that might have been his best. The guys are blocking well for him"
On Percy Harvin lining up to return punts with Brandon James: "They are going to punt away from Brandon. So we did a fake reverse off of it, and we'll probably do a little more of that. He catches the ball very well and is very tight with ball security. Those two guys back there can be lethal. The problem is we pull one guy out of protect."
Tim Tebow, QB: "(The defense is) playing great. It helps you out so much. You can really count on them. You don't have to force anything. It's a great thing. They're out there and they're playing hard and making plays.
"It was a huge step for us. For the last 12-15 years, the winner of this game had had a lot of success in the SEC and it gives you a lot of momentum. That surge going into SEC play you can really feed off of and get focused on and make some big plays."
Brandon James, RB/KR/PR: "Those return guys do a great job blocking and I don't have to make as many people miss, and on (the touchdown,) it felt like I was doing too much juking and jiving, but it worked out in the end and I took it in."
Brandon Spikes, LB: "We just came out and played relentless. If we come out every week and do that it's going to be tough on opponents.
On goal-line stands: "I think they just mishandled on their handoff and we got lucky and jumped on it. We just wanted to swarm to the ball and play relentless. When stuff happens, we want to be there to make the play."