Postgame Quotes: UT 23, #11/9 SC 21

Oct. 19, 2013

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(Opening Statement)
"Great day to be a Vol. I thought our team showed some resiliency. We found a way to win and we talk about play winning football. All the things that happened throughout the course of the game and a game can be decided by two or three plays but you never know which two or three plays they're going to be. I thought our kids showed some resiliency. Marquez North obviously made a big time play, but hats off to Justin Worley too. He was poised, stood in the pocket. Then Mike Palardy, it's been a long time coming. It was great to see there. I thought defensively we did a great job. They're a very, as we all know it, explosive football team and they're going to get their plays. They're going to get their points because they're a good football team. Again, defensively third downs I thought we did a really good job. We talked about having to play extended plays on offense. We wanted to get to the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth play of drives. We talked to our players about that all week long, getting that, making conditioning a factor. I thought our kids embraced that. I thought they did a great job. It's just the next win, a big one, but it's win number four and it gets us one step closer to our goal. I'm just excited for our seniors, our fans. You find out a lot about your football team and we made a play to win at the end of the game and that's what I'm most pleased with. I'll answer any questions you may have."

(On what he told his guys in the locker room and directing the band)
"Well, you know, we're on fall break and the crowd was outstanding. This is a great home field advantage. Our fans are incredible. Thank you to the students that stayed and our band is a part of us. So, to be a part of that is a way to say thank you. Our players, the Marlon Walls', the Corey Miller's, I could go on and on, Ja'Wuan James, all of these seniors, Stone (James Stone), just on and on and on, I let them enjoy it and celebrate it. We believe. We believe in the way we train. Obviously being in the SEC, it doesn't get any easier. We all know what's up next week. I'm just really proud of our players and their leadership and the things that they've been through. They haven't waivered. They haven't flinched one bit."

(On the defense)
"Defensively, I thought we played pretty well all game. We've got to get the quarterback runs, but Connor Shaw's a talented, talented quarterback and we knew that coming in. So, we talked about being resilient. We've got to improve greatly in our tackling. We didn't tackle very well, and I don't know if that's coming off the work week, the bye week, I don't know, but we've got to get some things improved immediately. I thought, for the most part, our special teams did a great job. They're a top ten football team, so they're going to make you earn everything that they get."

(On not going for it on fourth down late in the game)
"Well, we had all three timeouts and, just like the first half, we played the field position game. Mike (Palardy) had been doing such a great job of pooch kicking that I figured we've got all three timeouts, let's try to pin them down there. All we did was, we needed a field goal to win, play the field position, and I've been in that scenario a number of times as a head coach. So it was all thought out, but our kids have got to make plays. We found a play, but the thinking was pin them down, play the field position game, and force a three and out. Shaw was out, so their backup quarterback is in the game. We have unbelievable faith and trust in our defense. We knew they'd run the football and play the field position game. Now instead, if you go for it on fourth and three, fourth and four, that's basically an all or nothing play. You're rolling the dice. If you don't get it, they have the ball at midfield and get a first down or two, the game is over with. I was going by the percentage game and our kids executed and did a great job."

(On how far he was confident in Palardy)
"You know, his range has been anywhere upwards to 50, 51. Mike and I were in line at dinner last night and I looked at him because he told me he was going to have the game winner at Georgia. I looked at him this time and said, "You've got the game winner tomorrow, right?" He looked at me and said, "I got you, Coach." He's performing exceptionally well for us."

(On Justin Worley playing to win)
"Well, first of all, the players around him. The quarterback gets a lot of attention, but I think our guys out on the perimeter have really stepped up. Again, Marquez North, Alton Howard, those guys made some big plays for us today. We were down Josh Smith, who was ill and tweaked his hamstring. I think the players around him are making plays. I said it; he's going through that maturation phase of being a starting quarterback day in and day out. People don't realize the mental grind that it is through the course of a long season. Every week is a new week. Every week is a new life in the world of football. The game plan changes, the mental effort, the mental intensity that it takes, it takes its toll. I tell you what; he's playing with a lot of confidence and he's gritty. He's playing with a lot of grit right now."

(On breaking the 19 game losing streak to ranked opponents)
"Well, you're the first to have brought that up. I don't really concern myself with what's going on with the past. All I know is this is Team 117 and we're building our football program and getting it back. I think it helps in the matter of belief. I thought our team took a valuable step forward two weeks ago. It was gut wrenching, but also our kids believed and they built confidence. Confidence is a powerful thing. Belief is a powerful thing. We had pointed to this game for a long period of time and our kids were ready to go. We talked about inches. Inches make the champion. Inches make the difference. You could hear all of our kids on the sideline yelling inches. Some people may think it's corny when we handed out those orange inch sticks at the end of Tuesday or Wednesday's practice, but our kids believed in it. We were fighting for that inch today and we found that inch. It's a big game because we won and it's all about winning, but I do think we took a major step forward. Now, will this have any indication down the road? No, it's what we do with it."

(On Marquez North catching the ball at its highest point)
"Coach Azzanni has worked exceptionally hard on that part of our game with all our wide outs. We call it back footing it and going out and catching the ball at it's highest point. It is like of going up and getting a rebound. He came down with the ball. Players make plays to win games and we found some ways to make some plays to win the football game."

(On improvement of the pass rush)
"We got to learn how to leverage the ball now with our points on the quarterback. It is all is a mentality. Rushing the passer is a mentality. Steve Stripling is the best of the best and our kids have worked exceptionally hard on it. Everything is about 2.7 seconds from snap to finish running an eleven yard arc, so your thought process has to be planned out immediately. Our counter game works exceptionally hard. I thought, again, Marlon Walls really stepped up. Corey Vereen gave us a presence out there, Corey Miller and all of them. Even Dan McCullers in the inside so those guys are getting better."

(On being down in distance)
"I thought we came off the ball and played with a physicality that we need to. Obviously we have to continue to improve, but we talk about being relentless in everything we do in our program whether it is academics, recruiting, on the field or in our community. I thought our kids had a relentless approach and hopefully what you see is kids that believe in each other. Our heads were up when things went wrong they were still up. Everyone believed we were going to win that football game and that is powerful."

(On Rajion Neal in the end of the game and Marlin Lane)
"First of all having Marlin back was a big spark. I think you saw that. He gained some tough yards for us. We call them vol yards, yards after initial contact. Rajion could have been in there, but we knew we needed some tough yards down there. We feel confident in both of them but Marlin just happen to be in there."

(On Clowney)
"He is a great player. You know Clowney is going to get his plays. He played exceptionally well. He was disruptive. That is one of those things where he is going to get his plays, snap and clear and just keep playing. I thought that in this game if there was one thing that I was displeased with was too many negative yardage football plays, especially in the run game. Also too many pre-snap penalties, we can't do that. Those are things in obvious areas that we have to continue to improve. That is a part of playing winning football. My pet peeve is that I hate pre-snap penalties. Our players understand that. We had too many of them. We had too many minus yardage plays when we ran the football, but also they are a pretty good defensive front."

(On Rajion Neal's comments on his forward pass)
"He didn't say a word. It was a middle screen to the tight end."

(On Big Orange spirit and Rocky Top)
"I sang it with the band and then I sang it in the locker room. That is the greatest song in the world. It is a pride of who we are. Again, we couldn't have done this today without everyone associated with this game: our fans, our student body who stayed, the band, and the administration. This is a great home field advantage. It is a special place."

(On the players reaction to all the former Vols)
"Powerful. That is the other thing. You welcome back 200 lettermen, 200 Vols for Life. We had a reception last night. Our former players have been outstanding. That speaks of commitment in the program. We talk about a family and once a Vol, always a Vol. Antone Davis did a tremendous job. That speaks volumes about our tradition and our togetherness when our former players come back."

(On having a weekend in the past like this)
"Not like this. It is pretty special. I get goosebumps when I see Jamal (Lewis) and a lot of those guys."

(On Marlon Walls)
"Marlon has been playing with a very high level of consistency all year. When you get sacks they are usually team sacks. Maybe someone pushes the pocket in the second or third effort place. Marlon has been one of those individuals that just continues to grind. He works everyday. He gave tremendous effort today."

(On Marquez North showing big plays in practice)
"Yes especially early in training camp. Marquez is a very explosive young man. It was great to see him go up and make those plays. I thought Cam Sutton that is another true freshman that I thought played exceptionally well. They tried challenging him and he had another high point interception. That was great to see as well."

(On using a spy on Shaw)
"Yeah, but you know it is difficult. It is just like I told Coach Jancek. You can come in here and say we spied the guy the whole day but if you have a defensive lineman on him then spy doesn't really mean anything. It still comes down to match ups. We try to do different things. We try to bring pressure, a lot of internal pressure to try to keep him in the pocket and condense the pocket. Like I have said I have a tremendous respect for him and think he is a great football player."

(On talking about Shaw not throwing an inception)
"No. That is what you guys talk about."

(On significance of defense turning him over)
"I will be honest I didn't even think about that. We just know that it is defense's job to get the ball back. You are attacking the ball in every single snap and that is the way we are going to play defense here. I thought the play with the ball in the air with Cam Sutton was a great play."

(On Dan McCullers)
"I thought that Dan was a lot more active in his pass rush. So it was great to see that we had some great internal pushes with the pocket. We challenged him and he did a great job."


(On what win meant)
"It meant everything to me. It's been a long time coming. I want to give it up to the offense and defense for putting me in that position. I couldn't have done it without the plays that they made. The biggest thing for me was coming back from my missed field goal earlier in the game, and just maintaining that focus. I tried my best to just maintain my composure and take it one kick at a time."

(On his relationship with Coach Jones)
"He tells me every day to visualize the game winning kick because sooner or later it was going to come down to it, and sure enough he was right. He's been right on the money every single time. My relationship with Coach Jones is one that I actually haven't experienced before in terms of a head coach. The confidence that he's instilled in me is unbearable and unbreakable, and I appreciate every thing he's done for me, and I know I couldn't do it without him."

(On coach telling him to get a game winner the night before)
"He actually always asks me if I am going to hit a game winner this week. My focus is always on each kick being a game winner. When that moment comes, I always want to be ready. I need to know how I will respond. I have been preparing for that since he came in here during the spring."


(On how to make the plays)
"It is the little things like going out there and executing. Our offense continued to get good field position during the game so we just had to go out there, execute and stop them."

(On celebrating with the band and the program needing a win)
"It was a really good feeling. It felt good to get the win. It felt good to celebrate with our band and the fans. It was a great win for the program, for us and the state of Tennessee."

(On the success of the defense)
"We game planned pretty well. We game planned through the practice. Everything we game planned for they ran it in the game. We were ready for it. That was the big key - just executing and getting the job down."

(On 3rd and long)
"That is the key is getting team at third and long, leaving them one dimensional. Once we did that we just had to keep the quarterback in the pocket. We knew it was going to be a good game."

(On difficulty of keeping Shaw in the pocket)
"That was the big key. He made good plays throughout the game but at the end we got him out of the game and kept the other quarterback contained in the pocket."

(On winning against a ranked team)
"It is a good feeling, a real good feeling. Everybody in the locker room was very hyped, the fans were very hyped. We are proud of ourselves and glad we could get it done for Tennessee."

(On Marquez North's big catch)
"Coach said it was about inches and that is what we worked on. He made the catch by a little inch. Once he made that catch it was a real good feeling. We all jumped up to celebrate and from then we knew that we had it. We had momentum from there."

(On the spy)
"I wasn't on the spy. We had another player on the spy. When we go to spy it was probably Brent Brewer."

(On the pressure of the DL)
"Our D Line did a great job. They hold their points. He (Shaw) got loose. He is a good player so he is going to get loose a couple of times, but for the most part our D Line held their points. They got after him and kept him inside the pocket."

(On compliments from South Carolina players)
"Pretty much just keep playing hard. I talked to a couple of them and that was the big thing. They just said keep playing hard and they gave us our props."

(On Justin Worley being extra motivated)
"Throughout practice he was doing everything right. Just from practice he was prepared for this game. We know he is from South Carolina so he had a little more fire to make more plays and he did."

(On defense becoming better)
"Just playing as one, that is the big key. Playing as one, high emotions, playing smart football, getting to our assignments and communicating as one defense That is the big key and we are having fun out there."


(On Jadeveon Clowney)
"What it was- they would bring field and boundary pressure and when he would be on the opposite side, when I would expect him to play contained but he was just shoot inside and basically freelance and sometimes it worked, he was able to make a play and sometimes when he did it, it didn't work out for him that well, but he kind of did his own thing. We were able to take advantage of that in key situations."

(On postgame emotions)
"Man- just, it's not just about me or a few players. It's all about Tennessee. Meeting those guys that came before us, we saw all those VFLs that were here for the game. I was shaking all those guys' hands earlier and I told them we have your back. It's time to get Tennessee back to what it needs to be and I think we took the proper first step to get there and I think that's what it's all about."

(On play against Jadeveon Clowney)
"Like I said, he made his plays. Every now and then he made his plays. You all know me- I like to talk. I told him I am going to keep bringing it all day. One-on-one pass protection, I felt like I was pretty much able to shut him down. I think in key situations like that, you have to step. He made his plays and he's a great player."

"What it was, like I said earlier- he was freelancing and just shooting inside. He's really athletic, so when he shoots inside, if you don't get leverage, it's done. It doesn't matter how good you are. He was able to take advantage of those sometimes, but I felt for the most part, when we got locked in, we were able to take advantage."

(On postgame celebration)
"I was really trying to soak everything in. I haven't had a big win like that since I've been here. It's not just about me. I was happy we were able to get that win for the seniors- Ja'Wuan James, Zach Fulton, Alex Bullard, Marlon Walls, all those guys have been here for so long and haven't been able to get that big win. They've come close but they haven't gotten it. For them to be able to get that win in front of our home crowd- it was everything."

(On almost beating Georgia)
"I believe it did because it showed us that we can make plays. It is what it is. South Carolina has a talented defense. They're very athletic up front, especially the front seven- they have some linebackers that can run very well. It was all about believing. The theme this week was inches. Football is a game of inches. We were able to take advantage of those situations where we had to get that extra inch."

(On confidence heading to Alabama)
"It gives us a lot of confidence because right now we feel like we can play with anybody. Like we said it's a game of inches and Alabama puts on their shoes the same way we do. We just have to go in there with confidence, execute in practice - that's the biggest thing, and believe we can win. It's all about belief at this point."

JUNIOR QB Justin Worley

On what the coaches told the offense before the last drive)
"They told us to stay poised. We have done that a thousand times in practice with the one-minute drill with no timeouts on the 35-yard line. You have to understand the situation that you are in. You can't take a sack, throw an interception, or force a play at times. They told us to stay poised and not do too much. Thankfully, we came out and put a good drive together."

(On big throw and catch to Marquez North)
"It was just a receiver and receiver starter route and starter go. We always say that twelve equals six. He got twelve yards and broke the defender down. Thankfully, I put the ball where he was able to catch it."

(On certainty in catch by North)
" I didn't see it because I was on the ground. It was an alert though in our offensive scheme. If we like the look, it is a one-on-one matchup, or if there isn't a safety over the top, then we like the look. They ran a lot of high single pass coverage plays. We knew a starter go would be a good option."

(On being surprised by North's talents)
"He has made those plays since he got here. To see him transfer what he does in practice to the games, you will see his confidence continue to grow. He stepped up and made some huge plays for us."

(On frustrated offense)
"Yeah that's always frustrating. Our defense did a great job putting us in good field position. When you have that field position and you're not able to capitalize with at least three points, yeah it is frustrating. Just too many negative yardage plays today, penalties that hurt here and there, and situations that went against us when we had good field position. We're going to watch film and learn from it and hopefully continue with some of that success."

(On confidence heading into Alabama
"Same thing. I think you saw our confidence grow against Georgia and being able to come out today and get a victory against a top-15 opponent, I mean that's huge. We had some guys step up today in Marlon Walls got a few big tackles, Marquez had those huge catches, and Rajion and Marlon both ran the ball well so you're going to continue to see our confidence grow."

(On confidence in North
"Having a big body like he has and the athletics ability he has, you have to have confidence in being able to go up and throw the ball in one-on-one situations. I like my chances with Marquez, and he proved that today." Justin Worley

(On screen plays)
I guess. I don't know. I hope I'm moving fast enough."

(On Butch Jones)
""I think he's brought his championship habits, he always uses that term, to Tennessee and it's taken us about five, six games to really figure out what we're doing the right way and what we're doing is going to help us in the long run. Our effort that we play with, our physicality, we say we want to play relentlessly and I think we're trying to bring that every single day and it's starting to pay off and we're starting to see that what he's brought here is what's going to work for us."


(On postgame celebration)
"Something spur of the moment. Man, I guess you can say you do dream of. To do that with the fans and the band and having all our guys around us and we were all celebrating- it was fun."

"We needed that badly, desperately. It's been a long time. That's something that is jumpstarting and pushing us in the right direction."

(On forward pass play)
"Oh man, I don't remember that play. I honestly don't know what play that was. I just remember coming in at halftime and going through our execution and our key points and coming back out in the second half.

(On fourth quarter play)
"I'm good. It hurt though. I was like gah-lee, but I'll be alright."

(On forward pass play)
"I still don't know what play that was."

JUNIOR RB Marlin Lane

(On Coach Jones trusting him during the last drive)
"It started from day one. Practice how we play, and play how we practice. I had an injury, and I showed him that I could play this week, and I just went out there and did it playing full speed."

(On what was said in the huddle before last possession)
"The O Line and the coaches were like `We've got to run the ball, and that's what we're going to do, make them stop us.' The O Line and the coaches, that's what they really wanted to do. Me and Rai(jon Neal) just stepped it up and said `Let's do it.'"

(On being the guy to get the tough yards)
"It shows that they trust me a lot. I glad they trusted me. Whenever they call my name, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do whatever I can to get the tough yards."

(On what the win means to the program)
"It meant a whole lot. We were 0-19 against ranked opponents, and to get this first one to start off this year, everybody can see that we can play with everybody in the country."

(On the importance of win to what Butch is trying to build)
"It's real big. Coach Jones, I'm pretty sure anybody on the team, me as well, would run through a wall for him. He's a father figure instead of just a coach, and he's brought us together since Day One."

(On his reaction when the kick went through the uprights)
"To be honest with you, I walked off the field and looked away from the kicker. I knew just from how the fans reacted that he made it. I have 100% confidence in Palardy. It was my time to just close my eyes and take it in."

(On checking to make sure the game was over)
"That didn't come across my mind. All I know is the reaction from the crowd and everybody running, seeing the zeroes on the clock, I knew it was over."

(On other guys who didn't watch final kick)
"There were a lot of people kneeling down with their head down and arms crossed. I was coming off the field. I knew he was going to make it, but I was just looking and saying `We're really about to beat a Top 10, Top 15 team.


(On what win means)
"To me it means everything. It's kind of what we wanted to do this season as Seniors, and the foundation we wanted to set for the guys that have been here. In my class there's only four of us left: me, Marlon Walls, Joseph Ayres, and Greg King. For us four to have been through everything that we have, it's nice to get that one win that we'll be able to talk about forever."

(On feeling of going back on defense with three minutes left)
"We felt good. We had played well during the first, second, and start of the fourth quarter. We knew what we had to do. We knew what plays they were going to run. We had to go out there and execute our defense. We forced them into a big play situation, and they couldn't convert."

(On Coach Jones trusting defense to get the stop)
"It shows that he knew what all we had done throughout the game so far. As a player, it shows how much faith coach has in you. When you go out there and prove him right, it means even more."

(On pass rush)
"The success all goes back to last week during our bye week. We went back to the basics and worked on things that we hadn't been able to work on for the past few weeks. When we get them backed up, it makes it a lot easier on third downs because they have to pass. They either have the option of a quick screen, draw, or a pass. When it gets down to a 3rd and 2, you have to worry about pitch offs, quick passes, and everything else. We wanted to get them in long situations, and we were able to do it."


(On the win against South Carolina)
"It's a blessing, throughout our hard work, all the adversity we faced. We just stayed together and played as a unit, and you know as y'all can see these last two games we made plays, we stood up, and had to improve, and that's just something we continue doing."

(On his mentality in the past couple of weeks)
"I would say in general you know being that we had a bye week. I was ready to get out there after that Georgia game. So, this has really got us mentally prepared, you know with film study, practice, and I just think my job in general was to have another great practice. You know, lead our group of guys. The one thing I realized you know, once we have intensity and momentum. The young guys feed off me. So, my main point was making plays."

(On the last drive of the game)
"We knew the situation the game was. We saw time on the clock, and we knew we needed to make a play. It was just fortunate that Marquez ended up making a big play. We hit a couple of bumps at the beginning of the quarter, and I told him just keep your head right, you know stay focused, and I said we're in this, and you know he stayed positive. That's one thing I can say, he is a very mature freshman. He stayed positive and he made the play for us."

(On Palardy making the game winning kick)
"It was a pressure kick. Palardy, you know he is one of them great guys that you know, being that he is a kicker. Everybody don't think that kickers work. He works, putting in that hard work. Even throughout practice, coaches pin him under pressure. May say this situation, that situation, and we knew he was going to get the job done, because he was put under pressure in practice and he was able to make the kicks."

(On what this win means)
"It's a blessing. I mean it just shows what we can do. Two weeks ago against Georgia shows you what we can do. So it just helps boost our confidence, you know open our eyes to people. Now people are not going to sleep on us, and we're just ready to go out here and hunt."

(On when the team started believing they could win against teams like South Carolina)
"We believed it, I want to say, you know just coming together over the summer. We saw that we was way closer as a unit, and that's something that I would say that kind of helped us on the field. You know when you're down, or you're all going through adversity, or a play goes wrong, and I think our first couple of games playing against Western Kentucky, South Alabama. We saw our intensity. All the fans saw our intensity, and how we was with passion and energy, and I just think being on that field when it's tough, and it's tight. When you look to the guy beside you. Our chemistry helped us."


(On big game)
"I actually didn't know I had those two and a half sacks. I was just chasing the ball. We got together as a defense and said enough is enough. We knew we could come out here and compete with this team. We proved that against Georgia. We laid it on the line for each other."

(On not going for it on fourth down)
"Initially, I was like what are we doing, but I thought about it, and Coach Jones came over to us and said that we trust our defense. We know you all will get us the ball back. When you have a person like that, you don't want to let them down. We were really excited to know that Coach actually believed in us like that. It was our job to go out there and get South Carolina off the field."

(On Conner Shaw going out and getting the sack)
"We knew that the back up, Thompson, could run, and I also think that he had a better arm. On the sack though, Big Dan knocked him right into my lap. Whenever you have a guy like that, you have to give a lot of credit them."

(On getting the big win)
"I am still in disbelief. We have been in a lot of situations like this when we should have won. Our love for Coach Jones and each other pushed us through the day. Last game showed that we could play with any team that we want."

(On reason best personal year of career so far)
"Coach Stripling has done a great job. There are times when we have a bad practice, and he comes in let down for us. He hurts for us. When a guy like that is telling you how to be a better player, you listen."

(On watching last play)
"A few of us looked over at the fans. I told the fans to let us know if he makes it. They let us know. I couldn't watch it, but I have a lot of faith in Michael Palardy. He always said he wanted to kick a game winner. He got it today."

(On feeling of getting an upset win)
"We watch College Gameday. When they say stuff about you or your team, I hurt for those guys. I told them before the Georgia game, that I was tired of people talking about us bad. I know how hard we work and how much time we put into this. The feeling is amazing though. I haven't been on this side for a long time."


(On Coach Jones not going for it on fourth down gave confidence to the defense)
"Oh yeah, he knows we're a great defense, and he just wants to see it out of us. We had been making plays all game, and he knew we were going to get the stop for him."

(On how South Carolina's play helped the defense)
"I feel like South Carolina was just handing things to us that we wanted, and the mistakes they made; we took advantage of them."

(On how the pressure from the defensive line helped the defensive backs)
"Yeah, the defensive line, they were doing pretty good, and we noticed the offense was doing their thing. They had to get the ball out quick, and try to run the ball down their throats."

(On how much confidence this win gives the team)
"Yeah, I feel like when we played Georgia, they just gave us confidence. They just made us believe that everything we had been doing. We're just going to show that to other teams, let them know that we're here and we're going to play ball with them."

(On what this when says to other teams in the SEC)
"I feel like it's going to make a bold statement to everybody, and show everybody that Tennessee is nobody to play around with. We're just going to be somebody you have to look for."

(On this game being a flashback of last year's South Carolina game)
"Yeah, when I was off the field watching the offense I mean all I could think about was the situation we were in last year. Jadaveon Clowney and Tiny, Antonio Richardson, that situation. It was basically the same situation, but then again, we came up with the win."

(On how helpful the pass rush was)
"Yeah, d-line definitely did a great job getting to the quarterback. He was under pressure the whole game, and that allowed us to get the interception. I mean he hadn't thrown an interception all season, until now. It helped us win."

(On coming into the game against Connor Shaw)
"We was pretty aware of the quarterback trying to run the ball. That hurts almost every defense, the quarterback running, and something we had to do was contain the quarterback."

(On it being helpful getting the South Carolina offense in third and long situations)
"Yeah, we know anytime we can get them in third and long we're going to get off the field, unless we just make a small mental mistake."

(On Cam Sutton)
"Cam always makes me feel good, because he's always going to make plays regardless of the situation, and with Cameron out there I know I can trust him to do anything right."

(On how these games have helped them for the Alabama game)
"Basically the last two games gave us a confidence boost, and it made us believe what we can do. We all knew what we could do. We just have to go out there and execute everything on the field."

(On being a part of the celebration after the game)
"It was unexplainable. You could see it in everyone's eyes they was super happy. They was enjoying every moment about it."


(Opening statement)
"First of all, give Tennessee credit. I think they out played us, although we were within a play or two of winning but we didn't do it. They hit a couple of deep balls which happens to us occasionally, and we didn't play well offensively at all. Tennessee had a good plan. Their defense played very well. They won the game. A play or two here or there. We had a lot of careless penalties today and in a close game they come back to haunt you and that's the way it turned out. We had a lot of good play by a lot of guys. It seems like we always get a penalty on kickoff return or punt return. Our guys can't play by the rules. Maybe field position was extremely important in a close game like today. Other than that, they beat us. They beat us today."

(On Connor Shaw's injury)
"The trainer called it a sprained knee. I think he sort of got tackled on it and it collapsed under him a little bit he said. How serious it is, we'll have to wait an evaluate, but they're calling it a sprained knee right now."

(On the strong third quarter)
"We had a good drive there in the third quarter and we scored on two out of our first three possessions. Obviously you always go back and wish you'd ran here or thrown there. We only attempted 22 passes, but we dang sure called a lot more than 22, I don't know if the pressure got to Connor or what. He made some good run outs, I'll say that and then other times it was like we had some guys open but he got some pressure I guess. We ran a lot. We had some good runs here and there and then we had some nothing runs, so we didn't have a lot of consistent four, five, six yard runs, especially late in the game where a first down or two would have done it."

(On calling the two timeouts on fourth down)
"We were thinking about going for it. We went up there and if it looked good we were thinking about going for it and then the second time they actually changed their defense a little bit. We thought we had a little bit of a hole there and we had a different play called. Looking back I always tell myself to go for those, but you look stupid if you leave them on the 30 yard line, and our defense was playing well. It went to third and 10 there and they threw up a jump ball on us and their kid made a heck of a catch, one hand, our guy was grabbing his arm I guess and he made a heck of a catch and then they ran it on down in there to the one and kicked a field goal."

(On how much confidence he has in his defense)
"Maybe that's why we went ahead and punted there on fourth and two. In hindsight we should have gone for it, but we had them at third and ten there and that was a big play obviously, but again we had a lot of other chances. Offense didn't play very well. Special teams continues to push in the back or get holding penalties on kick returns, which it's sad that we can't teach them to play by the rules, but we can't do it. That may be one of the big reasons we got beat today."

(On if the two timeouts would have helped at the end)
< "We might have stopped them and forced an early field goal attempt, but who knows."

(On how much it hurt to lose Kadetrix Marcus early in the game)
"I don't know what to say. He hit him with the crown of his head while he was tackling him and if that's the rule then he's out. We wish he could have been there and he really didn't do anything vicious but that is the rule. He tackled him helmet to helmet and they decided to go ahead and call that one. Sometimes they don't call them, sometimes they do."

(On Mike Davis)
"Mike did okay. He wen the wrong way a couple of times, but not bad. He played pretty well. He had a couple of big runs, but we dropped the snap from center right there in the first quarter on first down. Mike had 140, and I wish we could have had about 10 there at the end but we couldn't do it."

(On the difference on offense between last week and this week)
"Maybe we had too much press. We thought we were too good, maybe. I don't know. I thought Tennessee played strong up front. I thought their d-line played well and their linebackers. We did pop a few, and of course Connor had that one long run, but we didn't have many passing yards, that's for sure."

(On Rajion Neal's incomplete pass)
"They said they threw it forward. I've never seen that happen but I guess it could happen because he did sort of fling it, but we came out of the pile with two of those fumbles that we didn't get, and usually the guy who comes out of the pile gets it, but I guess whoever falls on it first gets it now."

(On Florida and Georgia losing today too)
"Georgia got beat by Vandy? Oh. Well, I guess all we've got to do is beat Missouri. We've got some work to do though, but give Tennessee credit. They played well, they out-played us and they out-coached us."

(On if the fumble on the exchange in the I-formation made him hesitant to go to it later in the game)
"Not really. We tried a little bit underneath, we tried what we did last week, but we didn't go very far."


(On loss of momentum)
"We started off on a fast start. Tennessee made some adjustments and we just couldn't make the plays when the time came."

(On UT adjustments)
"They just started playing better in the second half. We had a couple of mistakes that we had, but they played well as a defense."

(On touchdown play)
"They said they wanted to take a shot, and I was happy when I heard that. I went out there knowing the right defense and coverage we wanted, and Connor made a great throw."

(On Connor Shaw going down)
"It's very tough but he's a strong guy. He's the leader of our team and we know he's been hurt plenty of times and came back. My heart goes out to him."

(On Shaw postgame)
"I have no idea, it's up to the trainers and our training staff."

(On difference over the previous weeks)
"I'm very comfortable and the balls have been coming to me. I've been able to take advantage of it. They've been able to put trust in me and throw me the ball."

(On changes in offense)
"No, I don't think so. It's just the way defenses have been playing and where the ball needs to go."

(On being more active offensively)
"Yeah I feel like as a receiver in this game, you just have to have those opportunities. In the past couple weeks, those opportunities have been coming."

(On special teams)
"We put our hearts out in special teams. We progress every week and we just need to continue progressing."

(On special teams penalties)
"Just trying to switch things up, we just have to get out of the huddle faster and we'll be okay."


(On slower offensive start)
"I can't tell you what the difference was, we just stick to the play call; whatever the coaches call, we do it.

(On formation selection)

"I can't say I was surprised but whatever the game plan was, I guess we stuck to it.

(On Daniel McCullers in middle)

"It's a big factor when you what to run inside and there's a big guy in there clogging up the hole. We have plays designed where we move him out of there and still run it up the middle."

(On disappointed with touches)

"No I wouldn't say that. It's just disappointing that we lost."

(On taking Tennessee lightly)

"We didn't take them lightly at all."

(On Tennessee defensive scheme)

"They came out fast and did the things we expected them to do. Some plays we couldn't execute."

(On Shaw going down)

"Very, he's our starting quarterback. That's something you don't look forward to happening."

(On timeouts at end of game)

"My mindset was let's go for it, let's get it. We called the second one and ended up punting, just don't know what's going on."

(On frustrating lost after last week)

"I think every loss is frustrating. Nobody likes losing a game, but I tell you this one hurt."

(On changes due to Shaw injury)

"I don't think we're going to do anything different. It's whatever the coaches call; if they want to change anything, that's not up to me."

(On going for it on 4th & 2)

You know like I said, whatever the coaches call, I'm all for it. If it's 4th & 2 and the coaches what to punt it, that's what we have to go for.

(On chance to improve positioning)

"I wouldn't say that. We weren't looking forward to the Georgia game and how they lost, we were just more focused on Tennessee. I guess this loss changed a lot."

(On Mizzou game next week)

"It makes it very big. We're still going to come out, play hard, and give it our all."

R-FRESHMAN LB T.J. HOLLOMAN (On game overall & Marquez North catch)
"Defensively we played a pretty good game. We had some mistakes, but overall we played a good job. That catch was just an incredible catch. Ahmad (Christian) played good defense and he just came up with a great catch."

(On locker room atmosphere)
"I mean we knew we blew it, but I just saw on ESPN that Georgia and Florida lost so we just have to go out with a good spirit and do our thing against Missouri."

(On impact of other SEC outcomes)
"We lost so it's something we just have to bounce back from. We're not really thinking about this game anymore, it's in the past. We just have to get ready for Missouri now."


(On team rebounding)
"I mean, we're going to have to. There's no think, we can't think, we have to. We have to finish the season strong. We lost by a field goal, it happens. That's college football."

(On taking Tennessee lightly)
"I think we came out there and played on de(fense). We gave up a couple of deep passes, but they were covered good too. It was good de, they just made a better catch."

(On most active game this season)
"I feel like I'm active every game. Even though I'm not making plays, I'm still out there moving and causing double and triple teams. Just doing the same thing."

(On seeing one blocker)
"I just told them if you don't block me one-on-one, you're going to pay for it. I kept beating him inside. I watched him all week and I know he gives up the inside an awful lot. They started telling in the second half for the guard to help him start fanning and kept the tight end back there. That made me have to work a lot more than I did the first half."

(On final drive)
"We had some leaks up the middle and kept pressuring him. He closed his eyes, I looked dead in his face; it was just a great throw and catch."

(On surprise of the give-away)
"I was very surprised and upset about it. You can't do nothing but try to bounce back and get back right next week."

(On Shaw injury)
"I believe in our backup, I believe in Dylan (Thompson). I feel he could fill-in and be a first string quarterback on some other team in the country. When he came out, I wasn't really worried. I was like just move the ball."

(On frustration after last week's game)
"Yeah, I mean it's frustrating to lose period. It doesn't matter how we played the week before, we just practice and get ready for the next week. We played defense pretty good, it's just bad to lose. It's not a good feeling to lose, so I'm just mad about the loss."

(On Neal play in first half)
"That was a fumble, hands down fumble. He wasn't trying to throw. I don't know what the refs were looking at, but it was a fumble. I mean they made a bad call, a good call some games. You never want to leave it in the refs hands at the end of the day."

(On upset about play)
"I told myself I ain't mad, just keep playing. I never lose my head over a ref making a bad call, sometimes they let me get away with stuff. I know I'm a little off sides some time, he comes to tell me to back up. Some of them get away with it, some of them don't."

(On Kelcy Quarles going down)
"Yeah he'll be back, he's alright."





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