Oct. 23, 2010
UT-Alabama Post-Game Quotes
UT Head Coach Derek Dooley
"We played an outstanding football team tonight. We fought them pretty hard for 30 minutes and were scrapping and fighting. When we came out in the third quarter, they got some big plays, and we made some bad mistakes there. They took advantage with a few scores and then the game got away from us. The third quarter, obviously, was the difference. There were big plays and some key throws to Julio (Jones). Then we made a bad decision on third down-and-goal. The worst case we could have cut it to 14 and climb back in it. Give them a lot of credit. They've got a really good, big, fast and physical team."
On quarterback play, specifically with freshman Tyler Bray getting playing time
"He struggled early. He didn't look like himself that first series. Then he came out and did some things. He's still a freshman. Denarius (Moore) went down early in the game, and all of a sudden the freshmen are out there. We had one series where we kept lining up wrong on the ball, just a lot of mistakes. We had all our freshmen out there at quarterback and receivers. That's when the administration broke down a little bit. Not having Denarius kind of compounded the problem.
"I think Matt (Simms) did some really good things. He made a bad decision on the goal line. He had a couple of bad decisions. Tyler (Bray) did some good things, and did some not-so-good things. We're just going to keep improving."
On Alabama's ability to throw the ball
"They watched the film. The film says throw it. They threw for 326. We struggle to stop it. We just struggle. We fight a little bit and fight, and then it just breaks."
On big plays that have hurt against highly ranked teams
"We've got to learn from it. It's been big plays that hurt us. You look at Oregon with a missed tackle and a pick-6 - a big play and a bad decision. Against Florida, we hung in there a little bit. We had an interception. At Georgia it was the first quarter. Those are the three games. We battled back against Florida; we didn't collapse. With Oregon and Alabama, obviously Oregon is No. 1 in the country and Alabama has won how many games? They're good. They're good football programs. That's why we play them."
On not having the proper number of players in field goal blocking
"That's probably our biggest challenge in our organization, field goal blocking. What happens is a guy got hurt and the backup is right there. I say, `All right, field goal block, get ready. Field goal block. Field goal block.' What are you doing? It's the same thing that happened last game. A starter got hurt and the backup's eyes got big (and he didn't get on the field in time). I got really upset." Tyler Bray, QB
On getting experience in SEC football...
"I have been doing okay. The line has been blocking great, the wide receivers have been catching the ball and the running backs have been running good so they've been kind of keeping the pressure off me since I'm young and not as experienced."
On Alabama's blitz package defense...
"They probably played me the same way they played Matt too. They played great defense and they've been coached up very well."
On catching on to Tennessee's offense and adjusting to the scheme...
"I'm starting to get more comfortable. It helps when the o-line has been blocking their butts off. They've been doing a great job so that helps and takes the pressure off of me."
Herman Lathers, LB
On UT linebackers having to take on the Alabama offensive line...
"We stopped what they were basically trying to do, run the power and the counter. They stopped pulling so they tried to do a lot of zone stuff and we had to take on a lot of those blocks to make the tackle."
On his sack of Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy...
"It was a blitz where I basically had the man where ever he went but my man stayed in to block so I just ran real tight of the guard and got the sack. It's kind of like read blitz where you read the line to see what opens up and I just go off of that."
On Alabama's offensive scheme in changing from the first half to the second half...
"I don't think it was very different there were just some mistakes here and there on our part. They were able to break some long runs and that was basically it." Alabama Quotes
Head Coach Nick Saban
"I'm very proud of the way our guys came out and competed. We knew it'd be a tough game. We really wanted to try to build on and establish an identity. We did that in the second half. You have to give Tennessee a lot of credit. I have a lot of respect and tradition for this (Tennessee vs. Alabama) game, their program, their coaches and their players. They really played hard and it was a tough game in the first half. I'm really proud of the way we came out and dominated the second half of the game. We had three scoring drives in a row. Every SEC organization you have to have respect for. Everybody has good players and they're all talented. Certainly in a game like this, both teams are going to be up and ready to play. This is the best we've probably played on the road this year. Especially in the second half - which is good. Our focus this week was to try to distinguish ourselves by playing to a higher standard. In the second half we did that.
On what he told the team at halftime
"I said everything will be more fun guys if we play with more intensity. That's basically what I think we did. Even though I did not think we had good intensity, we were not flat (in the first half). Our guys were playing hard in the first half and were playing with a lot of toughness. They had a good plan and took advantage of some things. We just needed to ramp it up a notch or two to get to their level, and I think we came out and did that in the second half."
On the play of junior wide receiver Julio Jones (12 catches, 221 yards)
"He did a fantastic job. They were playing him man-to-man. They were helping in the middle with a safety. They did a really good job at times, but they were really kind of squatting on the routes so we had no choice but to try to throw it over their head. Greg made some great throws, and Julio made some great catches."
Julio Jones, Junior WR
On his two long catches on Alabama's opening second half drive
"We took what they gave us. It was one-on-one, sometimes they rolled a safety over to me, but when they didn't, we took advantage of it."
On setting the Alabama single-game receiving record with 221 yards
"I feel alright. The only reason I was (able to get the record) was the offensive line. Without them, I couldn't do what I did. It was a goal, but I need to do that week in and week out."
William Vlachos, Junior C
On the physical nature of the rivalry
"We knew it was going to be a very physical game and people were going to be excited about it. Obviously the score wasn't as close as it was last year. They came to play and they played hard. But it comes down to what we do, and the level we played to. In the second half we played to our standard."
On overcoming the struggles on the road this season
"It was good. It's all about the standard we play to, and we did it in the second half. We did it to a point in the first half, but there were some mistakes that we made that we all on us. Coming into the off-week we need to build on that and see where we can go from here."