Quotes: Tennessee 55, Troy 48

Nov. 3, 2012

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Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley

(Opening statement)
"Football traditionalists are probably rolling over in their grave right now ... Not much to say, other than we found a way to win, which is the most important thing. As bad as we were on defense -- and we were really bad -- we stopped them two of the last five, and that's the reason we won. At some point, you have to make a stop, and it took us a while to do that. Great job finding a way to win and we survived. We went 1-0 and now we have to try to go 1-0 next week, any way we can."

(On defensive yardage records set)
"Well, it's a bad defense. You know, we play single high, and they run by our corners. They run over the top. We play split safety, they dink it or they run the ball in the draw. Just didn't really have answer for anything. You know, we weren't slowing down on offense to help the defense. It's probably what we could have done. We could have slowed the game down. I think that probably contributes to it. When you have two up-tempo teams going, that's what the numbers look like when neither team can stop the ball. You see it all over the country, a lot of these kind of games. It's certainly not anything Tennessee is used to."

(On if he thought about slowing the offense down)
"I never said that because, man, I just felt like they could never stop us. You know, early in the game, I thought if we could just pull away, but we never really could because every time we'd get one, they'd come back and then we stalled a couple of times."

(On defensive adjustments in the game)
"We did everything on the sheet and nothing really worked. Early in the game, we got a couple stops. First quarter wasn't bad. We stopped them two out of four. We thought we had a decent thing going, then everything went bad in the second and third. We were playing quarters and they were kind of dinking it all around. We couldn't slow them down. We go into single high and they throw it over our corner's head. Then we go two deep, and they run the draw. We can't tackle them. We really didn't have an answer for anything."

(On defensive struggle)
"Nothing's going very well on defense. And it all begins with coaching ... I think the biggest thing, no matter what, the ultimate objective is to win the game. At some point, you've got to get stops. We had a lot of problems, obviously, but you've got to go play the next play. That's all you can do. And try not to make the mistakes, and we made a ton of mistakes, which is the same storyline. We made a ton of penalties in the game. We have a personal foul. We have two offsides. When you're not really good, let's not hand it to them ... And their spirit was getting broken out there. They're on their heels, can't slow them down. They had a bad look at halftime. Trying to regroup."

(On Troy converting on third and long situations)
"It was ridiculous. Well, we play cover two, they hand it off and we have nobody can tackle the guy. The linebacker can't get off the blocks. The D-line can't get off the block, and the safeties don't see it quick enough. Play cover one, three deep, they throw it over our corner's head. We had it seemed like six huge one-on-ones outside, and either it was a PI or a huge play. The corners were trying to find answers, and we just really had none. Troy, they're really good. Give Troy a lot of credit. Seven twenty one. That's a big number.

(On if defense is struggling in practice)
"They are going against the scout team most of the time. The games are where it really shows. They go against us and they had a good week against us."

(On if it is alarming that defense had their worst performance in Game 9)
"Yes. Who else has this kind of tempo? We knew it was going to be statistically a tough game. But not that tough."

(On calling a substitution before Troy's extra point)
"It was a bad mistake. Saulsberry was in for Sentimore and I think Sentimore ran onto the field when he heard field goal block and he is not supposed to. We gave them an opportunity to rethink it and they threw a slant route on our corner. So that was bad."

(On offensive records set for UT)
"We didn't even play that well. We dropped two touchdowns, deep in the part of the field. Tyler was missing throws. But that is a huge stat line too. I have never been in a game like this so forgive me. Is that 1400? Is that what I am looking at? We used to get that in a season."

(On getting Patterson involved this week on offense)
"Everybody got it. Hunter got it nine. CP - nine. Marlin he got it 21. Those guys were gas. One thing we did a pretty good job was on special teams was fielding all their balls. I felt like we won the vertical field position game. We had two good punts down there. Punt returns. The biggest problem with these guys is catching the ball. I think we blocked one. Kickoff return, they were shooting the ball everywhere. And we were pushing it up, we only had one big screw up. I think that helped us too. The turnover hurt. We were down on the three."

(On what can be improved on defense at this stage)
"I just need to go look at the film and see if the calls were the problem or the technique was the problem or our communication is the problem. They made a lot of plays on us. We will have to go look at the film and evaluate. I don't know any other way to say it."

(On how often are calls the problem)
"Not very many. It is how we play them or do we understand it. That is the bulk of the issues. We have a lot of problems in the back end. It is evident."

(On decision to play hurry up offense, if he will rethink that in the future)
"I knew it was going to hurt the defense when we made the decision to do it. It is not an excuse for 721. So we don't need play great defense to win. We just need to play better defense."

(On plus of the game)
"We did something we've never done. We gritted it out in the fourth quarter. We went on a scoring drive in the fourth quarter. It's something Tyler hasn't done. Didn't we go on a scoring drive to end the game? Does that count? That was good. There was some frustration now. You're feeling good, then a couple minutes later, here we go."

(On if offensive players were trying to rally the defense on the bench)
"Yeah, the team, they keep staying together. They do. That's why they were able to grind this out. It would be easy for them (to give up). There were some hairy moments out there, but we found a way to win. That's what matters. We won the game. Now we've got to figure out how to win next week. It ain't going to be easy."

(On if this is the worst he has felt after a win)
"No. I feel pretty good. Better than you guys think. Think of the alternative right now. Whenever I don't feel good, I think what's the alternative?"

(On many different guys seeing action in the secondary, did anyone improve standing on depth chart)
"You want to answer that question? We grinded out a win. You used to grind them out 9 to 6. Now you grind them out 55-48. It's a new era."

(On if CB Prentiss Waggner has struggled)
"That's why we started Dan (Gray). And then Dan struggled. That's why we put Prentiss back in, and he struggled. Justin (Coleman) struggled. LaDarrell (McNeil) is struggling. Byron (Moore) is struggling."

(On Devrin Young's condition)
"Concussion. It happened on Tuesday at practice ... There was a chance (he would play) on Thursday, but then we knew he wasn't going to play, which worried us about fielding those balls. Justin (Hunter) did a good job. CP did a good job too."

Tennessee Player Quotes

Quarterback Tyler Bray

(On Tennessee's offensive production against Troy)
"For the most part, we have a good offense. We have a great offensive line and that where it starts. If teams have a good offensive line then they are going to be productive."

(On the defensive backs performance)
No, we knew our defense was going to pull through and get stops. They normally start off slow. We kind of know that already and then they pick it up towards the second half and start rolling. We knew they were going to stop them."

(On breaking the offensive passing record)
"I knew we were down seven points with three minutes to go and that was all I was worried about. I could have cared less about breaking records. We needed to get a win."

(On how it feels to break the record)
"Yes, I guess. I mean I'm just glad we won."

(On WR Cordarrelle Patterson and WR Justin Hunter)
"They are going to do this every week. They are two NFL caliber receivers. You just have to give them the ball and they are going to make plays."

(On playing in games where the offense has to score on every down)
"No. I don't think anybody does. It is a lot of stress not only on us but on the offensive coordinator, too."

(On the offense finishing the game)
"It just goes to show that we can do it. In the past, we have kind of faded away and didn't really finish as we should have. Today, we went out and finished."

(On his confidence in the offense)
"We have been producing pretty well. Our offensive line has been blocking great. They have really come together and kind of gelled so they know what they are going to do. We rushed well today. Marlin [Lane] had, I think 132 yards, so he did great. It opened up the passing game."

Wide Receiver Justin Hunter

(On returning kicks)
"Devrin Young was out this week and I had to fill in for him. I was just trying to go out there and not mess up."

(On when the coaches told him he would be returning)
"I think it was Thursday when they told me. It kind of jumped up on me. I was nervous to go out there the first series. It was just a big surprise for me."

(On how it felt to be back there)
"Yeah, go back there and do what I used to do in high school. It felt good out there today."

(On when the defense struggles)
"Obviously I don't get mad but we have to go out there and compete just like them. We are not going to let the them out work us on offense."

(On finishing the game strong)
"We were just going out there with a mentality that we could get it every time. Third and one or third and five we are supposed to get those. So, coach just has to call the right play for us."

(On his unsportmanslike contact)
"I was just a little heated from the play before that. The corners were holding and the refs weren't going to call it. I was just in the mindset to score and have no body touch me. Basically, I just got in the endzone and took my mouth piece off and they thought I blew a kiss to the crowd. That is what somebody told me, that they thougth I was blowing a kiss to the crowd."

(On having fun playing with CP)
"This is my boy right here. I always get excited when he does something good. I think it is vice versa. We just have fun out there. We get kind of shy when we have to talk."

Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

(On what the coaches tell him to do on the field)
"They just tell me to go out there and do what I do."

(On if he is surprised when he watches himself play)
"Yes, it is kind of a surprised at how big I am. I don't think I am supposed to do things like that."

(On getting an IV at halftime)
"I was pretty exhausted going through the game, my mouth was dry like the whole time. He just told me to go in there and get an IV and be ready to play. It was at halftime."

(On winning)
"It was pretty nice. We haven't won in so long. When we all got in the locker room everybody had a smile on their face. It just feels great to win."

(On his dance moves)
"They should put me on there because I might be the best dancer on the team."

Center James Stone

(On being in this type of scoring game)
"This is my first time in being in such a high scoring game and so many yards being gained on the field type of football game."

(On being confident in the offense always scoring)
"I feel like as an offense we were confident that if we were able to get the ball then we would be able to go out and execute. That is all we were focused on, executing one play at a time, every time we got the ball."

(On being frustrated with the defense)
"It is not frustrating because it is a team effort. You want to go out there and score every time you touch the ball regardless of what the defense does."

(On having such a good offensive game but still having disappointment of the game)
"It is part of the game, stuff happens. We missed some open touchdowns out there. They made some plays. It is the flow of a football game."

(On being happy with the high score)
"We always feel good when you have numbers like that. We will go back, watch the film and see that we made mistakes while we were doing it, but you feel good that we were able to get the production out of our guys especially out of our outside guys and our tailback."

(On players excitement in the locker room)
"We are always happy with a win."

Defensive Back Byron Moore

(On if this feels like a win)
"Anytime you get a win, you have to be happy. It's not going to be easy and you can't expect it to be easy so however we have to get it, we just have to do whatever it takes to get the win. But, you always have to enjoy the win."

(On the defensive backs performance)
"It was just frustrating. We have to keep working it and getting our coverage tighter. We had a new corner in there, [Daniel] Gray, got his first start so I feel like he did pretty well just got beat a couple of times on the deep ball. Overall, I feel like we are getting better and we just need to clean it up."

(On giving up a school record of offensive yards)
"Yes, it definitely felt like it. We felt like on third downs we didn't do too good of a job. They were hitting us with explosive plays so we just have to do a better job of getting off the field and limiting the explosive plays. It might be one person on each play that has a breakdown and it will lead to a big play. We have to have all 11 guys playing their right assignment, right technique and getting everybody to the ball."

(On Tennessee's defensive adjustments in the second half)

"There are always adjustments throughout the whole game so after every series we go to the sidelines and make corrections. There are always adjustments so we just have to keep sticking to what we were doing and grind it out."

Defensive Back Jaron Toney

(On winning today
"It meant a lot to get the win today. We had a rough time and some games are closer than you want them to be but we ended up taking it out."

(On 4th quarter stops)
"Everybody is doing their job, really. It wasn't that [anyone wasn't doing their job before]. Troy gave us some [plays] and more crossing and other things. We were probably a little off, but I wouldn't say anyone wasn't doing their job."

(On being frustrated)
"It was a little frustrating to see how close it was, but we have to stick together and we just try to bring each other up and that was the main thing that got us through. [In the locker room at halftime], I didn't see any doubts. We didn't come here thinking that we were going to lose, even at halftime. We just knew that we needed to pick what we were doing up. [When we were down by 7 with three minutes remaining], I wouldn't say that doubt was creeping in, but people started picking it up and doing what they needed to do and just win."

(On why the team isn't where they want to be)
"I can't put my finger on it. People are still learning and every now and then people forget what it is they're doing. It's just little things here and there."

(On trying new plays)
"There's not one big thing that we're trying to change. We just are doing the game plan and you have to switch things up to throw the other team off sometimes."

Linebacker A.J. Johnson

(On the defense)
"We practice hard all together, but you have to execute in the game."

(On why the defense may not be executing so well)
"Everybody just needs to stay focused. We have to play each snap. If someone stays unfocussed on a snap and the ball starts coming their way and they may mess up."

(On how the defense can get better)
"Just execute. Everybody just has to go out there and beat the person in front of them. It is that simple."

(On giving up points so many points as a defense)
"It is hard to except giving up all those points. At playing linebacker, I hate giving up points. It is unacceptable, but you have to go out there and work each snap and beat the person in front of you."

Defensive Back Eric Gordon

(On giving up 721 yards)
"I actually just found that out. It's unfortunate, but we won today, so I don't really care about that."

(On answering to two coaches)
"Coach Ansley really coaches us - me specifically in the star position and Coach Conklin coaches the safeties. They both give their input so it's good working with those guys."

(On communication)
"It's really not that bad. We're pretty much all on the same page."

(On playing time)
"It felt like a lot [of plays]. Pretty much just sleep, rest and recovery will help [to overcome the game]. We have to take care of our bodies. We're athletes and we have to put up with this every week. There's no telling what kind of offense we're going to get. They had a fast tempo on offense so I guess we'll just rest up tonight and tomorrow and go get them next week."

(On Dan Gray and Prentiss Waggner)
"I just tell [Gray] to brush it off and keep going. As a defensive back you have to have thick skin and you just have to keep going. I say the same thing to Prentiss (Waggner). Prentiss has to know what to do because he's been through these situations before so he can pretty much coach himself."

Linebacker Curt Maggitt

(On the defense's overall game)
"I am frustrated. We did not play up to our ability. (Troy) made too many big plays. We came out with a W and that is what is important but we did not execute well at all."

(On whether the defense practices better than it plays)
"Yes I would think so. In practice we are working hard; intense, and everyone on the same page. We are just not executing in the game. Missing tackles, missing coverage, we just have to work on that."

(On his health)
I feel a little bit better. I'm still not where I want to be but I'm getting used to it. I need to know what to expect and know my limits. I'm rotating with Willie Bohannon and he has been helping out a lot. Corey Miller, those guys in the rotation, keeping my body a little bit fresher as the game went on."

(On the complicated nature of the defense)
"I think the defense is pretty simple. Coach Sal is doing the best he can. It is on us. We just have to go out there and execute."

(On avoiding pointing fingers when things go wrong on defense)

"We know what we are capable of. We know how good our defense can be. We know that every big play is just something small, and we play for each other. I think that is key. We had a long offseason; a tough offseason and we try to keep playing for each other."

Running Back Marlin Lane

(On getting better each week)
"I just want to do better each week. Just go out there and prove a point and keep averaging more yards every week. I'm going out there and just playing physical."

(On playing like he did against Troy previously)
"It's probably only the second time in my career, including high school. It's my first time playing like that in college - playing down to the wire like that. We went out there and just won, playing all four quarters."

(On confidence in the 4th quarter)
"Just keeping everybody up and staying behind our defense 100 percent. We told everyone all we need is one more stop and then we're going to put it in the endzone."

(On opportunities he had this game)
"I feel like I took advantage of my opportunities. I just wanted to go out there and help and do whatever I can with Rajion (Neal) being banged up. He came out and got a few rushes to get the feeling back. We just have to stay up for each other and keep it going."

(On Cordarrelle Patterson)
"Every time he gets it, he just runs down the field and picks off somebody that's close to him. When he has the ball, there's no telling where he's going to go. I just run down and try to block and get him in the end zone. [In practice], he doesn't do too much with that, he works a little bit, but he is just a game time player. He works hard at practice, but he doesn't do all the moves. He's a high-motor guy, he stays positive. He's a smart guy, he knows the coverages and he knows where the defensive backs will be. He knows what moves to make if he needs to cut across the grain. They just let him do it when the ball is in his hands. I'm a running back, so I have to go north and south; east and west don't get any yards in the backfield."

(On the running backs' goals)
"We had some goals in the beginning of the week, like more yards per carry this game than we did the first eight. We just wanted to reach the 1500 mark as a unit, but I'm trying to get more than that. We're just trying to get our run game back."

(On defensive struggles)
"Last year, we struggled with a few key players out [on offense] and the defense picked us up. We're just one unit as a whole and we're going to go out there and continue to take over when the defense is struggling a little bit. It's a lot playing against a spread offense in a 3-4 defense. [Troy] is probably one of the first teams we've played all year with a spread offense that is so fast-paced. We're still getting the hang of it, but I have faith in our defense."

(On picking up defensive players)
"I tell them all, it's not like they just went out there and put out bad effort. They gave 100 percent every time and that's all a coach or other players can ask for, playing beside a guy and we're all with them 100 percent."

Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney

(Opening comments)
"Well, you saw the game. There was a lot of offense and not much defense either way. This game is headed in a new direction. It's a lot different from where it's been in years past. We'll have to address some of our woes. We've got to continue to recruit people who can play. The game was fast and so spread out. There was so much grass created by offensive formations and stretches of schemes. We didn't have a lot of calls; we kept it pretty simple, and still messed up stuff. Even if you've got a few calls, you still have to line up to the different formations. I know everybody is frustrated and I'm frustrated, too. We've got to deal with Navy next week, so that's a different experience.

I'm looking forward to going home right now. This was a long game--four hours. This was a tough day for us. When you get that close to an SEC team. I knew that UT was where they've been in the past or where they want to be, or where Derek wants them to be. We thought we had a chance to move the football. We thought the outside receivers would have a big day, and both of them did. We got some good production out of the quarterbacks. We turned down one opportunity to kick a field goal, but it was right on the edge of Will's range. We didn't think field goals were going to win it. Turns out field goals would not win it, so it would have been a wasted opportunity."

(On ever coaching a game like this)
"I certainly don't remember one quite like this. Throwing the ball a lot. Even when I was an assistant coach in the late 80s, we threw the ball a lot, but nothing like this today. I don't know how many times they threw it, but a lot of balls went up."

(On leading in the second half against big teams)
"Those teams are pretty top of the line. They recruit pretty good athletes and normally have pretty good depth. Most all of those games, we lost late. You can make up a few excuses. I think the high caliber of the athlete and the depth. Most of the time we're at their place. Let me say this, I'm not knocking anybody, but our schedule this year is our hardest schedule that we've played at Troy since I've been there. When we were trying to become 1A, we were playing anybody anywhere. That was tough, but this schedule, even though it's a home and local schedule, is tough."

(On the third quarter time out review)
"I should have gotten that time out back. I was honest with the guy. I told him I wanted a time out for my team, but I really wanted that reviewed. As it turned out, it got reviewed but I didn't get the time out back."

(On thoughts before the game)
"We thought we could move the ball. We had no idea we would get 48 points. If you had told me we were going to score 48, I would have told you we were going to win by three or four scores. We had played Mississippi State, who wound up beating Tennessee in Starkville. You have to figure in the home venue. I thought we could play with them. As I watched them on the field, I was worried about being able to get away from them on defense, as far as man coverage. Our outside receivers took care of business today."

(On their last touchdown)
"I knew it wasn't over. I don't think there are many people in the stands that thought it was over. We had our chances and we couldn't close the deal. We won't be able to close the deal on a quality offense until we get better on defense. I have no answers. I have a lot of excuses and things I think that have affected our recruiting over the past few years that affect our current state. We're not quite as good as we have been. We won five championships in a row based on defense. I'm hoping that we'll rectify some of those problems in the future."

(On talent situation on defense)
"Well, I coach the same guys every week. People always want to say, "Fire the coaches." We're 4-5 after this loss. I've been in the room with the coaches. I know what they do. The thing that disappoints me most about our coaches is the fact that, and I don't think we're that dumb on defense, they get the signal and getting lined up and playing their responsibility. We have to take a bit of that blame. I don't think we're on the talent level we've been on with defense. We went through Sun Belt without losing a game, and we've won the championship with one or two losses."

Troy Quarterback Corey Robinson

(On the hail mary pass)
It was a check down and that was really the only place that I could go with it. We'll get that corrected and hopefully get to six or seven wins to go to a bowl game. (On playing at Neyland)
This was the place that I always wanted to come; the place that I loved growing up in Lexington, Tenn. This is my first time getting to play on the field against UT. It felt good. (How much does a game like this help your confidence)
If we come out and prepare for every team that we play the rest of the season, I'd like to say that we'd be fine.

(On the mass amount of offense)
"I don't know how many yards (Tennessee) had, but (Tennessee) had seven more points and that is what it boils down to. We didn't do enough, I guess."

(On the Troy passing game)
"It was a long grueling week of film with our quarterback coach. (Coach Reagan) found some tendencies on (Tennessee) that really turned out to help me and Deon (Anthony) both out. Our receivers and running backs, just everybody made great plays."

(On playing a close game with Tennessee)
"Obviously (Tennessee) is physically more capable than we are in the public eye than us, but we just have to go out there and make plays."

(On playing in Neyland Stadium)
"This is a place that I always wanted to come and play, and a place that I loved growing up living in Lexington, Tenn."

Troy Quarterback Deon Anthony

(On scoring to take the lead with three minutes left)
"We were hoping the defense could hold them and we could get the ball back and run out the clock."

(On his touchdown run)
"The hole opened up pretty good, and all I could think was get in the endzone. Somebody hit me from the side, and I couldn't be denied to get in the endzone."

Troy Wide Receiver Chip Reeves

(On his performance)
On film, we saw that they played a lot of cover one, with one safety over the top. Our coaches and our quarterbacks believed that I could beat any man coverage that they lined up against me. That's what we worked on all week - releasing, getting open and catching the ball in traffic.
(On what it was like to play against a team he committed to)
I felt good about my performance, but we didn't get the win. I'm not a loser and neither is anyone on my team. Regardless of my personal performance, I still feel bad about losing.

Troy Wide Receiver Eric Thomas

(On his one-handed touchdown catch)
The DB had pretty good coverage on me, but I just stuck my route and got past him. I felt like I had it the whole way.




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