Postgame Quotes: Vandy 14, Tennessee 10

Nov. 23, 2013

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(On initial call of the 4th down play at the end of the game)
"No comment on the officials today. That pretty much summarizes it."

(On the fake field goal)
"I knew we needed a touchdown to win the football game. There was a stiff cross wind coming. We thought through the week we had it, but I just had a gut feeing that it would take a touchdown there to win the football game."

(On Vanderbilt's field goal defense that made you think it was..)
"Yeah always game plan"

(On emotions and what it is like)
"What do you think it is like? You have 28 seniors who have given everything to this football program. Yeah it is emotional because you put a lot of effort and work into it. I feel for these kids who have done everything we have asked of them. Unfortunately we came up short today. We have one more game left as a football team and a football program to get better. They are resilient and will come back but I feel for them because of all the things they have been through."

(On Marquez North)
"He hurt his ankle in the first quarter. That really hurt us offensively. That is our one speed weapon out on the perimeter. When he left the game that really hurt us in our throw game."

(On ever being involved in a game you thought you had won then a call gets turned around)
"No it is a first for me. It came down to a number of plays. We had thought there was a delay of game earlier in the drive. It is a game of inches. We always talk about that. The inches got us a little bit today. I am proud of our football team and our senior class."

(On Jordan Matthews)
"He is a great player. We knew we had to contain him. They do a good job, again, giving him the ball and creating space. He made a play when they needed him too. That is what great players do. When the game is on the line he made a great play."

(On the difficult for the defense to go in and out)
"Life is sudden change. You have to answer that sudden change. It will be a valuable teaching point. We always talk about sudden changes and the ability to handle those."

(On Joshua Dobbs struggling tonight whether it was due to the lack of Marquez North's presence)
"I think it was a combination of a lot of things. I think sometimes everything points to the quarterback, but I think some of the routes on the perimeter- I will have to watch the film to really comment further on that, but a couple times I didn't really think we were crisp on the perimeter. It is a combination of all 11 people working together. The things he needs to correct moving forward, again, is on 3rd downs not throwing the football away and not getting negative yardage football plays."

(On the third-and-one play on their own eight)
"You know, I don't know. I was on the far sideline, so it's hard to see. I'll know more when I see the film."

(On if it was disappointing not to get one yard to ice the game)
"Sure. It's a situation where it's third-and-one and you have to be able to come up. That's where we always talk about there's four to six plays in a game that can be the difference between winning and losing and obviously that was a critical play at a critical stage in the game."

(On if this game is another brick in the building process)
"It is. It is. I see, again, progress. It's disappointing when you're a competitor and you put a lot into it. You expect to win. It's all about the kids. They had a great week of preparation, but it is. Tennessee football is going to be fine. Right now we're going through some things, but we have an extremely loyal fan base, very proud fan base, a very proud university, and it's a matter of time and we'll be fine."

(On how the defense played)
"I thought resilient. We generated turnovers. I thought, especially in the first half, we capitalized on the turnovers that our defense was able to generate. I thought that was key, one of the key storylines of the football game. We generated turnovers and I thought we ran around and we made some critical plays when we needed to. Just at the end, we didn't make a couple of them that, obviously, everyone looks to those plays, but there's plays throughout the course of the game where I thought we performed exceptionally well."

(On Dobbs' touchdown being nullified)
"That was big. It took seven points off the board and that was a critical play. I just felt that we needed seven points in that possession."

(On the challenge to the team moving forward)
"Well, it's all about continuing to build this football program. It's competitive character and you get another opportunity compete. We get one more chance to come together as a football family, you know, as a football team and it's the last time we'll play. Our seniors are a great group of kids. They're very resilient and I expect them to move forward and be ready for Kentucky."

(On John Propst)
"We had some nickel and dime packages in this week. So, his role has expanded in our defense."


(On comparing this loss to last year's loss to Vanderbilt)
"They're both similar feelings. We just got to be able to finish the game. We've got to work on that. Just making the plays when we need to."

(On failing to stop them on 4th down at the end)
"That definitely hurt but I could tell our defense was up for the challenge. We just didn't get it done."

(On the defense' mentality at the end)
"We had all the confidence in the world. We knew we could stop them. We prepared very well these two weeks. So I don't know we just have to make plays."

(On if the defense had thought they'd won before the review)
"No, we weren't done we were just going over possible scenarios like if they actually got the first down so we were just going over the next play we were running."

(On what he thought of the overturned 4th down spot)
"Yea I kind of expected it. I kind of saw their quarterback get a little extra yardage. Wasn't surprising."

(On Jordan Matthews)
"He's a very athletic guy. He's got a lot of weapons. He's fast, he's tall, he can go up and get the ball so we just played as a defense and tried to stop him."

(On covering Matthews)
"We knew they were going to try and do that so we made an emphasis this week to always point out where he was at. We knew where he was at all times."

(On Matthews' long catch after the review)
"I was on the other side. We were in cover two. I didn't really get a good look at it so I couldn't tell you."

(More on covering Matthews)
"Oh yea for the most part we tried to get a jab on him, get our hands on him on the line and put somebody overtop."

(On Robinette's touchdown run)
"Yea I saw they wanted to jump pass. They did a jump pass before that in the formation they were in so we got it covered in the back end but he just ran up field."


(On what how losing effected the overall goal of the team)
"That was our goal all year to go to a bowl game. We didn't accomplish that. I believe the culture is finally starting to change. We are finally getting the right guys. We are finally are working the way a Tennessee program is supposed to work. We are starting to build the right foundation. Sometimes good things you have to wait for, right now is one of those process. We have to push through; this future team will push through. This week, as seniors we have to set the foundation. We have made the mistakes of not doing the right things in December, in this situation. Out of respect for Coach Jones we have to do the right thing, even if it means us staying around until January, we have to get these young guys in the weight room working out and during drills on their own keeping them here long enough. We cost them fifteen practices. I think we can still do the right thing by leading them in the right direction."

(On how much confidence the defense had on the last drive)
"We went out with a lot. We knew we had a great game plan from coach, we had a tremendous week of practice, so we felt like we would get the stop at the end of the game."

(On facemask penalty)
"That was just 15 free yards for them and any time you give up free yards to them like that, they're usually able to capitalize on it so that means a lot. I mean if you think about it, it would have been nice to have first and 10 from the 20 instead of first and 10 from the 5. We can do a lot more different coverage's and scheme's like that, but when it gets down to first and goal from the 5 it's hard to play great defense with that over your head."


(On what happened on the third and one play at the end of the game)
"They just came out with a good look, a good defense and they executed and we just weren't able to get it."

"That was the play that was called"

(On Josh Dobbs touchdown that was called back)
"They called a block in the back on one of the receivers; it happens its part of the game" "I didn't see it"

(On not getting the third and one after having a lot of rushing yards all night)
"It was very disappointing, we practiced those reps all week the third and one, and they have been good at those all season. It was just our fault."

(On the locker room atmosphere)
"It was really a quiet locker room. I went around and shook everybody's hand and let the know I've got another week with them left and I'm looking forward to just being around the guys and going out there and trying to win the game. This team 117 has one week left on our lifespan so we gotta go out there and make the most of it."

(On why he shook everyone's hand)
"It was just because everybody looked down, everybody was emotional, everybody put everything they had into these last two weeks. I just wanted to keep everybody's spirit up and we've got another week and I don't want everybody moping around all week, I want everybody to enjoy this week. We need to enjoy being around each other and being around these coaches, and just go out there and have fun and versus Kentucky, try and get the win."

(On the limitations of the offense after Marquez North left the game)
"Nah, I didn't even know he was out of the game. We've got faith in all of our skill guys. I know they're young, but they've all stepped up at some point in the season, so we all have faith in them. We just went out there and played our offense and just did whatever coach did call.

(On the overturned QB sneak play on the last drive)
"We all looked at each other and said we were brought back to those games against LSU and North Carolina and we told everybody to calm down, calm down it might not be over yet. So, you know, the ball goes your way sometimes and sometimes it doesn't, but there was a lot more opportunities where we could have won the game besides that one play


(On difficulty of establishing an offense)
"We started off slow. I felt like after the first quarter, though. We found our rhythm. We were able to really put the ball on the ground and own the line of scrimmage."

(On mistakes in the red zone hurting the team)
"That hurts, especially when you lose by a couple points. So, points are always big."

(On the touchdown that was negated due to the block in the back penalty)
"I didn't see much. I heard it was a block in the back penalty, I didn't see it. So, it's something we'll see on film, but just afterwards, it was just we still have to finish the drive and put it in the end zone."

(On what was missing from the passing game)
"I'm not sure. We just were a little bit out of sink, and that's just something that we can just fix with routes on air and timing."

(On Vanderbilt's defensive schemes)
"They were doing a good job with their coverages and executing their coverages, tonight. So they had a good game plan against us."

(On North's impact changing the offensive game plan)
"I wouldn't say that. We still stuck with our same game plan that we had before the game. He's a big part of our offense. So him going out was of course huge, but we still stuck with our game plan."

(On not getting a bowl game)
"Just focus, continue to come together and grow as a team. We're extremely excited about the future, especially behind Coach Jones. We just have to keep moving forward and continue to grow."

(On holding on to the football longer during zone reads)
"Yeah the longer I'm able to ride with the running back. The longer I'm able to see what the defense is doing, and see if I get a pull key or a give key. So that helped out a lot, and that's something we focused on over our week off in the past week. So it turned out big for us tonight."

(On the long sack)
"They had everyone covered. So I just have to make sure I'm protecting the football, and just make sure I either get down to my check down or throw the ball away. We can't have that, especially in those situations."


(On last defensive drive)
"I mean at first it did feel like we had the game, but we knew the defense just had to go back out there and try to make a play, and it came down to inches, and they won over their inches."

(On being one play away from winning)
"It's very disappointing, because it's something we work on in practice. We work on those type of situations as like much as we can just so we can get the win, but it's hard coming up short."

(On the overall performance of the defense)
"I felt like we played great, and I feel like everybody was making plays doing what they could to help the team win."

(On Jordan Matthews)
"He's a great competitor. I feel like he loves to compete, and he's great at catching the ball. He doesn't drop too many."

(On how Matthews was used in Vanderbilt's offense)
"Yeah that definitely makes it tougher I mean, but that's just something like you just watch on film and we just have to game plan for."

(On turnovers)
"I mean we try to come out every game to have as many turnovers as possible, but I feel like this week, I mean we had a break and we had a lot more time to work on turnovers in practice."



(Opening statement)
"Started the game out on certain sides of the ball trying our hardest to lose the game but the thing I think is so special about this team is that this team knows how to win. Over the last three years we've created a culture that the players expects to win and they find ways to win. It's not always pretty. Sometimes the offense plays really well, sometimes the defense plays really well, sometimes it's the special teams stepping up for us. A lot of different ways people are playing well. Really excited about that. Some things I rattle off to you that I think are important stats are eight straight wins in November, which is a dramatic stat especially considering before we arrived, Vanderbilt was 3-32 in the ten years in the month of November before we got here. First time beating UT two times in a row since the 1920s. Another example of this team finding ways to win, we lost all four of our starters in the secondary. Next guy goes in, does his job. Next guy goes in, does his job. Next guy goes in, does his job. Next guy goes in, does his job. Not one person flinched. I'm very, very proud of those guys. Four turnovers on offense, three big turnovers on defense. Typically if you go on the road and turn the ball over four times in the SEC, you're going to have a hard time being successful. Once again, this team finds ways to win. We've been building this culture and a lot of different people have worked really hard on it. First of all the players, the administration, all the assistant coaches, the fans, the community, everybody has worked extremely hard to change the culture and Vanderbilt now has a culture. That culture is we expect to win week in and week out, at home, on the road, in conference, out of conference and that's a very, very valuable thing. Tremendous respect for the University of Tennessee. Tremendous respect for their coaches, I think Coach Jones does a great job. Their fans, this is an impressive place, this is what we're trying to create at Vanderbilt, a home field advantage but all the respect to the University of Tennessee. I hope they stay healthy and finish out the year well."

(On challenging the spot)
"Those things are outside of our control. We thought that we had the first down, after that it's out of our hands. You'd like to get to the point where you don't put yourself in that position, that you clearly make it obvious that you got the first down without having to go to the review, but I know our coaches were really confident in the booth and our players were really confident that they got the first down."

(On the final drive)
"I thought that Krause made some big plays for us, which we needed to. We needed to get some other guys involved with what's going on for us right now. We've lost some guys so we've become a little bit predictable and a little bit one dimensional but that's part of this time of year in the SEC, you lose guys and other guys have to step up. That's going to be our focus this week, getting other guys to step up. We've got to diversify the offense a little bit but I did like the fact we were able to use Patton Robinette, he had a bigger role in the game, we just can't turn the ball over, and that's all of us. We've done a great job, I think we were one of the top teams in the country in protecting the football in terms of fumbles so that was uncharacteristic of us."

(On if this is becoming more of a rivalry)
"We're 1-0 this week, and really excited about being 1-0, I'll let all the people outside of our lockerroom call it what they want to call it. I've said that it hasn't been a rivalry because it hasn't been as competitive as it's needed to be long term. I'll let everybody else decide that. We're happy about being 1-0, and we're going to enjoy this win until about 12 o'clock, and its 11 so we have an hour to enjoy this so we're going to enjoy the next hour. I'll say three hours because the bus ride is three hours. We'll enjoy it for three hours and then tomorrow we'll start focusing on Wake Forest."

(On the team being calm on the last drive)
"I think there comes a since of confidence that this team will find a way to win, whether it's a fumble recovery, and interception, a big play, we've shown it time and time again over the last couple years so I do feel like the fact that we've been in this position before and our kids understand that, we just continue to plug away. Those kids in there, they believe in each other. That's the most powerful thing that we have is they believe in each other. Everybody who is in that locker room, every single person in that room believed that we were going to win that game the entire game. That's administration, that's the trainers, that's the doctors, that's the coaches, and most importantly the players, our guest coaches so it's been good."

(On Robinette)
"We think Patton brings a little bit of mobility. He's a tough guy, he's a winner. He's not making these plays where he's shaking people with his quickness and going 70 but he grinds out tough runs when he needs it. I'm really proud of him. When he started those games for us and then we decided to go with Patton, he didn't flinch, he had no issue with it and when he had an opportunity he's made plays. He's one of the guys to come up and thank me and give me a big hug at the end of the game and I said I don't know why you're thanking me, you did it. I tell the team all the we'll be as good as they decide to be. This is their team. These guys have taken ownership in this program and they've invested. They've invested in themselves and they've invested in the program and when you have that you have a chance to be successful."

(On what it was like to walk off this field with a win)
"It's awesome being 1-0, it's a great win for us, it's a great win for our program. No different than Austin Peay was at the beginning of the year and Kentucky and all the other people, it's another win for us and we're really, really excited about doing it."

(On creating a winning culture)
"I don't think there's any doubt about it. I don't think you can lay out 'how do you get there' it's these three things. It's not. It's 300 things, and they figured that out through the guidance of the assistance coaches and the strength staff and what they do. It's all those things. It's the other 300 days a year that these guys are working when no one is watching and how they're working and are they holding each other accountable and all those types of things. It's all the little things. I'm very, very proud because it's not easy to create that, especially when it hasn't been there for 80 years, so creating it that's not me, that's everybody involved in doing it."

(On Robinette getting the game winning touchdown when he's from this area)
"I'm really happy for all our kids from Tennessee, I'm really happy for all our kids from Georgia, I'm really happy for all our kids from California, but all that stuff goes out the window. Where they came from is wonderful, but once they get to our place, they're apart of our family, they're apart of our home. We're Nashville's team and we believe that. We take a a lot of pride in representing Nashville, we take a tremendous amount of pride in representing Vanderbilt and we take a tremendous amount of pride in representing the state of Tennessee. I think this is really good for the state. I truly believe that and have all the respect in the world for the University of Tennessee."

Vanderbilt Senior Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews

(Opening Statement)
"I just want to thank God. This team, not just individually, this team has shown a lot of resiliency lately. This whole month of November, is it no lose November. Each week we come in and fight. The guys in the locker room at no point did they show any type of defeat, their heads never hung. You should have seen the look in their eyes. With three minutes left there was nobody on that sideline that thought we weren't going to win. I appreciate them. I want to say thank you to Coach. He believed in me. That first half was rough. I caught the ball up on the goal line, but Coach Franklin always tell us, `on gameday, I am never going to jump down your throat. I am always going to believe in you.' He held true to that. Not once did he get onto me. He trusted me. I just want to thank him for that. Thank you to my teammates, Andre Hal, Kenny Ladler, Steve Clark, Javon and the guys that backed them up. When they couldn't go any longer the guys came in and stepped up."

(On tonight's victory)
"It was a great feeling. I think everybody saw the excitement out on that field after we were able to get that win. Tennessee is a great team, all respect to them, those guys fought hard. We fought hard too. Our guys, they stayed resilient, never hung their heads, just stuck with it. Then for us to get that run on the last drive, Carta-Samuels came up big. And then Patton [Robinette] to be able to go in and score like that, that last touchdown, so close to his hometown, that is a storybook ending for him. Just sticking with our philosophy, we go 1 and 0 each week, we are able to do that this week and celebrate. I am just proud of the guys in the locker room."

(On the emotional roller coaster of the game)
"I can't even say it was a roller coaster. We always look to Coach Franklin for that even-keeled mindset. At no point was he ever flushed he said, `we are going to challenge it and it is going to be a first down. Don't worry about it. Get ready for the next play.' So I was like okay, I just look to them, they must know something I don't know. Then the referees came out, first down. So we got to go onto the next play and Austyn [Carta-Samuels] threw a great pass and then we were able to go and score. So that was all she wrote."

(On his final catch of the game)
"Great protection, first of all by the O-line. Those guys fought hard, it was a grind and pound game a lot. A lot of our production came out, run the ball and screen plays. We had to throw it deep on the last drive. They protected. Tennessee played a little cloud coverage, they were trying to collision on the line with safety help overtop. So Austyn knew it couldn't put it too deep, he had to put it right in the honey hole, and that just shows the type of accuracy he has as a quarterback. He was able to fit it in there and I was able to go and make the play. It set us up to be able to score and I just happen to be a part of it."

(On if he predicted his statistical success at the beginning of this season)
"Honestly I didn't even think about it statistically. We just always go in thinking about playing. Coach always say, `if you just go in and work hard and play the game and go hard 100 percent every single play, the rest of the stuff will take care of itself. I am just happy for the team aspect. We go through adversity like that. We just have to keep moving forward as a team. That is what I keep focusing on. Being that leader in the locker room, that was the main thing we focused on, just staying together and keep moving forward. We were able to do that. I am glad we were able to put that leadership and that type of resiliency on display tonight against Tennessee.


(On game winner)
"I know it was huge, but for the reason of being from Maryville. It was huge for us as a team coming into Knoxville and Neyland, which is an intense environment, and coming out with a win. My being from Maryville just made it sweeter."

(On defensive on game winner)
"We kind of expect that in the design of the play. After the jump pass against Kentucky, we felt like they would key on that one so we faked it a little bit and ran it in. I had great block with those guys and Jordan Matthews outside, so it worked out well for us."

(On final drive offensively)
"Resilience is the big thing. We were resilient on the final drive although things had not been going our way the entire game. We put together a nice long touchdown drive to seal the win."


(On emotions at end of game)
"To us we always exude confidence and especially in those situations. I've played in a few college football games, done a few quarterback sneaks, and definitely knew I got the yard and a half. At that point I just came over to Coach Franklin and said guys we're good, we got this one. The offensive line did a great job surging off and it was literally just eye in the sky please don't lie. We were alright and I was excited there."

(On beating UT last two years)
"In the state of Tennessee there's other football programs, but I believe the two prominent ones because they're in the SEC is Vanderbilt and Tennessee. So there's just a lot of pride of following of the programs, and naturally that creates a lot of smack talk among fans and people outside the locker room. I think Tennessee in particular is very respectful of us and we're very respectful of them. It's just two great universities going against each other for what others call state bragging rights. For us We have truly bought into Coach Franklin's philosophy and it's just awesome to get that seventh win move forward trying to win another one next week."

(On final drive changes)
"No, it just felt great to be out there with such good teammates. Those guys are so positive, especially amidst adversity. It was a really tough time out there. Obviously not having the success we wanted to with turnovers, we all made mistakes. Going into that last drive it was just good to see the other 10n guys around you and our team have confidence about what we could possibly do on that drive. It's one thing to go out there and think about being successful and another to make it happen. Luckily we were able to do both."

(On meaning of win)
"My girlfriend's family is from Tennessee, so I know they're heart-broken. They all love Tennessee football and we have a lot of respect for Tennessee football. Unfortunately they lost today, but we feel extremely good about it. We wish them the best of luck next week and moving forward. We look forward to playing them for years to come."


(On stepping up)
"It was really no big deal for us because the coaches do a great job of making sure the young guys get reps too. We just stepped in there like it was practice; the same stuff we saw in practice was the same things we saw in the game today. We just thought we were prepared and ready to go."

(On change to winning culture)
"Coach does a great job of not worrying about the opponent we're playing but rather competing against each other. That's our goal each week: to compete against each other, be the best we can be, not worrying about the opponent, but just going out there and playing."





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