Nov. 24, 2012
Tennessee Interim Head Coach Jim Chaney(Opening statement)
"I couldn't have been happier with the game finished for the senior class. They were very good with me all week, the 13 kids who were playing their final game. It was emotional for them on Friday night as we let them speak to the team. And I couldn't be more pleased when they came out today, and the team gathered around one another to get a victory for Tennessee and for the senior class. I'm pretty pleased that that happened.
"This week went pretty smoothly. At the beginning of the week, it was a little rugged. No question dealing with change is difficult, but as the week progressed, by Friday, I thought we were close to being ready to go play a football game. How they'll react in an environment of an SEC ballgame was what I was unsure about, but I felt when we got the ball and scored, I felt pretty comfortable when the game started.
Outside of that, I had no expectations personally what was going to take place today, other than that they asked me to do this and I was humbled by it and I was pleased to do this. I like this group of kids, and I was tickled to death that we found a way to win a ball game and I was pleased with that."
(On what it says about team to put aside distractions of the week and win)
"I think when kids go out and play, they wanted to play. As far as it being difficult (to motivate them), I don't think it was difficult. As the week was going, the healing was happening naturally. By the time we got to Saturday, those kids wanted to finish out with a victory. Other than that, I felt comfortable where we were at going into the ball game."
(On if he had fun coaching on the sidelines)
"It was wonderful. It was a wonderful experience to me personally to do this. I had never done this, as you guys know my history. It was fun. There were things that pop up that you never think about when you're sitting there, and I admire the qualities of the people that do it. I admire Derek Dooley more than I could ever tell you, and he's a good man."
(On success with defensive pressure)
"They played hard. They seemed to play hard to me. They were moving around and making plays in the backfield. We missed a few sacks, but we made a few too. The kids up front played hard, and they were in good position for the most part to make the plays they needed to make, and they did. I'm proud of them. They bent a little but they didn't break, and they did a nice job. They played hard, and with effort comes playmaking ability, and I thought they played hard today."
(On big-picture success of offense this season)
"This offense started three long years ago. What you're seeing today is a byproduct of three long years of nurturing -- shall we say -- and learning. There were a few bumps and bruises along the way offensively. It was a short 12 months ago we were in Lexington and couldn't get a first down to save our lives. But these kids playing on the field now are juniors and seniors, instead of freshmen and sophomores as they had been previously. I think the familiarity with what we do, and the belief in what we do systematically helped us. I couldn't be more pleased with how they went out and played. As offensive coordinator, you strive for the perfect game, but that never happened for us. It never did but there were times we looked pretty doggone good out there. And there's times I'd like to take a few of my calls back. Every game at my position, you'd like to take four or five of them back. You'd love to. Unfortunately, you can't do that. You don't have the click button to go back."
(On QB Tyler Bray's NFL potential)
"I think Tyler's a good quarterback who has a very bright future in front of him."
(On WR Cordarrelle Patterson playing so well without years developing in offensive system)
"CP's a heck of a talent. I joke many times he's as good as I've seen at what he does with a football in his hands, and I've watched some good football players over my years. When you have that talent and he loves to play the game. His passion for the game of football is probably something that you all don't see. He loves football. The passion's there. The details of assignments, he'll continue to get better at route running. You have to find ways to get him the ball. The ball comes up to him and he knows where he's going, he's pretty good. The sky's the limit for that young man's development, and how good he can be remains to be seen. And he understands that. He truly understands he has a lot of growth left to do. But he has a fine arrogance about him ... he knows he's pretty damn good. (laughs) I know he's pretty damn good too."
(On evaluation of offense for next season)
"You know, for me to evaluate these kids, I like them. I'm not going to give you physical evaluations of all of them. There's some good young players here, and we've had success with them. If they continue to work and continue to develop and continue to be a year older next year, they'll be a little bit better. When seniors are on the field for you, good things come your way. They've invested so much. Just imagine the things we've done personally after working at it for four years. Just think of one thing you've done for four years to get somewhere. You invest so much and it's so important for success. That's where these kids are at."
(On seniors playing last game under fifth coach)
"It'll be interesting to see in 20 years exactly what these young men are doing. What did they learn in college, what happened in college, what transpired that made them tougher, made them learn to fight through adversity? They learned definitely about change. They got to see that up close and personal. The different personalities they had to deal with in coaching staffs is remarkable. Everybody goes through that in their job, having to deal with different personalities. I do believe they'll be stronger because of it. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll be successful because they were here because it was tough, but down the road I know they'll still be die hard Tennessee people and that's what we're trying to do."
(On only giving up a FG in the second half)
"Those guys played good. I thought Sal called a wonderful ball game. There were times when he could've blitzed, he couldn't have blitzed, he tied them up in the knot. I thought he did a real nice job."
(On what's next)
"I'll continue to do whatever Mr. Hart would like me to do in this role. Continue to help these young men whatever they need as far as going to class. That's the key thing right now. Football is over and now we have to finish up strong in finals. Coach Dooley was big on that and we'll continue to fight his wishes all the way to the end. These young men will finish strong academically if it's the last thing we do. And we want that. All our time is going to be spent on that. We'll have a number of coaches out on the road being visible with our Tennessee orange to the recruits."
(On the season)
"Tough. Tough. I seldom get an opportunity to reflect. Right now is not a time for reflection for me. It's been a tough one. I can say that."
(On seniors going out with a victory)
"It means everything. That was the goal at the beginning of the week- how do you refocus a team to get them go out in a victorious manner? We talked about it throughout the week. They decided to make it happen and they did it. I told them yesterday for years as a coordinator I preached about games as players. It has nothing to do with the coaches. It's about players. When you walk across that big line, it's about players. I told them I started laughing when they were coming in because I was going to be the head coach for the first time. It's definitely about players. You had two staffs that were basically lame duck staffs. Guys, it's just you versus those 11. You don't have to worry about some guy on the sideline. There's none of that. There's no anxiety of that. It's just you guys playing. Today was the purest form of players versus players you can find."
(On expectations of the game)
"I don't know much about the ball game other than the officials asking me at half time which way I wanted to kick the ball. Why don't you choose it? I had spent that much time thinking about it. I felt like a complete idiot because I always pride myself on knowing exactly what I'm going to do offensively. I have my check list that I hold dear to my heart. I didn't have that check list today. That came up. If I had to do a replay or challenge something, that would've been interesting. There's just little things when you get ready to play a ball game that you really don't know until you live it. That's what I've learned this week. You don't know until you sit in that desk how difficult it is. I never sat in the desk. I'm not even pretending to say this is a year-long thing, but I did notice things."
(On Bartholomew getting the carry)
"I think it was more Bray's idea. It's like an alter ego. Bart was probably like `Hey Bray go tell Chaney to do this.' I don't know. I couldn't have been more happier. I thought about doing it during the season and never did. I was happy for Bart to get the ball."
(On staying at Tennessee)
"If it worked out. The gentleman that they hire, that's his job to make those decisions. Personally, my family and I really enjoy Knoxville. We love the University of Tennessee and if that opportunity comes up, we'd love to discuss that. But that's whoever they end up hiring's decision."
(On steps to repair UT)
"You're asking me again to reflect on things and this is not the time or place for me to do that. I think that Tennessee is a wonderful spot. There's a lot of things, that every place has, that you can work to get better at. But those are conversations we have at a later date. Right now, I'm just happy as heck that we won a ball game."
Tennessee Player Quotes
Quarterback Tyler Bray(On ending the season with a win)
"I thought we would be going to a Bowl Game, but things didn't go that way this year. We got a win at the end so that's all that matters."
(On what Coach Chaney has meant to his development)
"Everything. Just his knowledge of the game. He's helped out a lot with that. Making me, helping me and showing me the way to study football."
(On trying to get Ben a carry)
"If I was able to go back out there, and we weren't (giving him a carry) I was going to change up the rotation a little bit and just hand him the ball. He's been here awhile and I don't think he's gotten a carry yet. So I wanted him to get one."
(On what the game meant to Coach Chaney)
"He's 1-0. It's a great start. It was fun having him on the sideline. I got to see him head-to-head instead of just talking to him on the phone."
(On getting Zach and Mychal TDs today)
"That was kind of the plan. I threw the first one to Zach and said `Ok you're done.' Then I threw the second one to Mychal and I looked at Zach and held up two fingers and said `I'm good, now we just got to get Bart some carries."
(On communication with Coach Chaney)
"I didn't get any butt-chewings today so that was good. He was calling pretty much every play he had, just having fun and letting us play ball."
(On what the senior class has meant to him)
"They've just showed us what UT is all about."
Junior Wide Receiver Justin Hunter(On the offense maturing through the years)
"I think so. I think we got better as we grew. Coming through our freshman year, a lot of us started so we had that chemistry in the making. I like how we all came together in the end and just played."
(On winning the last game of the season)
"It means it a lot. We wanted to play for the seniors and we didn't just want to give up and have them leave with a loss. We played our hearts out there for them."
(On the defensive struggles this season)
"It's hard. Last year, our offense was kind of bad. We were struggling a little bit. It just flip-flopped this year and it was just real hard for us. It was stressful."
(On if he plans to return to the Volunteers next season)
"I'm not thinking about it right now. I'm just thinking about this good win we had and I'm about to go celebrate with my teammates. In my mind, I'm not thinking about it right now."
(On if the new head coach hire will determine if he returns)
"Yes. It's going to play a big part in our decision so we have to wait for that before we make our decision."
Junior Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson(On if he will return to the Volunteers next season)
"We are just happy we got the win and finished strong. When that decision comes, we will see what is best for us."
(On if he knew that the coaches were going to play him in several positions this season)
"No it was not talked about but I'm really glad it happened. You can see all the special things you can do. Coach Chaney did a heck of a job using me in every way he could."
(On transitioning to running back from wide receiver)
"It wasn't that tough. I liked it. Just get that touch, try to find the hole, and get to the endzone."
(On being able to play running back)
"It is a lot of different. You have a whole defense coming at you and so you just try to follow your block and find the hole."
(On what it was like to be able to play for the University of Tennessee)
"It was an awesome year. Things came up big for me. I didn't expect any of this coming from junior college. I didn't even think I was going to play that much. I just came here and worked hard everyday and good things happened."
RS Senior Fullback Ben Bartholomew(On getting carries at the end of the game, if that was a surprise)
"Some of the guys on the team were talking to me about it and I was excited about it, if we had that opportunity to get it done. I was just really thankful to get into the game."
(On the seniors addressing the team on Friday)
"The seniors come up and talk before the Kentucky game every year. It's always a little emotional, it's bittersweet for the seniors. But I think we had a lot of good advice. All of seniors had been through a little adversity and we kind of gave advice to the younger guys to pursue through it and focus on the younger guys and focus on Tennessee and not anything else."
(On what he think Tennessee needs moving forward)
"I think if we can just someone here who can get us back to playing Tennessee football - hard physical football - we'll be back there dominating everybody like we used to."
(On the offense coming together)
"You can see it in the offensive line. They've matured and done a great job this year. I think by far we had the best offensive line in the country. You can see Tyler's maturity as well. You see him hitting passes downfield, the receivers are blocking downfield and you can see the whole offense really maturing. Coach Chaney has done a great job of running that and it was great to come out with the W."
Junior Offensive Lineman Ja'Wuan James(On putting the distractions aside and getting the win for Tennessee)
"I feel like we came a long way, maturity-wise. I feel like we've got a lot of mature guys on the team. Guys in our class, we just helped the young guys cope with what was going on."
(On what factors into his decision to come back or go to the NFL draft)
"It's a lot better. I haven't been thinking about it. We've just been thinking about this game, trying to prepare for this. I'm just going just enjoy this game, enjoy it with these seniors and that we let them go out with a W."
(On the coaching change factoring into his decision)
"I would definitely like to have Coach [Sam] Pittman back as the offensive line coach. We got comfortable with him. That guy recruited me. I like what's going on now and if we can keep him that would be good."
RS Senior Offensive Lineman Dallas Thomas(On putting the distractions aside and getting the win for Tennessee)
"With everything that was happening off the field and everybody talking about Coach Dooley getting fired and all that, we just had to pull together. Like Ja'Wuan said, we were mature enough to bring the young guys along."
(On if playing this game was easier after the head coaching decision was made)
"Yes. It's out in the open, so now we could just play football like we did today."
(On how much they thought the win meant to Coach Chaney)
"Yes, it meant a lot to him. He was talking to us the whole time like, `Let's just win this for the seniors. Don't worry about all of the distractions that were happening outside the field. Just keep working.' And we did. We got the W."
RS Senior Wide Receiver Mychal Rivera(Reflecting on Kentucky Game)
"I'm just really happy to get a win. All week, Coach Chaney was just preaching to get a win for the seniors and go out strong."
(Summing up the season)
"A lot of adversity hit us, a lot of negative things, ups and downs, but I really think it teaches us about life. It isn't easy and you're going to have to overcome things that aren't in your plans and get over it."
(On the adversity in his three years at UT)
"You just push on and keep going. In life, things don't go your way and you just have to play the cards that are dealt to you and move on. I'm really proud of our senior class, we held [our team] together. We were really focused all week and I'm also really proud of the underclassmen for fighting like they did today. [My three years here] were a little different, especially finishing like this with Coach Dooley being released, but I had fun. The southern hospitality is very nice here and I really love Tennessee."
(On Coach Dooley being released)
"This week, we came in and we just had a goal to win. We weren't thinking about coaches or any of that, we were just coming into practice and working hard. We had some really good practices this week, everybody was out there and giving a lot of effort and we just had the goal in mind to win for the seniors and that's what we did."
(On giving a Gatorade bath to Coach Chaney)
"I don't know who decided on that, they were plotting on it the whole game."
(On the coaching situation the past few weeks)
"It's never good when outside, negative energy comes into the locker room or to the team and you don't want to say it happens, but it does. Everybody reads things and I think it did have an effect on some of the losses."
(On Coach Chaney)
"I think he went out really well just like the rest of us and I'm happy that he can get his first win under his belt as a head coach."
(On what it means to be a Vol)
"To be a Tennessee Vol means to be a hard-worker no matter what happens and just playing for the Big Orange. I'm going to miss the fans out here - they're so committed. It's crazy to see fans at 9:30 in the morning at the Vol Walk when it's freezing and they're all out there cheering... I'm really going to miss that."
Sophomore Linebacker Jordan Williams(On rushing as an outside linebacker and not from a defensive end position)
"As the year has gone by I have definitely gotten more comfortable and I think it showed today."
(On the defense being able to get more sacks this game than normal)
"We just decided to get out there. It has been a long year with a lot of different things going on so we just got after it."
(On Friday night's senior talk to the team)
"It means a lot. I know they have been through a lot and I know they (seniors) needed this one so we just tried to give it to them, which I believe we did."
(On how the team uses this win looking on to next season)
"We just have to keep this same intensity through the offseason and get better with whoever comes in and hopefully have a great year."
(On what is the next step for this football program)
"I think just getting everybody on the same page. Everybody has to buy in and not think about themselves, just thinking about getting better and coming out preforming."
RS Senior Defensive Back Prentiss Waggner(On today's game)
"When we came into this game we just wanted to get a `W' for these seniors. I think today we had a whole bunch of fun out there. Guys got to play a bunch for the first time like Carson Anderson, Ben Bartholomew got some carries, so it was fun to get that `W'."
(On practice this week)
"I tip my hat to Coach Chaney. I think he did a great job making us have energy throughout practice this week. When we first got out there in the morning practice he had music playing, I think that energized us and gave us that momentum to get the win today."
(On speaking as a senior to the team on Friday night)
"I am really a low key guy. I do not really say too much and my last name starts with a `W', so I go last, and to hear all those guys go before me, the first thing I could say was just `you guys have my heart beating one hundred miles per hour.' I had never experienced anything like that before. Basically I got up there, told some jokes, and just told the guys to have fun out there this last game and I think they did a pretty good job laughing with me and we had fun today."
(On his experience while at Tennessee)
"I would sum it up as fun. I do not have any regrets here at Tennessee. It is not how I would have drawn it up coming from Louisiana, but I just took it in strides. I learned a whole lot about football. I want to become a coach one day and I think I did a good job of grasping all these defenses that were thrown at me and I will go far from there."
Junior Defensive Lineman Daniel McCullers(On today's win)
"Every win is a good thing. Get the seniors out, a good out."
(On his improvement throughout the season)
"I came very far. At the beginning I didn't know what the 3-4 was, I didn't know what to do on any plays. Each week I gained progress and I became better. Overall, I think I did pretty good job throughout the year."
(On considering his future)
"I will have to think about it long and hard with my family and talk about each options that we have. I am going to talk long and hard about it to make my decision."
(On what will be the most important factors in making his decisions)
"I can't really say right now. We are going to talk about it, me and my family. We are going to make the best decision possible."
(On meeting with the new coaching staff before making a decision)
"I think I would want to meet with them, just to see what kind of defense they are going to do. What system they are going to run. That would be a good thing to do."
(On finishing the semester strong academically)
"It has been pretty good. I am going to finish off strong. I am passing all my classes. We have finals in a couple of weeks, so I am going to finish off strong."
(On his development as a player)
"As a football player, I developed well. I dropped some weight and I became much faster. I worked on my technique. I got better every week so I could make plays for my team."
(On if he wants to lose more weight)
"I would say, lose a couple more. Maybe 10 to 15 pounds."
(On the issues on defense)
"The big plays that the teams got on us, we weren't working our technique right. We weren't getting much pressure on them. They just got the big plays on us. Right now we finished our season good with a win for the seniors. We will continue to work on the offseason. The whole team is going to work, just get better from this."
Senior Wide Receiver Zach Rogers(On today's win)
"It was very special and it meant a lot to all of the seniors, especially. We haven't had the greatest season and we all know that and are very disappointed, but we just wanted to come out and send the season out right and send the seniors off with a win and we were able to do that. I think it was very important for these younger guys coming into next season. It's always good to end on a win to have a little bit of motivation going into next year."
(On the offense today)
"It was a lot of fun today, Tyler (Bray) was throwing the ball all over the place and we knew that he was going to do that coming into the ball game. It was just nice to score for this last time and doing big things with the offense."
(On playing for Coach Chaney)
"It was different. Coach Chaney is a great coach and a great individual. He's been the offensive-coordinator since I've been here, so he's been the coach since I've been here these four years and it was nice to get the win for him as well."
(On his four years at UT)
"A lot of adversity, but at the same time, it will definitely make us stronger down the road and we just have to be able to realize that. We may not be able to see it in this short time here, but it will hopefully help us as we grow as men. I learned a lot here and I've had some great experiences here."
(On the 13 seniors)
"We're guys who can roll with the punches. We've been thrown a lot of curveballs here and I think we've stuck together well as a unit. I know we didn't get the results, but I think we laid a good foundation for where they want to be next season."
(On senior day)
"It was definitely emotional for me, putting on the "T" for the last time and running out through the tunnel and playing in front of these fans. I'm just glad we got a win for this program and we can send these guys off with a good off-season."
(On advice to younger players)
"We spoke in front of the team yesterday and I told them to just stick together. At the end of the day, you're playing for each other and you're the ones crossing over the line and playing every down. No matter who the head coach is, it's still going to be Tennessee and you're still representing this great program."
"When I signed the letter of intent, I never expected this much to happen to me, but at the same time, that's life, you can't always expect what's going to happen next. I think these guys know what it takes to win. We stayed in the fight for a lot of these games and we didn't come out in the end, obviously, but I think we're headed in the right direction."
RS Senior Linebacker Herman Lathers(On being the last game of college career)
"I have had a lot of emotions. I had a great career here, a lot of injuries but today wasn't about me. It was about the whole senior class and playing for the guys that are here right now."
(On knowledge gained during career)
"To persevere. I have been through a lot of injuries. We have been through a lot as a senior class, as a team. The main thing is just perseverance."
(On difference in defense today)
"I can't really put a finger on it. Our main job was to go out and play for the seniors, get a win and finish the season strong. That is what we did."
(On talking with the team last night)
"I kept it short. He (Jim Chaney) gave all the seniors the chance to say a word or two. We pretty much had the same stories; so I encouraged the guys to go out, play for the seniors and finish out the season strong."
(On the future)
"I have been through a lot. I have grown as a man, as a person. My character has grown and I am anxious to see what the real world has for me."
(On Tennessee's football program future)
"Keep pushing, keep recruiting guys that want to come out and win. It isn't about the coaches and who they bring in. It is about the players rallying around learning the system and playing for each other. We have a great group of guys here that will move forward and I am anxious to see what they are going to do next year."
(On difference with Coach Chaney)
"It was not much different. We went to practice the same, meetings the same. We just had a new guy in charge. He took charge with calling the offense plays and we run everything else like we usually do."
Sophomore Linebacker A.J. Johnson(On playing for the seniors)
"That is the motivation every year, but I think this year was a little more with Herman (Lathers) since it was his last home game. I know coming in as a freshman he took me in like a younger brother. He cooked for me and stuff like that so it was good motivation."
(On Herman Lather's cooking)
"He knows how to throw down on the grill."
(On scoring the touchdown)
"It was pretty much great blocking that is all I can say."
(On the recent growth in numbers of tackles)
"I am just going out every snap and trying to make plays, trying to get to the ball. That is all I pretty much do and the tackles are just adding up."
(On the quarterback sack)
"I felt really good. My first sack, I just saw it open up and shot in."
(On the coaching search)
"I am not really focused on that. I know that it is really on us as players. I am going to try to come in and lead the team as much as I can."
Kentucky Head Coach Joker Phillips(Opening Comments)
"It was a hard fought game. I'll tell you this, the one thing I'm most appreciative of is how the players have handled the last three weeks. Originally, I didn't want to be a distraction and make them go through this. I wanted those guys to have their time. One of the reasons why is you think, `How can I push these guys? Why will they listen to me?' We've got good kids. And I'm so appreciative of the way they handled it. There were a lot of good teaching moments in these last few weeks. I learned a lot in the past few weeks. One of the things I learned is that you have to practice what you preach. Everyone is talking about how I handled this.
The reason I handled this well is how can I go in there and tell those guys how to handle themselves and how I want them to handle themselves the same way. I learned a lot during these weeks. But it's time to go. I understand that. It's definitely time to go. Anybody that gets ten years at a place...and there's plenty of guys on the other staff who've gotten three years. Some guys on our staff got three. Some got one. I got ten years at the place where I grew up. This is the second time. I got nine the first time, ten the second time. It's time to go. But, there's been a lot of things accomplished in the last ten years.
In ten years we were able to go to five straight bowl games. We had College Game Day at Kentucky, and not for basketball. Nobody would have thought that. That was one of the goals when I came back. And we accomplished it. We had a number of big wins. We were able to beat a number one. There's about 15 guys on the wall playing in the NFL. Most of them have their degrees. We've accomplished a lot. I would like to have accomplished beating Tennessee for the second year in a row. It was a hard fought game, offensively. It was a better performance that we had this year, and there were a lot of young players out there.
The thing we couldn't do was get the ball in the end zone. We had a lot of opportunities in the red zone. Fourth down has been a thorn for us. When you don't convert, it's turning the ball over. It's been fun. I'm excited to be able to watch this young football team compete. The one thing I have to say is give the guy a chance. This is Kentucky football. We don't bring in guys who can go to the NFL every two years. Give the guy a chance. I'm not saying I didn't get a chance, but I think given a chance, this thing can be good."
(On parting thoughts to players)
"I wanted to tell our players the one thing I will do is come back and haunt them if they don't take care of business in the classroom. I don't want people to say there isn't talent here or that this team isn't tough, because they are. I will come back and haunt them if they don't carry themselves like Kentucky players are supposed to, which was set a long time ago, even before I came to Kentucky. They set those standards early."
(On take it in moments today)
"I thought our guys have done a good job of responding and allowing our coaches to push them."
(On three long drives)
"We came back in the second half and had the same type of drive and we got three out of it. We held the ball for seven and a half minutes. I don't think the guys deflated. It took a lot out of the guys, but I think they came back and competed in the second half. We lost it at the end of the first half, but we knew we were getting the ball back in the second half. We got three out of it and held the ball for seven and a half minutes. That was big."
(On the logistics of the end)
"My office is emptied out. I have keys to turn in and we're done. I think there's some things we'll have meetings about on Monday, to get academics in order, but it's time to go."
(On telling the players to give the new guy a chance)
"Definitely. They will. Those are good kids. You don't have to say that often to those guys. They came here to compete at a high level. They would move mountains for anyone. That's the kind of kids they are. We've done this the right way. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. I've seen it happen."
(On what's next)
"What time is it? We'll get on the bus and watch some college football on the way home. I'm going to relax and start fielding some of the calls, texts, and emails. They came in hundreds during the last few weeks. I'll relax and get back to people. Now, if I get a call from a number I don't recognize, I'll answer it. It could be a potential employer."
(On the young cornerbacks)
"We were playing NFL guys. They are potential first round guys, maybe even this year. Those guys are big time players, and the thing about playing defensive back is you have to win your share of plays. They won some, and they missed some. They're going to be good players. For a long time, too. They have three years left. They're just babies. They love to compete. They're not even redshirt freshmen."
(On whether next guy is set up for success)
"There's a lot that goes into winning. There'll be two new systems, maybe three that come in. It takes time. He won't necessarily be set up for winning. I just said it takes time. We are in the best conference in America. We've played for seven straight national championships."
(On speed of Tennessee's drives)
"That's a big play offense. They've done it to everybody, not just us. They've got a potential first round quarterback. They're offensive line has been together for three years. They played together as babies. They've given up 12 sacks all year and thrown the ball over 500 times. They've got some weapons on offense. It's the third highest scoring offense in the history of the school, and they're playing in the best conference in America."
Running Back Jonathan George(On Joker Phillips)
It is hard, especially because of how much he has meant to the program.
(On the emotions of Coach Phillips after the game)
It was very emotional. It is a tough situation, but we just have to take it, deal with it and hope the best for everybody.
Quarterback Jalen Whitlow(Opening remarks)
Obviously, we aren't happy with the results (today), especially for the seniors. I learned a lot from those guys, and I am going to take everything that I learned from them and move forward. They gave me a lot of knowledge.
(On Coach Phillips' final address to the team)
It wasn't all sad. Life goes on. Of course we wanted to win, and it's tough not to be able to give the seniors and coaches a win at the end.
Fullback D.J. Warren(On how special it was scoring his first collegiate touchdown at Neyland Stadium)
It felt good to score in front of family and friends. But, we didn't get the win, so it doesn't really matter to me now. If we would have won, it would have felt a whole lot better.
Cornerback Martavius Neloms(On competing against Tennessee's wide receivers)
We just have to win those one-on-one battles, and we didn't do that today.
(On what he will miss the most)
I'll miss the bonds and the brotherhood that I have built with all of the coaches and player. But, every year, someone has to leave the team. It's my time.