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Dooley will not sugar-coat the Vols' performances

Derek Dooley simply isn’t going to sugar-coat anything.  The first-year Vols head coach is as open and direct with the media as any coach in the country. 

During his Monday pressers, Dooley goes in depth to explain the Vols’ weekend performance.

Here's part of what Dooley had to say on the Vols 31-14 loss to Florida:

“But probably the biggest disappointment offensively was the number of just breakdowns, doing things they never did in practice. It was almost as if we were more starry-eyed this game on offense than the previous two. I'm not sure why.”

“But ultimately what killed us on defense is our inability to win one-on-one at every level, and that's what got us on third down. Our pass rush was terrible up front when we could never win any one-on-ones. We weren't coming at them aggressively. We weren't aggressive in coverage, never denied them the ball.”

"If you look at the field position game, I think their average field position was the 41 and ours was the 26. That makes a big difference.”

“Quarterback, we had a lot of decision issues and accuracy issues that affected us. Our running backs, poor in pass protection, technique-wise, and jumpy when they ran the ball. Our receivers, getting lined up properly and using good route technique. I mean, it was essentially everything and it showed."

“The good returners, they commit and they hit it. We aren't doing that right now, and it shows. We didn't do a good job blocking, but there's been a lot of returns out there with a lot of air that we're not taking advantage of."

"I've always said this, that the special teams is always sort of a microcosm of your team. And our depth issues, it really shows up on (special) teams. They outperformed us in the big space areas.”

The Vols host UAB on Saturday.  Kick-off is set for 12:21 pm EST on the SEC-Network. 

Tuesday morning Coaches Quick Hits

Urban Meyer talks about concerns: “I think he’s (Brantley) got to get better. There’s one way we evaluate quarterbacks here. He’s 3-0 as a starter at Florida, so that’s pretty good, going on the road and winning a game. To say we’re thrilled with where we’re at offensively, and he’s the focal point of the offense, that would be a false statement. To say that he’s handled himself very well, to say he’s managing the team, to say that he does throw a very nice pass and hit five third-and-longs against Tennessee – those are all very good. We just need to improve. We’re pleased with where we’re at, we just need to keep improving.”

“On defense the only concern was, and it’s a major concern, when you turn guys loose in coverage. And that all can be corrected.” 


Steve Sarkisian extremely disappointed: "I thought in the second half, there were moments there where we lacked the competitive nature that this program prides itself on. That will never happen again. You'll see us compete for 60 minutes, I can promise everybody that."

Spurrier says he’ll coach 4-5 more years: "Four to five years. I told some people this summer that I really feel like we signed a running back, Marcus Lattimore, that can do some special things for us. I also like this quarterback, Connor Shaw, and some of our freshman linemen.

 “We have a pretty good team and we have taken care of the ball, and it has worked out for us that we have won a couple. But we have a long ways to go. We're not getting any turnovers. We haven't made a lot of big things happen in special teams. We aren't a great passing team by any means right now. We have a lot to work on."

(on this year’s team) "We have a lot of good, young players here. Our recruiting has been very solid the last several years, so we've got an eye toward the future. It's not like we have a senior team or anything. We have several seniors, but we have a pretty good balance of young guys and older players here."


Lane Kiffin talks about dominant defensive front: “I thought our front line defense played even better than I thought after the game.  Our front seven / eight was pretty dominant.  Our challenge all week was to play physical up there.”

 “I do feel us coming together better.  I feel like we are getting a better understanding of our guys.  We definitely are better than we were three weeks ago.” 

(on falling 2 spots in poll) “I doesn’t concern me one bit.”


Quoting TCU head coach Gary Patterson: "We played a Pac-10 team [Oregon State] and a Big 12 team, we did all right. And we treated a I-AA team [Tennessee Tech] like we were supposed to [62-7]."


Al Golden reflects on a big-win over UCONN: "It's a big win because we are 3-0 [for the first time since 1979], and because it was against a real physical opponent. An opponent that had gone into South Bend and won, gone to play South Carolina and won. That's the significance of it."


Chris Petersen calls Boise State “a work in progress” : "We're still a work in progress. We need to get through a few more games and see what we have."


Gary Patterson has not talked to June Jones in a while: "I haven't really talked to anybody in a month and a half. I don't talk to my wife much right now. So if I'm not talking to her I'm probably not talking to anybody else."


Sonny Dykes disappointed with 2nd half performance against Navy: "I'm not sure if our players expected Navy to lay down at halftime, but they certainly didn't do it. We dropped passes, threw the ball in the ground, missed tackles, gave up sacks "» we just need to be a mentally tougher team."


Dooley concerned about depth on special teams: “I’ve always said that special teams is sort of a microcosm of your team and our depth issues, it really shows up.’’


Akron head coach Rob Ianello staying patient: ''We believe in our plan. We believe in what we are doing. We are not going to panic after three games.”


Houston Nutt concerned about offensive line: “We’ve got to do a better job up front. We’ve got to do a better job with the running game, and take some pressure off the passing game. We’re going to see how things look,” Nutt said. “We’re just trying to find the best (players), the toughest, the most competitive.”

Cutcliffe reflects on Bama game: “I thought we were emotionally equipped to handle it, but we weren’t. I had deep hopes that we would respond and get better as a football team. First of all, you have to get over being shellshocked.”

“I can’t say I’ve been here before because that’s the worst defeat I’ve ever suffered. It’s the first game I’ve been here that it just all blew up in our face.”

Saban breaks down Arkansas & old cliche

After breaking down a few hours of Arkansas film, Nick Saban took time today to break down the cliché, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.”

Saban explained, “I think our team will find that you really are only as strong as your weakest link, and I think everyone has got to fight a better fight against better competition. I think that’s the challenge for everyone in terms of doing their job. That quote about you are only as strong as your weakest link is usually talking about teams, but really you can say that about yourself. You’re only as strong as your weakest link so if you have a weakness you need to work on it, improve, get better at it, so you have a chance to get better. That should be everybody’s challenge here. On the road it is going to be a real critical test for our ability to overcome adversity and stay focused on the task at hand against a really good football team.”

Saban knows stopping the Razorbacks’ running game will be critical to his team’s success on Saturday.

“We have not played the run, in my opinion, as well as what I think we’re capable of, nor as well as we need to.  We haven’t played it poorly, but it’s not just one guy and it’s not just one spot, it’s linebacker fits on the runs – now is it easier to fit the runs when you have guys up front that they have to take two guys to block for a long time?  I don’t think there is any doubt about that and you can defend things a little bit differently.  The run support hasn’t been what it needs to be on the perimeter at times.  We’ve got to become a better tackling team.”

Kick-off from Razorback Stadium is set for 3:30 pm EST on CBS. 

Les Miles wants some juice in Tiger Stadium vs. West Virginia

Les Miles opened his press conference today by talking about Tiger Stadium and the LSU fans.

It’s quite obvious that Miles wants a raucous crowd in Baton Rouge on Saturday night when West Virginia comes to town.

Miles explained, "I have to tell you that your football team so enjoys going into Tiger Stadium after two games on the road. I can tell you that it was a marked difference in the enjoyment of our team to play. It is interesting; I guess every coach talks about defending his home turf and how important it is in front of your friends, family and those people that love you that you perform well. This is also Tiger Stadium, and the idea that 20 years from now someone will turn to you and ask where you played football at, and if you say LSU the next question will be 'What was it like?' I think our team has really chosen to make that experience very special and play to that, so when they have to answer that question years from now, they will answer it as it was unbelievable and spectacular. Wow, how wonderful it was this weekend.”

Miles is particularly pleased with the Tiger's defense and team chemistry.

“I think this team has got a fundamental 'teammanship' to it, or in other words, the enjoyment of team.”

"Anytime that you have five turnovers and you get five interceptions, you should dominate that game. Frankly we scored on seven of our nine possessions. It was a lot of short fields, and there was not a long field to go. If our defense continues to play like that and we continue to get turnovers, our football team will have the kind of year that we will all look forward to.”

Kick-off is set for 9:00 pm EST on Saturday night.


Mike Riley going with blue practice field to prepare for Boise State

In preparation for the trip to Boise, Oregon State head coach Mike Riley has decided to paint the Beavers’ practice field blue.

Boise State head coach Chris Petersen joked today, "Perfect. We've got them right where we want them if they're painting their field."

Mike Riley said, “Our guys know enough about Boise State to know this is going to be (difficult), even before they start watching film. They are so efficient offensively, and defensively you combine their fundamentals with the passion they play with and it’s very impressive.”

“You’ve got to keep your hands around the game,” Riley said. “You can’t let it get away like that. If they punch you, you’ve got to counterpunch. If they get a stop on defense, we have to get a stop on defense. If they score, we have to score.”

We have the video below, so you can see the field painting process.

ESPN’s College GameDay crew will broadcast LIVE from Boise.  Kick-off is set for 8 pm EST on ABC


5 disappointed head coaches

Ralph Friedgen disappointed: “We reverted back to some things that were problems last year. Some guys panicked.” 


Bill Cubit terribly disappointed with Western Michigan run game: “We’ve got to regroup, we’ve got to retool it, have some time in there. We may run the ball the whole day on Thursday and Friday. We may not throw a pass, just to get that thing going.”


Randy Edsall disappointed with passing game: "What we have to do is get more production in the passing game. Whichever quarterback gives us that production, makes the right reads and delivers the ball on time, doesn't throw interceptions ... We should be more productive in the passing game than we have been so far."


Steve Sarkisian disappointed in UW “competitive nature” : Bob Condotta of the Seattle-Times writes, “Sarkisian said one of his biggest disappointments in reviewing the Nebraska loss was some of the lapses in the team's "competitive nature,'' especially as the deficit grew in the second half. Sarkisian promised that that "will never happen again'' and said it's on him to make sure that it doesn't. Said UW will always compete for 60 minutes from here on out "I can promise you that.'' Said he hadn't felt that had ever been an issue previously during his time at UW.”



Rick Stockstill disappointed with turnovers: "This just eats at my gut because (turnovers) are things you can control. We have to protect the dang ball, and hopefully we'll get a turnover when it counts."

"All the turnovers have been by the quarterbacks except three fumbles by (Tanner, Beyah and Tyler Mason). The rest have been interceptions and a fumble by our quarterbacks. We've got to be better than that.”

Mack Brown: We need our fans now more than ever before

Although the performance from his offense didn’t meet expectations, Mack Brown said today, “If you’re not happy with winning in Lubbock, you’ve lost who you are and what we’re about. Anybody who would question a win in Lubbock, that’s pretty stupid.”

During his weekly press conference, Brown said, “I think our fans need to pull for our offense.  We’ve been spoiled around here. We’re not ready to hit the panic button. Last year, we struggled offensively against Wyoming.  We could run it a lick versus Colorado, and we still played for the national championship. It’s hard to blow people out all the time."

On the offensive problems, Brown added, “We had 6 dropped passes.  We had 3 sacks.  We had 3 holding penalties.  We need to quit making mistakes.  We all need to help Garrett more.” 

“I’m a little shocked that some are shocked that we’re struggling some.  You could see the writing on the wall.  I don’t get down and mad about it.  I’m exciting about fixing it. We have to do a better job coaching this offensive football team.  We need our fans now more than ever before.  We got a hard stretch coming up.” 

“We are not good enough to go out and stand around.  We have to have all-out effort from our football team.”

Texas hosts UCLA this Saturday at 3:30 pm EST.  You can see the entire Week #4 TV Schedule right here.


Robbie Caldwell: I always heard the Good Lord looks after...

Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell talked with Tony Barnhart and Wes Durham on 790 The Zone in Atlanta this morning about the 28-14 win over Ole Miss.

In classic Caldwell fashion, the first-year head coach said, “I always heard the Good Lord looks after fools and children and I’m not a child (laughs).”

Caldwell said the key to defeating Ole Miss was the team believing and working to wear down the Rebels’ defense.  The Commodores rushed for 227 yards and did not have a turnover in the win. 

“We did (believe we could run the ball). We thought there were some things we could do.  We felt like if we could get them tired, we could do some things. It looked like they ran out of gas (in the Jacksonville State loss) and that’s what we hoped would happen.”

“We had to change the attitude that we can win. [Our players] just kept fighting.  We shot ourselves in the foot (in the season-opener).  We should be 2-1.”

In closing, Caldwell joked, or maybe he wasn’t when he said, “They’re (the boys back in Pageland, SC) going to ship me some turkeys and we’re going to feed the team (laughs).”

Vanderbilt is OFF this weekend, before a trip to Connecticut.

You can watch Caldwell’s post-game presser from Saturday right here: