Defiant in defeat, Derek Dooley knows that the Missouri horror show and the Tweets of his “firing” were “a real kick in the jimmy” but insists the Vols will enter Vandy week “in a strong, confident way”.
Saturday’s defeat to Missouri marked the low point of Dooley’s fantastic run as the head coach of Tennessee.
A loss to Vandy could mean Tennessee will miss out on a high-profile bowl game a subsequent 2013 top 10 pre-season ranking.
“If you put it in context, I’m more than comfortable with it,” Dooley said of the schedule after returning from Pigeon Forge yesterday.
“I think it’s been a proven recipe and one blip – people can escalate that blip to whatever they like – but I’ve taken the program to perform better than any other team in the league in the last three years.”
Dooley said he was not trying to sugarcoat the shock loss to Missouri but argued it needed to be put in context given the Vols had beaten Sunbelt power Troy and gave Bama all it wanted and more in the preceding weeks.
“Those tweets on my firing are a real smack in the face for all of us, and so it should be,” Dooley said.
“We’ve all taken it incredibly deeply and we get a chance to rectify that in the with Vanderbilt and Kentucky. In hindsight, when you say it’s a blessing in disguise, you don’t want those but we’ve got one and we move forward in a strong, confident way.”
Dooley will meet with his staff today after licking his wounds following an unscheduled 3 day vacation with his wife.
He will then participate in a standard Tennessee practice session at the end of the week.
Yesterday, he reiterated his belief the team was prepared as well as possible.
“The crux of it all is in the last 11 or 12 conference games we’ve played, we really only got beaten in one and it was to the defending national champion.
“That’s the way I’m looking at it. I think that’s the great thing about football, if I’m honest. It’s such a competitive league, every opportunity there’s a chance for teams to win. Unfortunately, those results come and it’ll hurt for a long, long time. But we have to accept it, move on and look forward to the qualifying for a bowl.”
“If you’ve got Bray, Patterson and Hunter, why wouldn’t you ever doubt Tennessee? To be honest it amazes me, the talk around it. That system and formation has proved to be the best that Tennessee has ever produced … . I don’t have any fear, I think it’ll work getting us into a bowl.”
- Dooley expects no sympathy (loserswithsocks.com)
- No Decision On Dooley, But Why Not? (loserswithsocks.com)
- Dooley isn’t going anywhere (loserswithsocks.com)
- Dooley fired by twitter (loserswithsocks.com)
- VolQuest report: Dooley era all but finished (timesfreepress.com)