Since beating the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the Georgia Dome in August, the Vols subsequent game performances have resembled the office’s recently divorced lascivious 40-something cougar making random flirtation visits to the boys on the factory floor.
In a couple of words the Vols performance post-NC State would be best described as ’lethargic’ and “uninspired”. ‘Lethargic’ and “uninspired” are not often uttered by Derek Dooley, only on special occasions. Remember that Derek Dooley is a Dooley, thus he is a natural winner.
There have been some tantalizing glimpses of what’s could be ‘on tap’ but since last weekend’s dramatic win over Akron there has been a feeling around the football complex that Dooley and Tennessee may be reversing their way towards a dominating run towards an SEC East title.
Tennessee fans are still waiting for a comprehensive performance from this team. We are ready to see it against the Georgia Bulldogs next Saturday in Athens. For sure, Derek Dooley knows how to finish strong.
Wins over the Wolfpack, Georgia State and Akron were executed with a high degree of comfort, yet a lack of finishing style that denied Dooley and the Vols the satisfaction of annihilating them on the scoreboard. This year’s version of the Vols seemed to lack a killer instinct. Tennessee fans have the expectation that a Dooley coached team will have their foot on the opponents throat from the opening snap showing and expecting no mercy, a trait that seemed conspicuously absent throughout this early season.
There was a sudden decline in first half offensive output against the Akron Zips. Then BAM!! Dooley tweaked the offense in the 4th quarter; That 47-26 Akron score could have easily read 94-26 – possibly more. Lucky for Terry Bowden, Dooley has too much class and character to embarrass one of those Bowden kids on Pay per View television.
Noted knucklehead QB Tyler Bray operated as if his passing nous had been rinsed away by a spilt Zima at his favorite Knoxville favorite watering hole, Marconi’s on the Strip, and left nothing but bare bone. Dooley only wants his QB to put the ball into the end zone for a change. How many teams have a QB who can throw 40 times in a game, and still be as strong in the fourth quarter as he was in the first? UGA can keep that Murray kid, he has a weaker arm than Bray.
Dooley only wants his QB to put the ball into the end zone for a change. How many teams have a QB who can throw 40 times in a game, and still be as strong in the fourth quarter as he was in the first? UGA can keep that Murray kid, he has a weaker arm than Bray.
Razor-edged and profanity laced messages were issued by coach Derek Dooley following the mediocre display in the opening three quarters and consequently standards were set and yes, standards were exceeded in very good way for Tennessee.
Yet even with Bray’s past two lackluster performances there is unbridled optimism that against UGA, Coach Dooley will knit together an amazing tapestry that combines clinical passing execution and bewildering defensive aggression that have been the benchmarks of Dooley’s past Louisiana Tech teams where he spent a number of years terrorizing the Western Athletic Conference.
This Saturday is Dooley’s return to Athens, his hometown, and this week he spoke with feeling about what a return to his hometown of Athens and a game against the #5 Bulldogs means to him personally.
No, God, no,” Dooley said. [Dooley: Stopping Georgia's Gurley will take team effort » GoVolsXtra]
Dooley will be desperate for victory. It’s an attitude that will be filtered through to his squad – especially after the agenda driven local media ramped up another slanderous campaign that portrays a perceived lack of fluidity in the Vols attack and an inability to consistently dominate the line of scrimmage on the road [John Adams: Vols more road kill than road warriors » GoVolsXtra].
Dooley remonstrated that blown assignments, sloppy tackling, dropped passes, and errant throws against Georgia will not be accepted.
“We’ve got to win the line of scrimmage first, have good scheme discipline and then bring a lot of hats to the football,” Dooley said Monday during his weekly press conference.
“The biggest thing is the quarterback is playing with a lot of confidence,” he said. “When you can call a game aggressively and the players are playing with a lot of confidence (it helps).”
Like a surgeon with a sharpened scalpel, Dooley will make the requisite excision of Tyler Bray’s juvenile attitude and give his on-field performance a much-needed facelift. Dooley’s plan seems to be going as planned as evidenced by Tyler Bray’s Twitter status from yesterday:
Tyler Bray @tbrayvol8
Need someone or something to help this day get better. As of right now this day has been one of the worst I’ve had in awhile.
Dooley’s comments aside, Tyler Bray will be conscious of the requirement to reinforce his coach’s faith in him. Dooley, a wizard at finding what makes a player tick and with an invaluable knack for motivation, Bray will likely respond with SEC player of the week honors after he lights up a potent UGA secondary. Bray must jettison the cavalier attitude shown against Florida.
Derek Dooley doesn’t allow rash decisions – like the ones or lack of decisions that resulted in 3rd quarter meltdown during the Florida game - to hinder his teams glide path towards Atlanta.