On losing the game: "I'm disappointed that we didn't win. They played hard, they played well. We did some good things, but we just didn't win. We came here to win and everyone in that locker room is disappointed. We lost together. It was not just one, two or three plays but it was all of the plays. All of the plays count just the same. You have to be ready to play every single one of them because something is going to happen on some play that is going to make the difference."
On pressuring Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge: "That's the way we play defense. We're going to go in there and keep trying. Even if you don't sack him, it changes the tempo of the offense. We felt like we couldn't sit back in coverage and give Ainge time to throw because he is an excellent quarterback."
On his message to his team following the game: "I told the guys that I was proud of them. I thanked them for their effort. I thought they played extremely hard. We played a good football team today, and we took it to them most of the day. When you come that close to winning, it's tough on everybody, not just young guys. I was proud of the way we played. We gave ourselves a chance to win and we just didn't win."
Opening statement: "We came out and played hard. We had a little momentum but near the end we lost that momentum. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make. We knew that losing the players that we lost to injuries was going to hurt but we had some guys step up and play well. We have to keep on pushing. We need to make plays at the end and keep working hard."
Opening statement: "We are highly disappointed. It's a game that we controlled the entire way up until the fourth quarter when we started losing momentum. I knew we were going to be bowl eligible when this game started. But we just couldn't find a way to get it done. I'm highly disappointed."
On Tennessee's fourth quarter comeback: "Ainge was feeling it because he had been rattled all day. He finally started to get in a rhythm, and as a defense that was our fault. We didn't get enough pressure on him. He was able to keep his feet and when he does that, he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country."
Tennessee Head Coach Phillip Fulmer:
Opening statement: "The team showed a lot of heart today. It was a tale of two halves. We didn't play very well in the first half. Vanderbilt is a good team. You have to give them credit. They played really hard, and you have to give them their due."
On Dennis Rogan and Daniel Lincoln: "Dennis Rogan is outstanding and got several key blocks on that (final punt return). Daniel (Lincoln), even with the tough day he was having, came through when it mattered."
On going undefeated at home: "It's great. We expect to win every game we play, to be honest with you. Now we have to go on the road and play well. A lesser football team would have bagged it, possibly. Character, work ethic, it's a testament to the coaches. The leadership on our team and our seniors (really came through.) We didn't play well and we won." On quarterback Erik Ainge: "He had a fabulous year last year, and we were right in the middle of the championship hunt last year before he got hurt. He's been incredible. His role has changed in different games. The last couple games we haven't asked him to throw the football too much. We felt like what we had to do was control the ball and run the ball, and that's what he did today. I'll give Erik a lot of credit, where credit was due. In the second half, he took control of the football game."
On his team's emotional state: "This team has a lot of pride. It's had its ups and downs, but it's stuck together pretty well. You have to admire that."
Quarterback Erik Ainge:
Opening statment: "Sometimes it's not always great, and not always perfect. Give credit to Vanderbilt, because they mixed up stuff and showed different looks. On third down, they go away from their tendencies. They brought new blitzes and new coverages. When it's close and it's on the line, we are going to get it done. We know we haven't been great, but we know we can get it done." On setting up the go-ahead field goal: "Daniel's a great kicker. I have confidence in him from the right hash or the left hash. I was trying to not take a sack. If Lucas can break a tackle, we score a touchdown. And if not, Daniel is going to make the field goal." On the mood in the locker room: "Its pretty emotional in there right now. We know we're never going to be in that locker room again. That's the only thing about today that's no fun. But we're undefeated at home."
On the team's mindset heading into the fourth quarter: "You go out there and expect to win. When the fourth quarter started, we were going down there to score. We knew we were going to win the football game. I speak for a lot of people when I say that I genuinely knew that we were going to win that football game. Even if (Vanderbilt) made the field goal, we had thirty-five seconds to get into fieldgoal range. We've won a lot more games like this than we've lost since we've been here."
On Vanderbilt's roughing-the-kicker penalty: "That's huge. Britton did a great job of standing in there and taking the hit. When you get a second life like that, you've got to take advantage of it."
Tight End Chris Brown:
On winning the game: "It was tough. We have to give Vanderbilt all the credit. They came out and did a lot of special things. We depended on one another, and that's what got it done for us."
On freshman returner Dennis Rogan: "Dennis Rogan is a special player. He really doesn't say too much. He just makes plays. And we try to rally around him when he makes those plays ... Dennis Rogan is just a playmaker. In big time games, big-time playmakers step up. That's what it comes down to ... he's a playmaker. He needs to touch the ball."
Defensive End Xavier Mitchell:
On the game: "It was an emotional ball game. We looked lackadaisical in the first half. I love playing with these guys, and it's really emotional for me as a senior."
On second half adjustments: "I think we played smarter in the second half. You can't really put your finger on it. We didn't make a ton of adjustments at halftime. We just came out and did what we needed to do."
On the linebacker play: "Demonte' (Bolden) and Jerod Mayo stepped up and said a few things (at halftime) we already knew. We knew what we had to do. We just had to get our heads out of our butts and go and play football."
Linebacker Jerod Mayo:
Opening statement: "Coming into the season we've always had the attitude, `Never give up.' That starts with the head coach and trickles down. There's three parts of this game; you've got offense, defense and special teams. Sometimes one part has to pick up for another part failing."
On Vanderbilt's final field-goal attempt: "I attempted to block it and then just turned around and watched. I saw it drifting, said `Thank God' and just walked off the field."
Defensive Back Dennis Rogan:
On his fourth quarter punt return: "It worked mostly because of the blocking. We practiced all week on the way they were going to kick it off, and it turned out that he out-kicked the coverage a little. I went back and got it, and when I turned my head around, I saw a whole group of orange jerseys coming around on the backside. I took my chances and tried to outrun the first guy. I beat them to the wall, and followed my blocking."