Vanderbilt-Tennessee postgame quotes

Nov. 17, 2012

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Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin
Opening Comments:
"I think the one thing that Vanderbilt has always done is focus on being 1-0 this week, and we did it. I'm happy for our kids. I'm happy for our coaches. I know how much this means to our fans. I know how much this means to our alumni. This win was for Chancellor Zeppos, David Williams, my boy [Tim Corbin] and everyone else who had a part in this."

"It was a very good win. We'll enjoy it for two hours like no one has ever enjoyed it before. Then, we'll start focusing on Wake Forest."

On Vanderbilt's Defense:
"We didn't do anything differently than normal. [We] called a good game and executed well. We didn't tackle as well as we would have liked to at times. We'll focus on what we need to do to get better. We're going to stick to our plan and process."

"We can tackle better. We're tackling too high. When you do that, the runner can fall forward two or three yards. We have to wrap up more too. We need to go back and emphasize fundamentals and wrapping up more."

On Vanderbilt's Victory Lap after the Game:
"I appreciate the fans who came early and stayed late. They did a great job on third downs and we got some penalties. I told my guys we should go back out and celebrate with our fans and show our support. We're still building something. This is what we envisioned when we came here."

On Chris Boyd's First Half Touchdown:
"He's getting more confident each week. You can see his confidence growing each week. When you have one guy on each side, the quarterback playing well, and a running back who can make plays, [it's hard to stop]. I'm just proud of him. This was a great program win."

On Vanderbilt Notching Five SEC Wins:
"I have no problem summarizing the season when the season is over. I do understand and appreciate the SEC wins... I wasn't excited to see the JumboTron screaming about the bowl game. We don't want our players out there thinking about those kinds of things right now."

On Vanderbilt's Play Calling Early On:
"Some teams we match up well against and some teams we don't match up well against. We had problems at times with their fronts. But, we wore them down so we could set up the pass in the second half."

On the Vanderbilt/Tennessee Rivalry:
"We needed to make this game more competitive, and we have. I don't know or look at what happened before we came here. We have a good rivalry in place."

On Vanderbilt's Halftime Adjustments:
"We get way too much credit for halftime adjustments. I went in there and told them I loved them. It's about executing. It's about having each other's back. It's about not taking no for an answer. The game is about making sure you have your brother's back."

QB Jordan Rodgers
On overall feeling:
"I think it's a testament to the fans staying with us through the tough times. It's been since '82 since we've beaten Tennessee here. So they've been waiting for that and we wanted to make sure to celebrate with them and honor them."

On overall feeling:
"It's unreal. It's been a crazy journey in my three years here. It's hard to explain. I'm like Zac; I didn't know whether to cry or laugh with excitement. I just went and hugged my family. It's a special moment, and I'm going to miss playing here. For the short time I was here, it was great."

On Boyd's catch:
"That was huge. We had a little communication mix-up up front, and a guy got into my leg as I was throwing, and he just made a great play. I didn't think he was going to get there, but to see that he somehow pulled it down was amazing. Those are the kind of guys we have. I expect them to make plays because they do all the time."

On comparing last year's performance to this year: "It was a team performance. The O-Line played unreal. They gave me time and made holes. The defense played unbelievably. Tennessee hasn't been held to a game like that in a while points-wise and yards-wise. The defense came to play today."

On the Tennessee celebration video from last year:
"We didn't watch it at all. Zero times."

On turnovers:
"They're huge. As an offense, that's huge. Anytime you see the defense make plays, we smell blood in the water. It's demoralizing for their offense, and it's huge for our offense."

On no touchdown on the first drive:
"I wasn't surprised. We expect to have success through our preparation. We knew we were going to be back in the red zone. To score any points on the first drive is huge. You don't need to push it, just get points on the board and realize you'll be down there again."

On aggressive playcalling:
"We saw pretty much exactly what we thought we'd see. They did what we thought they would. Sometimes the timing wasn't quite right but we were going to play aggressively, put in our trick plays. I should've scored on the throwback, but we're always going to be aggressive."

OL Wesley Johnson
On overall feeling:
"That was a big win for the fans, so we're happy for the Vanderbilt community. But other than that, we treat it just like any other game.

"The fan support was awesome. We love that: seeing the student section packed. It means a lot to us.

"I understand completely what this means to the community. I'm so happy for everyone that supported us. I'm proud of us too because we kept the same approach we've had all season."

RB Zac Stacy
Thoughts on it being the last home game:
"There were flashbacks to all of the four years I've been here, just from adversity with injuries and academics. It's been a long ride, and it's bittersweet. I don't know whether to cry, or be angry or frustrated but playing. There are a lot of emotions going through me right now. But it was a great win. We treated it like it was any other game. It just feels a whole lot better with it being Tennessee. We're going to get back to the drawing board tomorrow and fix our mistakes and go from there."

On the third quarter:
"That's our mentality on offense. We want to score every chance we get, regardless of the situation. We knew they were going to try to make plays on defense and bring the blitz. We just stuck with the plan and we did a great job."

LB Chase Garnham
On getting pressure on Tyler Bray:
"Going into the game, we knew they had a really good offensive line. They had only given up five sacks all year, so we obviously wanted to put some pressure on them. I think we did that at times, but we would have liked to put more pressure on him. Looking at the stats, he didn't have a very good completion percentage. He was hurt a little bit, but we see that as a positive."

On if he was surprised the defense held Tyler Bray in check: "We have a lot of faith in our defense. We do bring some pressure, so I'm not surprised at all. That's what we expected to do."

On what the defense did differently versus Tennessee compared to Ole Miss last week:
"I think going into Ole Miss they used a lot of play fakes and that kind of stuff to mess with the linebackers. They were kind of dinking and dumping it on us. Going into this week, that isn't the type of offense Tennessee has, but during the week in practice we did have to get back to our fundamentals, as far as our pass drops and zone defense."

CB Andre Hal
On his big night:
"First, I want to thank God, my coaches and my teammates. That was a big win for us tonight and I love all my teammates. I guess it was a big night for me. They came at me and I made plays on them, I made plays on the ball. Coach Shoop called it on Tuesday when he said I was going to be defensive player of the week, and he called it."

On what he saw on his two interceptions:
"I guess he just threw it right to me. I knew the route was coming. It was a smash route when they had a tight end on the outside and a receiver on the inside. I knew the route from watching film and I just jumped on it."

On celebrating with the fans after the game:
"It was great. That was a great game for us and for all the seniors. We did it for all the seniors. I'm really happy for them."

Tennessee Volunteers
Head Coach Derek Dooley
Opening Statement:
"Well we obviously didn't play very well on offense. A few turnovers, we gave them some short fields. I thought we were doing good on defense. We gave up, really one play. Came out in the second half with not much changed on the offensive side of the ball. We just couldn't hold on on the other side. I give Vandy a lot of credit, they are playing really well and we are not. Just a real tough way to finish the game and a tough way to end the season."

On taking Tyler Bray out in the second quarter:
"No just made some real bad decisions early. When he threw the interception on first down, we went to Justin [Worley] to try and settle him down and bring him back in the third. Not much really changed. Some of it really was the receivers, too."

On bring Tyler back in the second half:
"I wanted Tyler to get a chance to go back out there, he has earned that, as well as he has played. It didn't really change the result. He threw a bad interception there."

On the fake punt:
"I think Mike [Palardy] threw the ball in the grass, I thought we had a guy there. Mike throws it pretty good. Maybe he wasn't loose. It probably surprised him that I called it."

On the defense:
"No, not at all. The last touchdown, we are sitting there zoning, a guy runs up and we miss a tackle and he out runs us all. I didn't see that. I saw hurt spirits. We played about the same way we did on offense all four quarters. The defense - they bounced on that long run in the second half. I didn't really see a lay down."

On Vanderbilt:
"You can't not give the other team credit, they held us to 10 points on offense, I never thought that would happen. It was probably a combination of both."

On the defense's performance in the second half:
"The first drive was two runs, they just ran the same power run they we have been playing, nothing different and we lost our edge. We don't do a very good job of when we are chasing. We didn't play the reverse too well. It was two runs. Then I thought, the next time we were out there we were on the two and we got some stops."

On moving on to the next week:
"We aren't going to a bowl game. We have one more game left. I hope they go play for the seniors, go enjoy and compete. That is what you do to represent Tennessee. We didn't do a very good job of that."

On Marlin Lane's performance:
"He played pretty good in the first half, he missed a couple of runs in the second half. He did a good job."

On increasing Marlin Lane's touches:
"He was running pretty good the first half so we just stuck with him."

On Tyler Bray's stare down:
"I didn't see that and I hope he didn't do that. If I had seen it I would have addressed it. The main decision was he wasn't playing well at all and then he turned the ball over. He just wasn't playing well. I thought pulling him and letting him relax and look at it, calm down, would help. It obviously didn't."

On Justin Worley:
"We did pretty good. We moved the ball down the field. The interception he threw, a little miscommunication between him and CP. I didn't think it was Justin's fault. He played pretty good."

On the state of the program:
"I don't think you can say where this program is on one game. We have had a lot of really good games that we didn't win this year. The program is certainly not where we need to be. It is not anywhere close to where the fans want it to be. It is probably a little bit better than what people think it is. That is how I would assess it."

DB Byron Moore
On if he felt the offense put them in some bad situations in regards to field position:
"Yea, it definitely played a big part in it. They were starting their drives with good field position. But as a defense, no matter where we start at, we just have to go out there. If it's on the one-yard line, we just have to go out there with the mindset that they're not going to score, or they're just going to get a field goal."

On if practice this past week prepared him for the what happened in the game:
"It was just a normal week of practice. We had good practices all week, so we felt like we were prepared for the game."

On what's left to play for without a bowl game:
"Just make sure we finish strong for the seniors."

On how tough it is not to go to a bowl game for the second year in a row:
"Not tough at all. We're a family. We have to play for each other. We deserve to send these seniors out right, so we have to finish out and win this last game."

On the difference in the second half:
"I really can't tell you. They just came out and played their game. They believed the whole time, they fought hard. Hats off to them."

DB Prentiss Waggner
On the difference in the second half:
"I think the first half, we did a good job of coming out and competing. The second half I think Vanderbilt had a great game plan. They came out and executed, and they made the plays."

On the game getting out of hand in the third quarter:
"In the third quarter, they did a good job of winning the special teams battle, having the short field. When they were down in the red zone, they got points. We should have forced them into field goals instead of touchdowns."

On if the team was distracted this week:
"I wouldn't say it was a distraction. When you're out there playing football, the distractions doesn't mean anything. You're just out there trying to make a play for the team. The only thing I would say as far as distractions go, I don't know how people responded after the fact. While we were out there playing, there were no distractions."

On what is left to play for:
"As far as for me, this is my last game playing college football, last home game at Neyland Stadium, so that's pretty much big for me. The next week of practice, I'm going to enforce that on the team, to go out and play for the the seniors, go out and play for me. Guys like LaDarrell McNeil, he was pretty upset in the locker room. I just told him to keep his head up, he's got a lot of football left to play. Just come out next week and play for me."

QB Tyler Bray
On getting pulled in the second quarter:
"I wasn't playing too good. Everyone could see that. I wasn't moving the ball, wasn't getting anything done."

On if he could sense he was on a short leash
"I talked to Coach (Jim) Chaney, and he said, 'We're going to give you a break, let you kind of cool off.' I was too amped up. We just couldn't get anything done on offense."

On if he wanted to come out of the game:
"No one ever wants to come out of the game. You play to win, you don't want to come out. You don't want to watch from the sidelines."

On his performance in the first half:
"I wasn't moving the ball, wasn't getting anything done on offense. They put Justin (Worley) in, and he did a great job. He played his butt off."

On what was different in his play tonight
"I just wasn't making normal throws I make, just wasn't doing normal things."

On keeping his head in the game while he was on the bench:
"You just have to know what the defense is doing. I just sat there and watched the defense, just seeing what they were doing and seeing if I could pick up anything from when I went back in."

On if the negativity in Knoxville impacted the team's performance
"I mean, it all plays its part. We had a bad night, all the stuff that is going on."

On how surprised he is with the team's position:
"It's real surprising. I didn't think we'd have a losing record. I thought we'd only lose a couple of games, maybe two or three. We've been getting our butts kicked, so it's not fun."



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