Dooley, Vol staff forward ‘opinions’ to SEC office
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 8:55 pm
By BETH RUCKER
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Volunteers say they need to do a better job of communicating to prevent botched substitutions like the one that cost them against LSU.
The Vols have made several substitution mistakes in the last two games, including having 13 players on the field for what would have been the final play against the Tigers. LSU had botched a goal-line snap, but the penalty gave the Tigers another play and Stevan Ridley scored a touchdown for a 16-14 win.
“I think that we obviously should have talked and emphasized even more the communication of substitution in a pressure situation when the stadium’s loud and you’re far away from the bench,” coach Derek Dooley said. “You’ve just got to teach it better. It really hadn’t been too big of a problem, but we obviously aren’t teaching it and making them more aware (that) everyone must take responsibility to look.”
With about 28 seconds left and the ball at the Tennessee one, the Vols had their goal-line defense on the field based on LSU’s offensive lineup. Dooley said he expected the Tigers to spike the ball to stop the clock.
Instead, LSU mulled around the line of scrimmage for about 15 seconds before making a late substitution to replace its goal-line offense with a more traditional lineup. By then, the Vols were set in their defensive scheme, and several players didn’t realize their coaches were trying to make substitutions.
“If we would have communicated then the game would have been over,” said defensive end Chris Walker, who was on the field but not among the players who needed to come off. “That’s something that you take on us, and we should have done a better job of that.”
Dooley said he and his staff submitted their “opinions” to the Southeastern Conference on how the referees handled the game, though it’s something they do for every game. He said after the game he was concerned the referees didn’t give his players enough time to substitute but wouldn’t comment Monday on what specifically concerned him.
The game’s umpire was Marc Curles, whose crew was suspended last year after being involved in controversial calls during the Arkansas-Florida and LSU-Georgia games.
“All I’m saying is we’ve turned in a lot of calls to the conference office,” Dooley said. “We do that every week. It’s not unique to this game. That’s not really something I can comment on or should comment on.”
Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) also had a few substitution gaffes in a double-overtime win against UAB on Sept. 25. The Vols had just 10 defensive players on the field for back-to-back plays, though they came up with a third-down stop, and the Blazers ended up missing a field goal attempt.
Dooley doesn’t think the substitution errors will be a recurring problem. Still, he called his players in to talk about the LSU game on Sunday, their usual day off, before they begin preparing to face Georgia (1-4, 0-3) on Saturday.
Published in The Messenger 10.05.10