Vols-Gators again bask in spotlight
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 7:01 pm
KNOXVILLE — With Tennessee earning its first national ranking since 2008 and ESPN’s College GameDay heading to town, the excitement in the air at Rocky Top is palpable as the 23rd-ranked Vols get set to host No. 18 Florida on Saturday.
As his team begins its preparations for the Gators, UT head coach Derek Dooley made sure the players knew that they are deserving of all of the attention but stressed the importance of not getting caught up in the hype and losing focus on what got them to this point, especially with such a talented opponent looming on the horizon.
“We have our work cut out for us,” Dooley said. “I told the team that they have earned the right to get some of the attention that they’ve been getting by how they’ve preformed the last couple of weeks, and that’s good. That’s what we should get, but now we have to earn the right to continue getting it and earn the right to play well by how we prepare this week.”
As much as the Vols enjoy seeing their name in the national rankings, Dooley simply sees it as a byproduct of the process the program has followed.
Instead of being satisfied with being ranked, the Big Orange will continue to plug away like it does every day.
“We have some basic program standards that we have kind of established that I think all the Tennessee fans expect,” Dooley said.
“Certainly, at Tennessee we want to be in the top 25 like a hundred other teams, but you can’t be in it if you don’t keep winning. If you are focused on being on the top 25 and not what you need to do to be in the top 25, then you aren’t going to be in the top 25.”
UP FRONT: The Tennessee football players know Dooley emphasized that making big plays on defense all starts up front.
The four interceptions that Tennessee had against North Carolina State and the one that was added last Saturday against Georgia State were all thanks in part to pressure on the quarterback.
Against Georgia State, the Vols made the game-changing plays, hurrying quarterback Ben McLane 10 times.
McLane found himself on the ground even more than that throughout the game.
This was all thanks to the pressure up front. A pressure that the Vols hope to carry into their game with Florida.
Published in The WCP 9.13.12