Q: What happened on that play? "I think my knee just tucked-up under me. They ran a coverage and I didn't see the receiver, I was going to try to tuck and run it. I don't really remember, I think my knee just buckled under me and I heard a ‘pop'. When it happened I had no idea, it hurt and I was like oh, man. But God was with me and he helped me overcome it."
Q: Did having to sit out a series break your rhythm? "I don't think so. We made plays in practice this week, we just didn't bring it to the game. My knee was hurting at first, once we got the brace on I was able to over on the sideline a little bit and I didn't feel it hindered me at all."
Q: There were three passes overthrown in the first half that were missed opportunities, what happened? "That's exactly right, missed opportunities. Week-in and week-out you've got to make the plays, this week I didn't make the throws and when you don't make the throws you can't expect good things to happen."
Q: What happened on those picks? "I threw it to the wrong person! It was just bad decisions on my part, I think I tried to force the ball when I shouldn't have. I haven't been doing that. I guess I was trying to make something happen, and I should have thrown the ball somewhere else."
Q: Coach said they brought some different blitzes tonight? "They did a great job disguising what they were bringing. But even still we didn't capitalize on the times we needed to capitalize."
Q: The post-pattern by McRae, you'd like to have that one back? "There's a lot of plays I'd like to have back, but definitely that one. Brandon had a great route and I just didn't make the throw. That just comes down to making the plays and tonight I didn't make the plays. I don't know what it was, I guess you could say adrenalin…but just a bad pass overall."
Q: Is the knee aching right now? "No, sir, I'm fine."
Q: Are you telling the truth? "Yes, sir! I'm alright! The trainers said come tomorrow and they're going to check it out, they don't think it's going to be anything too big. Just ice it tonight and try to keep the swelling down and keep moving so it doesn't get too stiff. At halftime I stayed walking around, I didn't want to stay seated and it get stiff."
Q: Talk about Tennessee's coverage. "Their secondary was great. Their back seven really did a wonderful job of disguising coverages and not only that but just making plays. They were there when they needed to be there. They just made good plays tonight."
SAFETY DEREK PEGUES: What was Tennessee able to do offensively in the second half? "Really they were able to get a couple of big plays. They ran the ball a little bit better in the second half, they were able to get a couple of plays in the passing game. Just really they went down the first drive (in the second half) and asserted themselves, they played physical and were able to get the ball in the end zone."
Q: You weren't able to get the turnovers you did last week. "That was a real big key. Players make plays. We had guys in positions to make plays and like Coach, big-time players have to step up in this kind of game. And we just weren't able to make the big play."
Q: What did it do to the team not scoring on that first drive? "Oh, we were good. It showed us we could drive the ball on their defense. So we took it on ourselves to get them the ball as much as possible. Like I said, guys just weren't able to make plays. We were in position to make plays that probably would have changed the game, but hey, they made the plays and we didn't."
Q: You had to be encouraged by holding them to two field goals at halftime? "Oh, yeah. We knew we could stop them defensively, once we got settled down in there we were able to make a couple of plays, stop the run a little bit. And we got the quarterback scrambling around back there a lot and were able to make him throw on the run and he was putting it in the dirt. But they came out in the second half and had that one good drive, and I think that was a big spark for their team."
Q: You didn't play a lot the fourth quarter, were you hurt? "No, I wasn't hurt. Coach decided to go with Zach (Smith) and a couple of the young guys and get them some reps. That's all it was."
Q: What is the mindset going into next week? "You know, put this game behind us and move on. Come out Monday, practice hard, and prepare for Middle Tennessee State."
LINEBACKER DOMINIC DOUGLAS: How much did the first drive of the second half take out of you? "Well, we went out on defense and had to go three-and-out to get the ball back on offense. It played a key part in the time and possession. We tried to battle back but the outcome of the game says it all."
Q: The tackling did not seem as steady as usual, especially after the first hit on a running back. "Yes, we had some big missed tackles. We as a defense we've been keying on making tackles, but today it was the down-side of missed tackles. We're going to have to get back on the drawing board and do better next week."
Q: Did you see Tennessee's confidence increasing in the second half? "Oh yeah, guys were jumping around and the crowd was getting into it. We had smashed them in the mouth the first half, you really didn't hear much on the field. But after they got a play here and a play there, there was a lot of intensity around us."
OFFENSIVE CENTER J.C. BRIGNONE: What did Tennessee's defense do to make sacks they hadn't been getting this year? "They were a real big and physical defensive front, their interior guys were big strong guys. We had a real fun night battling with them and everything. In the first half we kind of got after them and did what we needed to and had them huffing and puffing. The second have they came out and kind of turned it around on us and came after us. It's a few little things we have to turn around, just learning how big-time ball games come for young players. Our tackles are young, I'm young, we're going to pick that up and that's no problem. I don't want anyone worrying about the offensive line, we're going to come back."
Q: Did it seem after Tyson got hurt their defense came after him harder? "Yes, they were bringing some good stunts, a bunch of twists, everything. They were catching us in second and long, third and long, we just have to pick things up like that. We can't let them smell blood, we have to come after tem like nothing has happened."
Q: What does the line take from this game, how they played the first half or the second? "We look at more the mistakes we made. Because a lot of the mistakes are mental things, from them bringing somebody up and kind of confusing you a little bit. Being a young guy that happens, but that's what experience in big-time ball games like this means. You hate to lose, but this is where you gain experience. This is where you find out how you fit in the SEC."
"And I hope our fans don't give up on us. We've still got five ball games and still have a chance to do this. That's what it's like inside the locker room, we're going to keep our heads up and we're not going to quit fighting."