Vols hit reset button

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Given the hype and the build up to Tennessee's showdown with Florida last Saturday it isn't easy to forget a 37-20 loss, but the Vols are trying.

Head coach Derek Dooley rallied his team at midfield of the artificial turf inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center on Tuesday to a deliver a message, which was to hit the reset button.

"We were kind of resetting them for the week," Dooley said. "It's always hard when you come off a loss like that to refocus on what is next. I didn't want to start off practice the wrong way."

Senior linebacker Herman Lathers noticed, like Dooley, that moral was a bit lacking in the early stages of the Vols preparation for visiting Akron, but along with Curt Maggitt got things going early.

"Me and Curt Maggitt we did a little chant that we always do and got the guys together, got them a little hype and went on to individual," Lathers said. "We had a lot of energy throughout practice and it was a good thing to see.

"The morale has been a little down, but we came out and had a great practice. The guys were a little down before practice so we called it up, got everyone on board and had a great practice."

Lathers has noticed a considerable difference in this team and the one that laid down in 2011 failing to get bowl eligible with a late loss to Kentucky.

"Guys really care about the investment that they have put in since last year," Lathers said. "It hurt to lose that game knowing the investment that we put in, but we have a long season ahead, a lot of guys morale was down before today, but we came out and had a good practice."

Tennessee running back Rajion Neal, who finished Saturday night's game with 87 yards rushing on 23 carries, says Dooley has even been meeting with players individually to fight off the hangover.

"Coach Dooley has been giving us inspirational talks and talking to us individually, giving us a bunch of words before practice and in our meetings yesterday," Neal said. "He is making everybody stay up and leave it in the past, and we had a good day at practice today. I feel like everybody let it go and moved on because we have a long season ahead of us."

Watch below for head coach Derek Dooley's comments and select player reactions following Tuesday's practice:

Derek Dooley

Tyler Bray

Herman Lathers

Rajion Neal

Brent Brewer

James Stone

Prentiss Waggner


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