Bray, Vols have to 'man up'

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Tennessee's biggest chance to upset No. 1 Alabama Saturday night in Neyland Stadium rested in the hands of quarterback Tyler Bray and the Volunteer offense.

Sixty minutes later, the Tide took over Neyland Stadium and dominated the Vol offense in a 44-13 win in which Bray threw two interceptions and later declined talking to the press.

"I was very disappointed and I told him that," head coach Derek Dooley said of Bray's actions. "I have no defense for that kind of behavior. He is the quarterback and there is a level of responsibility you have to the team, to the fans and to the media.

"If you don't like it, don't play quarterback. That is how it is and I told him that. That is the first time we have ever had a guy do that and it is unacceptable in our program. Man up — that is what you have to do."

Bray finished the contest 13-27 for 184 yards and no touchdowns, which sparked some late playing time for sophomore quarterback Justin Worley. And Worley's time could become more prevalent if Bray can't get things back on track.

"If he is loose with the ball he is coming out of the game and we are going to play (Justin) Worley," Dooley said. "I told him that. He is too loose with the football and he is been to loose. We can't beat these teams turning the ball over."

Bray owned up to his play during a meeting with the media Monday afternoon following practice at Haslam Field.

"When you are young you are going to make mistakes just because you haven't played the game yet, but I have been here for three years now," Bray said. "I shouldn't be making as many mistakes as I am."

With the boo birds raining down in Neyland Saturday night, the question became: Will Derek Dooley survive the 2012 season, but he knows that comes with the territory.

"Are people upset? Of course, they should be," Dooley said. "I understand that. I am not in a position to defend what we are doing, make a case for what we are doing — we have to go prove it on the field. I am not upset that people are angry and screaming at the coach. You haven't been in this business if you expect otherwise."

At the moment, the team's spirit is battered and bruised after a 0-4 start in conference, but they are most of the way through the most daunting part of their schedule. having faced some of the toughest teams in the SEC.

"I think their spirit is broken and I think it should be," Dooley said. "I don't think any of us expected to be where we are right now. We have play four really good teams. They are 27-1 — lets don't forget that, but three of the four we have had plenty of opportunity to win."

Now their focus must shift to No. 13 South Carolina, a game that could be a springboard to a monster November with teams like Troy and Kentucky on the schedule.

"Beating South Carolina means a lot," running back Marlin Lane said. "We want to go out there and win. I feel like if we win this Saturday, I don't feel like anyone can beat us the rest of the season."

Watch video of Dooley and selected players following Monday's practice:

Derek Dooley

Tyler Bray

Marlin Lane


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