Rick's testy after loss

Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer has a reasonable amount of experience dealing with tough losses, whereas Vol quarterback Rick Clausen does not. That may explain why Fulmer showed a bit more poise following Saturday's disappointing 27-14 loss to Georgia.

When asked what the Vols play for now that their SEC title hopes are gone, Clausen seemed a bit testy.

"The same thing we always play for," he said. "We play for each other … everybody in that locker. Just because things go bad to start off with doesn't mean you pack it in.

"I'm sure some of the people out there are going to pack us in and say, ‘You know what; it's not worth it.' Hey, if that's the way they feel, that's fine. We're going to keep playing; that's just what we've got to do. Whether or not people like to hear what I've got to say, that's fine. We've got enough pride in ourselves to play for each other at this point."

Moments later, when asked about the mood in the locker room, Clausen said: "We just lost. We're not very happy right now. But we've got an open week. We've got to look to come back, to shore some things up, then we've got a very, very good Alabama team ahead of us. The first thing we've got to do is get healthy. That's the biggest thing.

"We're going to keep competing. We're going to keep pushing through it. Whatever happens from here on out, we're playing for the people in the locker room."

Based on his earlier comments, Clausen was asked if he expects a significant portion of the Vol Nation to bail.

"I don't know," he replied. "I sure hope not. We're playing for everybody that is in the Tennessee family. If the fans bail on us now, apparently they're not true Tennessee football fans."

Fulmer was considerably more diplomatic in his remarks. When asked how the Vols will respond now that their SEC title hopes have been dashed, he replied:

"It's very important we stay focused. We've been a good team that's fought back after a tough loss over the years. Typically, we've done that, and I believe we'll do that again.

"We need some time to heal up after three ballgames in 13 days. We'll give ‘em some time to get over this, (which will) give us some time to get a look at what we need to do as a team. We'll come back and be ready to fight."

Based on his post-game remarks, Clausen's ready now.


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