UT due letdown?

You just played your most heated rival in front of 100,000 fans and a national TV audience. You dedicated the game to a teammate felled by a career-threatening injury. You watched another teammate heroically play through a serious injury. You lost by one point.

This is the recipe for an emotional letdown. This is the recipe for disaster.

All of the above happened to the Tennessee Vols last weekend. They played No. 7 Florida in front of 106,000-plus fans. They dedicated the game to cornerback Inky Johnson, whose football future is clouded by nerve damage in his right shoulder. They were inspired by tackle Justin Harrell, who showed incredible courage by playing through a ruptured bicep. Still, the Vols came out on the short end of a 21-20 score.

The obvious question: Will the emotional high of the Florida game give way to an emotional low this weekend against Marshall?

Vol cornerback Jonathan Wade concedes that the Vols were spent by the loss to the Gators.

"It took a lot of you," he said. "You feel bad about it Saturday night ... and Sunday because you have to read about it. At the same time, you realize you have another game to play. The season is not over."

Defensive coordinator John Chavis touched on the same theme. He says the Vols can't get so caught up in the Florida loss they lose sight of the fact there are still nine games left on the schedule.

"If you've got the right kind of people, you go out and compete," he said. "You don't get many opportunities to do that. We've got 12 opportunities, and you've got to compete in those 12 opportunities. I fully expect our guys to be ready to play."

So does head coach Phillip Fulmer. He believes the fact Tennessee allowed a 17-7 third-quarter lead to slip away - though painful at the time - could provide extra incentive this weekend.

"If anything, we should be an angry football team," he said. "We let one get away from us when we led by 10 points in the fourth quarter."

Wade agreed that the Vols should be an angry bunch this weekend.

"Most definitely," he said. "We come out feeling we have something to prove every week. Giving up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter could be put on the defense. We had a lead and all we had to do was hold onto it.

"But that game is over, and there's nothing we can possibly do about it now. We've just got to get ready for Marshall."

And try to avoid hitting an emotional low this weekend as dramatic as the emotional high of last weekend.

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