The Volunteers football team entered Neyland Stadium for the second scrimmage of spring practice Saturday afternoon.
Head coach Derek Dooley emphasized the closing moments of the football game during the Vols day in Neyland.
"Over the last two years we have lost a number of games in the last three and a half minutes when we had a chance to win it," said Dooley. "I think the teams that play the best in the last three or four minutes win the most games. So we are going to spend a lot of time on it."
Dooley added that penalties and coaching errors were cause for concern in the Volunteers situational scrimmage.
"There are always breakdowns in discipline. We saw some penalties out there that could cost us the game at the end."
"There were some coaching errors. We had some substitution errors and breakdowns in clock management. We learned a lot of good lessons, mainly that you don't have to do anything special down the stretch, but you have to do the simple things extraordinarily well."
Saturday's scrimmage may have been Matt Simms worst practice in a Volunteer uniform, but Dooley and company won't be making any change in the repetitions during next week's workouts.
"I would agree with Matt in that assessment. He looked a little anxious and wasn't as accurate as he wants to be. We will look at the film and see why and go to the next day."
"No. We don't make judgments off one practice. He has been progressing very well. I don't expect Matt to want to transfer on Monday," said Dooley with a laugh.
Derek Dooley said his biggest concern is at center. The Volunteers are struggling with the snap, which is beginning to frustrate the head coach. Dooley is even trying Cody Pope at the center position.
"We have some problems with the snap, which upset me a little bit. That is probably my biggest concern right now. We have to be able to shotgun snap consistently."
Dooley added that he believes they have some talented guys up front, but the just need to keep working. The offensive line even helped spring Tauren Poole for another lengthy run during Saturday's scrimmage. Although Dooley says the running game is still not consistent.
"I don't think that we are running it consistently well. I think what we have seen through two scrimmages is two really long runs."
Dooley is also struggling with finding a steady hand to kick off. Chad Cunningham handled the majority of kick off duties during the 2009 season, but Dooley says no one has showed enough consistency to win the job.
"Where we are struggling right now is who is going to kick off. Nobody has really done what we need them to consistently do."
The Volunteers will resume spring practice Tuesday afternoon and will conclude Saturday afternoon with the Orange and White game.