Dooley is ready for 'Big Boy Ball'

The Vols are off to a 1-0 start, and now it's time for "Big Boy Ball," as Derek Dooley described Tennessee's matchup with nationally ranked Oregon this weekend. Go "Inside" to read what the head coach had to say at his regular Monday press conference.

It's been a list of firsts for Tennessee first-year Head Coach Derek Dooley this spring and fall.

Another first was eclipsed Monday afternoon as he held his first press conference after a football game.

Dooley, who was mentored by his father Vince Dooley and Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, took a chapter out of his father's coaching repertoire. He made Oregon sound like it was the best college football team in America, though, it could be true.

The Ducks, coming off an impressive 72-0 victory over New Mexico (a team probably better than UT Martin), has the most speed the Vols will see with a couple of exceptions.

"They are a very fast, very fast football team," Dooley said. "They fly all over the field. They are fast on offense, defense and special teams, they are very fast."

While Dooley was pleased with his young team's performance against UT Martin, he finally acknowledged that his team had a lot more talent that what Martin possessed.

"We obviously had the better team Saturday night," Dooley said. "We will be truly challenged in all phases of the game (in the next game). We will have to be at our best."

Dooley praised his players for their overall performance, and thought his special teams played well with the exception of the punt return team.

"I think Gerald (Jones) misunderstood what I said," Dooley said with a laugh. "I told him that I wanted someone to come in and make a difference in the game for us. He must have thought I said make a difference in the game for them."

Dooley was referring to senior wideout Gerald Jones, who fumbled one punt that gave the Skyhawks great field position.

Dooley was also pleased with the intensity of his team coming out of the locker room in both halves.

"We came out ready to play in the first half and the second half of play," Dooley said. "We were focused and ready to play. That was great to see."

While the Vols looked good in its season opener against UT Martin, Dooley acknowledged there will be a big difference as his Tennessee squad will now face some "big boy ball."

"It's time for big boy ball," Dooley said. "This is what it's all about. They are a nationally ranked team coming into our house. We will have to correct a lot of things from our last game. We will have to be at our best."


Dooley understands that Matt Simms dad Phil might be giving him some advice from time to time. He also said that he is probably his quarterback's biggest critic.

"I want 100 percent execution all the time," Dooley said. "I don't think we put so much on him that he can't do that."


When asked how fast his team was, Dooley's response was to let him see how the players match up in the next couple of weeks and then he would know.


Dooley announced that Tauren Poole and Denarius Moore were named offensive players of the game.

Austin Johnson and Prentiss Waggner were named defensive players of the game and Daniel Lincoln was named special team player of the game.

MASH UNIT (Injury Report)

Gerald Jones is out for at least two weeks with a broken bone in his hand, Denarius Moore and Jarrod Shaw are listed as day to day with tweaked ankles. Zach Rogers is listed as the starter for Jones and Justin Hunter would replace Moore if he were unable to play.

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