Nov. 5, 2012
Head Coach Gary Pinkel
"Fortunately, we've been very healthy on the defensive side of the ball. The only change has been Justin Britt will be out for the remainder of the season. He'll have surgery a week from this Friday. It'll be ACL surgery and maybe more, we'll see what happens. We've moved Mitch Morse out to tackle and we'll move Brad McNulty to center. Ultimately, we came out very healthy from this game, except for that one injury. "
On the Tennessee game next week
"We now are preparing for Tennessee. They're a very good football team, and it'll be another great stadium to play in like it was last week, another great opportunity for us. They're a very, very impressive offensive football team, the quarterback is very talented; they've got great receivers. They've had a few struggles on defense, but we've had a few struggles on offense. They're a great football team. We're going to work real hard, and prepare well and hopefully go out and play with a great intensity level and focus on Saturday."
On Tennessee's impressive offense
On James Franklin's performance last game
"They're running the I-formation around pro sets. They spread out, they do multiple things. They've got a great offensive line, good running backs, they pull in the receivers and tailbacks sometimes. They do a lot of different things. He's very impressive throwing. He's got great accuracy, he can extend the play, he can get rid of the ball. He's a very impressive player. It'll be different because they actually get the ball downfield. They put a lot of yards and a lot of points down against a lot of people. We've been playing a pretty good defense, but it's going to be a challenge from a different type of offense."
"I thought he did a lot of good things, I mean look how we moved the football against one of the best defenses in the nation. Him being James and quarterbacking the way he does, he extends the play, finds people open, gets a seem, hits a crease, even though he's a little bit limited running. All those things put tremendous pressure on defenses and it was certainly nice to see that. That's just the way he quarterbacks. Mostly the mistakes he made were simply missed throws... I believe in him."
On TJ Moe only having 13 catches in the last 6 games
"Well, we've had trouble throwing the football, that's pretty obvious. Last week we threw it a little bit more, we had good time of possession last week, too, which is a little bit different. But, whoever doesn't get the ball, I get quizzed. Dorial's getting the ball, now I'm skipping TJ. We want to give all the guys the ball. The defense dictates where the ball goes a lot of times, so we might call his number four or five times, and he may only get it one of those times or none of those times. He remains very positive, he's got a great attitude, he's a great kid."
On what they could improve on
"It's just discipline. We talked to our team about that. In our plan to win, that's one of the fewest penalties. We analyze that all the time. Whenever I talk to our team, I always go back to its just discipline. You can be a tough, aggressive football team, but play smart. And, knocking on wood, we've been playing a lot smarter and making less stupid mistakes that we'd made earlier.'
On how close the game was last week
"I think we've learned some lessons as the seasons gone on there. Our preparation was really good, and I think that's probably the difference. We were in a great college football environment. If you're a competitor, you love being in places like that. Our football team, if we prepare and we do the right things, I think we can compete with anybody, and certainly we're as physical as anybody. But, we've got to finish. I think that's kind of the lessons we've learned from that game."
On our great defense for the past 3 years
"Of course, the coaching staff does a great job, but I think they'd be the first to say that we've got a lot of great players. So we've got good coaches and we've got good players, and we've been very healthy, except losing Will or Xavier for a game here or a game there, we've been across the board healthy. That's just the way it goes. And this is perhaps the best defense we've had since I've been here. It's great to see."
Senior Wide Receiver T.J. Moe
On what have you uncovered in your search to get the offense going ...
"We are just working hard. It's more just studying the game plan, studying all the stuff we have going on every day and find a way to get better. There's a lot of ways to do it, a lot of different ways to go about it, but last thing I need to do is worry about how good Tennessee receivers are doing."
What did you see that James Franklin did good last week...
"James was the reason we were able to move the ball up and down the field like we were. He came with an attitude that he hasn't shown in a while here, that kid was playing tough as nails and it's because he's been so injured, I understand where he has been this year, he's been trying to protect his body so he can help the team, I get that, and he just decided on Saturday that he didn't care. There were a couple of different times where he could have run out of bounds or slid or done whatever. I mean he'd pick up 20 yards to get us a first down and move us right down the field. We had a lot of yards, we didn't put up many points on the board because guys didn't make a whole lot of plays when we needed it to finish. We moved the ball up and down the field against Florida as well as anybody the last couple of years and James is the reason for that and he is going to go ahead and take credit for his interceptions, but people need to start giving him credit for the offense for moving up and down the field like we did and he is a real unique quarterback and that is why he gave them so many problems, cause he can run like that ,he can run through people, he can run over people and he can still make the throws that he needs to make, just cause he missed a couple doesn't mean he didn't play a good game."
On did you guys encourage him after the game last week...
"Nobody wants to be talked to after a game like that. I texted (James) that night, I texted him today and you just got to let him work through that himself, nobody wants to be sat down and talked to. He's got all that stuff going around in his head and he's been the starting quarterback for two years, he's kind of been everywhere there is to be. He's thrown two or three interceptions in a game before, he knows how to work through it and he's going to come back this week and have a big game. "
Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Kony Ealy
On what's it like to be playing with Sheldon Richardson on your team...
"I'm glad he's on my team, that's all I can say. I'm glad he's on the same side of the ball as me. He takes a lot of attention away from me, so it singles me up so I can get more of a pass rush."
On what do you know about Tennessee...
"I mean they have a decent quarterback and their line is massive. It's kind of hard getting past them when you got to use a whole lot of moves and if it takes every move, every play of the game you go to do it, to get back there. That's what you want to do and we want to get sacks and we want to get pressure on the quarterback. So we got to use that to our advantage, us being a lot faster."
On Tennessee playing in an up tempo offense...
"It doesn't affect us at all. I mean it helps us cause we are used to it, when we played in the Big 12 we played against the Oklahoma's, the Oklahoma States, we are used to getting 100, 115 plays in a game. It doesn't really hurt us, but it can hurt us. I doesn't hurt us but it can if we don't use it to our advantage."
Junior Defensive Back E.J. Gaines
On what do you see from the Tennessee wide receivers...
"They just wide receivers when we watch them play. I mean, the short game, the deep balls, the route running, you can just tell that they are great receivers. That's kind of what we look forward to as corners going up against guys like that, so it's going to be fun. "
On how you get yourself pumped up against guys like this...
"I just get excited for it. It kind of takes me back to the Big 12 a little bit, as far as them passing the ball and we haven't really gotten that so far being in the SEC. It just kind of takes us back to the Oklahoma, Oklahoma State days and stuff like that, so it's going to be fun.
On is this the type of game you prefer...
"Definitely, after being in the box and coming down and tackling the last nine weeks, this is going to be fun to come out and get to cover."
On how much better has kip played the last few weeks...
"I think he has played great all season. He had a little rough season last year and he definitely came in, he told me he's going to work hard in our offseason and get better and you can just kind of tell in his play, so he's played great."
On how much better has Randy Ponder played this season...
"I think Randy definitely showed that he could play whenever he got put on scholarship last year. After that happened you could just kind of see his game and his level step up a bit and he showed in the SEC and he showed it a little bit in the Big 12 when he got in at the nickel position, so he's kind of established himself as the nickel guy."
Junior quarterback James Franklin
On anything you can take from last year after being in the same position record wise...
"Not really. I know there are a couple of things we can build on from a leadership standpoint, as well as how well we prepared and everything. I think we will take it the same, take it one game at a time and the next important game is our next game."
On establishing a little bit of rhythm last week...
"We definitely moved the ball better than we have been, it could have been a lot better. I think that as a whole offense we did a better job move the ball than as we had been."
On did any teammates talk to you and encourage you this week...
"Just try not to worry about and prepare for this week cause they will need me to step up and keep being a leader, so they just gave me some encouragement, told me not to hold onto it."
On did the play calling open up last week or a different mentality...
"I think it was more so the mentality, we did have a couple of different plays in there. I think really the guys were more excited about it, go out there and have fun and make some plays.