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Butch Jones’ Post-Vanderbilt Comments

Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI
Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There was a lot of commentary about what Butch Jones did and didn’t say following the Vanderbilt game on Saturday evening.

It did appear that Jones arrived a little quicker than normal to his postgame comments, and it is true that several media members did not make it down for his comments. He did, however, answer all the questions he was asked before exiting. In total, his comments lasted for about four minutes.

Here’s what he said:

Opening statement: 

“We turned the football over in the second half and we can’t do that. We couldn’t get off the field on third down. Defensively, we didn’t do a good job of playing the ball in the air. They made more plays at the end of the day, so I give them a lot of credit.”

On what Vandy’s defense did in the second half that made it tough on UT: “Same thing. They just out-executed us and we had some big plays in the first half and we weren’t able to get that plays and I thought they were able to apply pressure and Josh had to escape the pocket. Pretty much the same stuff we’d seen in the first half.”

On why the pass defense wasn’t up to par: “There were a number of times where we were right there in position but we just didn’t play the ball in the air, or we’d slip and fall down, and sometimes we weren’t applying pressure to the quarterback, so I think it was a combination of all those things”

On Vandy’s passing game: “Well he’s gained a lot of confidence in the last couple weeks, and when they got down a little bit I knew that they’d throw the ball a little bit more. But again, fundamentals, details, it was lacking.”

When asked to evaluate where Tennessee is on the defensive side of the ball right now: “I’ll start when we get home tonight and see what we need to do to get better. I love our players, and they’re giving everything that they have and again, I’ll address it like I have.”

Are the injuries causing issues on defense: “I don’t ever want to use injuries as an excuse because football is a game of ‘next man up,” but when you’re down three defensive tackles, you’re down your best two linebackers, but again it’s an opportunity for other individuals and you give up 600 yards and 40 something plus points, that’s unacceptable.

On if he was fearful that the offense would stall at some point: “It just comes down to execution and they out-executed us. We didn’t do a good job of sustaining drives. Again, we can’t turn the ball over and we have to be able to answer sudden change as well.”

On if he thought about kicking a field goal on the final offensive drive: “I did but I just felt like we needed at that point in time to be able to score and go for two and then try an onside kick.”

On the mood of the locker room: “Our goal to be 1-0 every week never changes. That wasn’t even our thought process. Obviously it was a very disappointed locker room.”

On Joshua Dobbs: “I thought he did some very good things. Got us out of some plays with his legs, he was efficient, thought he did some things. I thought Josh Malone did some really good things in the throw game as well.”

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