Nick Saban isn’t the only friend Derek Dooley has in the SEC coaching ranks.
Dooley will face off against another friend in Will Muschamp when the Vols travel to Gainsville to play Florida on Saturday.
Muschamp and Dooley coached together under Saban at LSU and with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins from 2001-2005. At LSU, Dooley stayed on the offensive side, handling anything from tight ends to running backs, while Muschamp was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Muschamp played for Georgia from 1991-’94 while Dooley’s father, Vince, was the Bulldogs athletic director. Vince Dooley was the head coach at Georgia from 1964-’88.
 “Will is a Georgia guy like me,” Dooley said. “We had a lot of mutual friends even before he and I became friends, and of course our first time working together was in 2001 at LSU and we had a lot of success there the four years we were there together. I was there in 2000, he wasn’t there with us in 2000 — we brought him on in 2001. We had a good run there and went to the Dolphins together.
 “Like any assistant coaches, we were both coming up through the ranks as young coaches at that time so we had a lot in common and developed a relationship.”
Muschamp left Miami to return to Auburn, where he was formerly a graduate assistant, as the defensive coordinator for two years. He then went to Texas to assume the same position under Mack Brown for three seasons before leaving his coach-in-waiting opportunity to lead Florida.
 “We stayed in touch and we talked quite a bit when he was at Texas and I was at Louisiana Tech and even last year we stayed in touch,” Dooley said. “We are good friends and professional competitors. He is going to want to whip me pretty good and I’m going to want to whip him pretty good — that’s how it goes.”
 Bray was named SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his heroics Saturday against Cincinnati, which included throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns on 34-for-41 passing. He is the first Vol to receive the honor since Jonathan Crompton in 2009.
“He has certainly played two very good football games. That is the starting point,” Dooley said. “I think secondly that goes with that he has put a big investment in trying to be good. You see it on the practice field, you see it in the time he’s putting in outside of practice. When you are investing and committing yourself to being good and you are playing good then you have the ability to affect others in a positive way.”
Bray garnered three SEC Freshman of the Week honors last season.
Mychal Rivera, who had a career-high six catches for 54 yards Saturday, boasted about Bray’s play so far.
 “(The passing game) is dangerous because we’ve got Tyler Bray,” he said. “He’s awesome. Anybody they put out there, he’s going to sling the ball really well.”