Tennessee's gauntlet of an October schedule continues this week as the Volunteers travel to Columbia, S.C., to take on No. 13 South Carolina.
"We have one more good shot against a top 10 kind of opponent," head coach Derek Dooley said. "We have to keep believing in our abilities and believing in what we are doing because I believe in our guys and believe in what we are doing. We have to work at it with a little greater passion so we go in with the right confidence and mindset."
Dooley touched on the team's inability to trust in the technique and process.
Dooley was also critical of Tyler Bray and the amount of interceptions the quarterback has been throwing.
"If he is loose with the ball, he is coming out of the game and we are going to play (Justin) Worley. And I told him that," Dooley said. "He is too loose with the football and he's been too loose. That's the way it is. We can't win, we can't beat these team(s) turning the ball over."
The Vols have lots to improve on as they prepare to take on the fourth ranked opponent in as many weeks. The defense struggled covering the deep ball against Alabama's Crimson Tide, five completions of over 25 yards, and it has been a recurring problem for Tennessee.
"Our corners getting some opportunity balls and kind of panicking in the deep part of the field, not trusting their technique, which I have seen them do it over and over and over and over," Dooley said. "I've seen our linebackers match those patterns underneath over and over and we don't do it."
Dooley also hinted that some underclassmen could get more playing time against South Carolina.
"We've been wanting to integrate Dan (Gray) and Deion (Bonner) into games, but there level of consistency in practice (isn't there yet)," Dooley said. "I keep telling them that they have to inspire a little confidence in practice, but if we are not performing out there, we have to get some young guys in there who have a chance."
Gray has played in four games this year and recorded two tackles against Georgia State, and Bonner has played in all seven games but has yet to record a tackle on the year.
Tennessee will also utilize defensive lineman Trevarris Saulsberry and JACK-linebacker Jordan Williams more as the season progresses.
The head coach also addressed the injury to Zach Fulton. The offensive lineman went down in the second half against Alabama with an ankle injury. Dooley listed Fulton as doubtful.
"We have Marcus (Jackson) and we have (Alex) Bullard so we will kind of see how it goes this week," said Dooley. "Bullard helps us a little at tight end so we are kind of figuring that out right now."