The Volunteers have no scheduled game on Saturday.
That doesn't mean they're not practicing. The Vols are using the extra time to prepare for their next matchup.
"The bye week is always a good opportunity to evaluate the things you are doing well and work on the things you need improvement on," head coach Derek Dooley said. "You look back at the five games and there are a lot of positives in those five games as far as growth of our program and against some good football teams. We haven't always gotten the results that we wanted but there are also a ton of things that we need to improve on in every level and that is what we are doing."
Dooley said that one of the big issues for the Vols has been playing with consistency through four quarters.
"I would say it is a couple things. First of all it is playing with a level of consistency for four quarters. You look at how we played in the second and fourth quarter on defense and we really played very well running the same calls against the same plays," Dooley said. "Then we had too many breakdowns throughout the course of the game. The second thing is just good old fashioned taking on blocks, getting on blocks and getting a lot of hats to the football. I don't care how much scheme you do, how advanced you get, how old you get or how young you are, good defensive football is about whipping the guy in front of you and getting to the football and that will never change."
Starting quarterback Tyler Bray suffered through consistency issues during the Georgia game last Saturday. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said he's looking for marked improvements from the junior during the bye week.
"I expect him to come out of there a lot better than he was after the ball game," Chaney said. "We expect him to do that, he'll learn a lot and we'll keep moving on."
Junior tailback Rajion Neal came out strong on Saturday with scoring catch. Chaney said his ability to catch is a great luxury.
"All of our running backs catch the ball very well so we are comfortable with whoever is in there catching the ball," Chaney said. "They are an added addition to the passing game and we appreciate it."
He said having five legitimate receiving threats that he can throw the ball to anytime is fun.
"All of our players are playing hard and when they get a chance to make a play, for the most part, they are doing it and are executing the play we would like for them to do."
Chaney said that along with those, he feels that senior wide receiver Zach Rogers is doing a good job.
"I believe Zach has run by a few people also and I am comfortable with him playing," Chaney said. "He is playing very well and he is playing like an elder statesman should be. We are really proud of him."
Regarding the team's seeming inability to make a field goal, junior kicker/punter Michael Palardy said reasons for missing a field goal could be the result of a number of things.
"I don't think it is one thing specific that goes wrong," Palardy said. "There are a lot of things that could go wrong, whether it is a snap or hold or a lack of concentration. But there is no one specific thing that goes wrong. If you miss a kick, whether it is an extra point, a field goal or anything like that you just have to move on to the next one. Take it kick by kick."
Palardy said it's the mental game that's going to make a difference going forward.
"My first miss this season was against N.C. State and I came back for the rest of the game and had a good game, made all my kicks and had no problems. It just goes to show that you have to stay concentrated and in to the game and focused. Being mentally prepared you are going to get the results you want."