October 16, 2008

Fulmer talking Mississippi State

Phillip Fulmer is not a loser.

In 17 years at the helm of the Tennessee program, Fulmer has only had subpar season. That is why the Volunteers current 2-4 predicament has many in Knoxville alarmed.

"It has been a tough year and a frustrating year for everybody," Fulmer said. "The fans, the coaches and the players are certainly frustrated with it. But the only way that I know to deal with it and how we have dealt with it from time to time as a player, an assistant coach and as a head football coach is to go to the practice field and work like heck to get things better. You have to know that things can be turned around. It's not like we are just completely void of ability or anything like that. We are just in a transition phase with our quarterback."

Fulmer's only losing season came with a 5-6 season in 2005 but the dean of Southeastern Conference coaches sports a 147-49 career record and a national championship on his resume. He will try to rectify the Volunteers sluggish start this weekend against Mississippi State.

"We are extremely disappointed in our start to the season," Fulmer said. "We're working like heck to get ourselves back on track and where we need to be. We are playing a very good Mississippi State football team this weekend that had a nice win over a good Vanderbilt football team. Our preparations have gone well up until this point. Our challenge is to take what we've done in practice and carry it over to the game and make it work with more consistency, especially on the offensive side where we just haven't been able to get ourselves on track up until this point."

One of the key components in the success or failure of an offense lies within the offensive line. But Fulmer believes that unit has done an admirable job considering the circumstances they have had with the lack of production in the passing game.



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