The best of ‘Vol Calls,’ Vanderbilt week

IN-HOUSE QUESTION FROM MARK FROM NEW JERSEY

Questions/comments: “Hey guys. Just came down to see some family from Tennessee. Just so you know, there’s a lot of New Jersey Tennessee Vols fans.”

Heupel: “Let’s go, I like it.”

Field: “Listen, I know last week was tough on you guys and the team and us as well. Just how are you guys ready and prepared for the Vanderbilt game?”

Heupel: “Yeah, definitely. You walk in the locker room and you call it what it is. Hats off to South Carolina. We didn’t play the football that we’re capable of and need to win that football game. At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity lost. Every one of them are if you don’t end up on the right side of the scoreboard. You can’t get those back. At the same time, I told the team in the locker room and you heard me kind of say it here, like it better sting and it better hurt everybody inside the program. That’s the only way that we’ll grow from that moment and have an opportunity to get better from it, and if we don’t, then we’re killing ourselves as a program.

“Our guys did hurt. Our staff did. You there. At the same time, you have to learn the lessons and then you’ve got to let it go. If you don’t, then you’re going to falter really quickly. I’ll say this: When we got on the grass, the energy, the focus, like you could feel (the loss) leave, and that’s important. The lessons have got to stay with you, but you’ve got to cut that emotionally. At the end of the day, you only get 12 of these that are guaranteed, man. This is our last one in the regular season. There’s so much that we need to finish. Finish the regular season. Got a chance to finish with 10. Got a chance to stamp the legacy for this senior class and this program, too. Just what these guys have done in the short amount of time, I’m really proud of.”

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