Dooley responds to fan frustration

Dooley responds to fan frustration

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Over the weekend, frustrated fans took to the rock, painting it with the phrase "Fire Fooley" and an image of orange pants crossed out. Over the weekend, frustrated fans took to the rock, painting it with the phrase "Fire Fooley" and an image of orange pants crossed out.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - After losing to Mississippi State in Starkville in the Vols' third SEC loss, they face unbeaten Alabama this weekend.

Alabama is currently the #1 team in the nation.

With such a big game on the line, Coach Derek Dooley is under a lot of pressure to get a win.

Over the weekend, frustrated fans took to the rock, painting it with the phrase "Fire Fooley" and an image of orange pants crossed out.

Not long after, the messages on the rock were quickly covered with gray paint. A university spokesperson said UT officials were not behind the repainting.

Despite the controversy, Dooley was in good spirits at his weekly news conference on Monday.

There were no shortage of critics following Tennessee's disappointing loss to Mississippi State on Saturday and the road won't get any easier for the Vols with top-ranked Alabama this weekend and South Carolina, a team that is also ranked in the Top 10, the following weekend.

Dooley has never beaten a ranked opponent, one of many negative statistics that have been directed toward UT coaches and players following Saturday's loss.

Amidst all the negativity, Dooley said he takes a realistic approach to helping his players deal with the pressure.

"To tell an 18-year-old not to read that stuff, I tell my 13-year-old and he reads it, so he doesn't listen to me either," said Dooley on Monday. "So, then you got to get plan b, which is you can't let them define who you are. Every time you get something bad, counter it with something positive."

Dooley said he tells the team it's not unreasonable for the fan base to expect performance and results.

Those results will be hard to come by this Saturday against Alabama.

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