By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Saturday's game against Alabama may have been an expected loss for the Volunteers, but it was a loss nonetheless.
Number One-ranked Alabama rolled over the Vols 44-13, leaving UT fans hurting from yet another Southeastern Conference loss.
Many are calling for Coach Derek Dooley to be fired, but several UT students say he needs more time.
UT fans started this season with high hopes.
"I thought we were going to have a really good year. I thought this would be the year to bring us back to relevance," said UT junior Connor Rosenbaum.
After four losses and zero wins in the SEC, hope is fading.
"I wouldn't say I'm losing hope, but I definitely have become a little concerned and we shouldn't be concerned for Kentucky or Vanderbilt or Missouri for that matter," said sophomore Emmie Stehling.
While even some of the most diehard fans may have already counted out Coach Dooley, many students around campus weren't as quick to write him off.
"If we do get rid of him it's just another four or five years of setbacks and rebuilding. No coach is really going to want to come here if we just give a coach three years, if they're not doing well just get rid of them," said Rosenbaum.
Some students are saying the bulk of that pressure is falling unfairly on the coach's shoulders and needs to be spread to the players.
"He's putting the players where they need to be and it's up to the players to make the play," said UT junior Cameron Culver.
Don't let that allegiance fool you, though, students say they may not be as likely to stick by the coach if the Vols don't score a win soon.
"If we do lose the next couple of games I would question whether or not he needs to stay," Stehling said.
"I don't know. It's not my decision to make and I'm happy I don't have to make it," added Rosenbaum.
Next up, the Vols are on the road taking on South Carolina this Saturday. The next home game is November 3 against Troy.