Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/24/11
After yet another installment Saturday at Alabama, it's clear the script hasn't changed much from Year 1 to Year 2 under Derek Dooley at Tennessee. The Volunteers have enough talent and energy to hang with the nation's best teams through the first halves of games, but they inevitably collapse in the second half thanks to a mix of low physical stamina, weak mental toughness and, now, a self-fulfilling prophecy that it's only a matter of time before the better team ultimately wins. "The teams we've been better than, we've played well (in the third quarter)," Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said. "They're probably worried about their halftime adjustments. The teams we're not as good as we've had problems." No. 2 Alabama, playing on its home field before 101,000 fans, certainly fell into that category, and the Volunteers couldn't do much to stop the Crimson Tide after a first half that ended in a 6-6 tie. Alabama torched the Volunteers with play-action passes and power running in the second half en route to a 37-6 victory. "When you play these good teams they keep hitting you," Dooley said. "If you lose your 'strain' against them it gets hard." The Volunteers are done with a historic stretch of back to back games against the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 teams, but the schedule doesn't get much easier. Games against No. 14 South Carolina and No. 8 Arkansas dot the next three weeks, and the Volunteers are still without quarterback Tyler Bray because of a broken thumb. After another woeful effort from senior Matt Simms, Dooley could be looking at a new quarterback, freshman Justin Worley, for the home stretch. "We're going to spend a lot of time as we do every week on where we're headed," Dooley said. "But certainly we weren't doing much on offense."
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