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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Larry Scott has been here before, but it was a different time, a different place with slightly different circumstances in a different program.
The rock bottom that the 2015 Miami Hurricanes hit came after a 58-0 home loss to Clemson that ranks as the worst in that program’s history.
Al Golden was fired as Miami’s coach after the game, and Larry Scott was promoted into the interim coach role, being asked to spark the program.
Scott did just that, leading Miami to four wins in the last five regular-season games, including a 30-27 victory over Duke in the very next contest.
It’s worth reviewing what Scott said then about how the Hurricanes were able to turn things around so quickly, because it’s a good bet he’ll be using much of the same approach with his offense.
“We started the week out talking about tapping into the human element of these kids and [getting] back to enjoying playing football and playing fast and having fun,” Scott said after beating a Blue Devils team coached by former Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe that would finish 8-5.
“In adversity are great life lessons that if you use it the right way, it can make you strong,” he said. “If you continue to do what you are told to do to execute, the plays will be there. Don’t try to do more than that.”
Last week, a fan asked why Scott was the offensive coordinator; this week, fans are just making their dissatisfaction with the second-year Tennessee assistant known.
“Larry Scott is just like Butch, a recruiter, that’s it.” — Josh Woodall.
“Larry Scott needs to be the first to go.” — Michael Fannin.
Tennessee football question of the day
Can Larry Scott turn things around for the Vols’ offense like he did Miami, and is this situation similar?
“In a lot of ways, it is similar,” Scott told SEC Country in an exclusive interview this week. “Tennessee has a passionate fan base, people care about the tradition here and where the program is at, and they want to win.
“The difference it, it’s Knoxville, Tenn., whereas in Miami you have the Dolphins and the Heat and a lot of other things going on.”
No doubt, there’s no escaping the scrutiny for Scott and the Vols when more than 100,000 fans will be on hand Saturday for the noon showdown against South Carolina. An ESPN national television audience will be looking in, too.
Scott has taken the approach not to look back at the 41-0 loss to Georgia on Sept. 30 — the worst shutout loss in Neyland Stadium history.
“I’ll just say I’m fortunate to be here and keep doing what I’m doing and pushing forward,” Scott said. “Can’t keep dwelling on the past; that will eat you up and put you six feet deep in a box.”
Tennessee football coordinators’ press conference
(Monday, Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Media Center, Larry Scott at 5:14 mark)
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