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Tennessee Interim Brady Hoke focused on sending the senior class out the right way

It’s all about the seniors.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Tennessee Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

It was a new day in Knoxville. Interim head coach Brady Hoke took former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones’ position at the podium on Monday following Jones’ departure.

It was an odd sight to see. For now, Hoke is just focused on sending these seniors out right.

“These last two games are only about one thing. That’s the seniors on this football team. They have been part of 29 wins, three bowl wins and they’ve laid a foundation for this program that was badly needed. They’re the ones that we play for,” Hoke said.

“As a staff, we are going to coach our hearts out,” Hoke said. “Our hope in the next two weeks is that the team, coaches and Vol nation makes it a great experience for those kids. They’ve had a tough year.”

Coach Hoke has an uphill climb to get to a bowl with LSU coming to town. He’ll have go 2-0 to get to a bowl eligibility, which is a loft goal.

“We’ve got to have a great week in the training room, weight room. We’ve got to understand that it would be great to take our seniors to a bowl game in their last year,” Hoke said.

Hoke is confident that his team hasn’t quit. “It’s not like they’ve laid down,” Hoke said. “It’s not like they haven’t practiced hard. It’s not like they’ve not stayed together. That’s attributed to coach (Jones). We are living in the present.”

Other notes

  • Hoke announced that practices will be closed to the media for the remainder of the year. He said, “I think that’s the best thing for us.”
  • He wasn’t budging on giving any details of his meeting with the team, saying that it was between him and the players.
  • Hoke didn’t offer any injury updates, but said he’s have something for us on Wednesday.