Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt met with the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the win over Missouri and looked ahead to the matchup with Georgia.
Pruitt was very critical of the Vols secondary, emphasizing how much they need to get better on the back end. This should come as no surprise, with the absence of Bryce Thompson most of the game. Thompson, who was wearing a black jersey last week during practice, would be ready to play today if the Vols were suiting up.
Although Pruitt did not answer the question about Shawn Shamburger, I expect him to be playing in Athens.
Tennessee’s victory over Missouri on Saturday could largely be contributed to their run game. Pruitt said they were committed to running the football, but also left a lot of yards on the field.
“I feel like we were committed to running the football. That gave us an opportunity to do that. I also feel like we left a lot of yards out there. We ran one particular play 10 times in the game and we only blocked it correctly four times.”
Jeremy Pruitt also said that he expects Elijah Simmons and Jahmir Johnson to be available for Saturday’s game against Georgia. Simmons, who went down during the game, participated in correction practice on Sunday night
The Tennessee head coach knows his defense can perform better, especially in the secondary and front line.
“I felt like there were too many times there were too many orange jerseys watching the play finish. We got to do a better job of being technical up front.”
When he was asked about the defensive line over the last two games, he feels they still have a ways to go.
“We need to be more consistent up front. We need to play harder. We need to sustain for a longer period of time. I think we need to be tied in together with the linebackers and the outside linebackers.”
This team has a battle on their hands with Georgia, especially getting after the quarterback. Which QB will trot out on the field Saturday is a question that might not be answered until game time.
Jeremy Pruitt spoke highly of Georgia, especially their team speed.
“When you look at Georgia this week, I think it’s one of the better teams that I’ve seen in college football over the last couple of years. I think these guys have a lot of team speed. They’re big.
This really isn’t the “Coach Speak” that you might hear out of Gus Malzahn. Playing on the road is never easy, but this week will present many challenges for the Vols.
Jeremy Pruitt was asked about the comments made by the attorney representing Cade Mays, in which he called his situation a “Toxic Environment”. But unfortunately for the reporter, Pruitt was biting.
“I have no idea, i wasn’t in those situations.”
Kirby Smart was asked about the alleged “Toxic Environment” as well.
Kirby Smart said his relationship with Jeremy Pruitt is still good, despite the Cade Mays transfer and fallout. (The “toxic environment” comment by Mays’ lawyer):
“Not really. I know coaches in the SEC will do anything they can to get guys eligible, and that’s their decision.“
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) October 5, 2020
You can already feel the tension of this game week, so pace yourselves, as we’ve got five days to go.