After one of the most embarrassing starts to a football season, losing to Georgia State and BYU, Jeremy Pruitt has the 2019 Tennessee football team playing with swagger.
The Vols displayed some of the best complimentary football against the Gamecocks with the offense, defense, and special teams stepping up.
Quarterbacks Jarrett Guarantano and J.T. Shrout picked apart a suspect South Carolina secondary throwing for 351 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Ty Chandler led the way for the running backs with 78 yards on the ground. And, then there is Jauan Jennings, who had his best game in a Tennessee uniform. The 5th-year senior had 7 receptions for 174 yards with 2 touchdowns.
The defense again showed promise of what Jeremy Pruitt has planned for the future. The unit filled the stat sheet with 3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and pitched a second-half shutout.
Finally, the special teams might have been the best of the night thanks for a 65-yards punt return from Marquez Callaway and a blocked punt take Daniel Bituli recovered for a touchdown.
It’s hard to be confident in a 3-5 Tennessee football team that plays a lot of younger guys on defense and has quarterback issues. However, since the 20-10 win over Mississippi State, we’ve seen a different team.
We’ve seen a team playing with heart and effort as Trey Wallace put in his postgame coverage after the game. We’ve seen a team with more positives than negatives. Frankly, we’ve seen a team that ranks in the top half of the SEC.
Let’s not confuse things, this isn’t the same South Carolina team that came into Neyland Stadium back in 2011. Still, this was a big win and shouldn’t be overlooked.
This same South Carolina team went down to Athens and beat a Top-3 ranked Georiga Bulldogs team a few weeks ago.