Following Tennessee’s 24-7 win over No. 11 Kentucky, there have been some members of the media suggesting Jeremy Pruitt should be up for SEC Coach of the Year honors. While it may be a bit too soon for that talk, if the Volunteers finish the season on a three-game winning streak and improve to 7-5 on the season, the Tennessee coach will begin to garner significant traction for the award.
Coming off the big win over Kentucky, Paul Finebaum suggested Pruitt is among his favorites to win the award entering Week 12. Finebaum also praised the jobs Ed Orgeron and Mark Stoops have done to this point of the season.
After that discussion, Finebaum was joined by the Tennessee coach on his Monday show. The first question the show’s host had for Pruitt was on how the Vols got the big win over Kentucky.
“I think for the first time Saturday our guys played a complete game,” Pruitt said. “You should improve every week, I think our guys have improved our practice habits. We may not always show that due to execution. Offensively, we blocked better. Didn’t have as many mental errors.”
Finebaum then asked Pruitt if he could have imagined beating two ranked teams with this current Tennessee team.
“We get an opportunity every week, seems like everyone we play is ranked,” Pruitt joked.
The show’s host then asked Pruitt about the possibility of playing in a bowl game.
“We are focused on Missouri this week, they have a really good football team at 6-4. If you take out the rain game (at South Carolina) and some calls in the Kentucky game, they are sitting here at 8-2 with their only losses being to Alabama and Georgia.”
Finally, Finebaum asked Pruitt what he thought about some calling for him to be SEC Coach of the Year and the job he has done this season in Knoxville.
“I can tell you I’ve not played one down. It takes more than one person every week,” Pruitt responded. “We have a fantastic staff, a great support staff, good administration. We have everything we need here to have success. Our players are buying into what we are trying to get done and create the right habits on the practice field.”