Jeremy Pruitt continues to use Gainesville to motivate his team
Jeremy Pruitt is transfixed on weather reports. The one distinction, though, is most of them are centered around Gainesville, Florida.
The Tennessee coach has instructed staff to place signs around the Tennessee practice field that list the daily high temperature in Gainesville, Florida, which Thursday was reportedly 103 degrees, according to John Brice of Letterman Row.
This comes after his comments earlier this week: “Well, it hadn’t really been that hot,” Pruitt said just before the team’s 2019 team photo was taken Sunday morning. “It don’t really get that hot in Knoxville. I’m sure it’s hot in Gainesville right now.”
Regardless of the weather reports, and if they are actually accurate, Pruitt and the greater Tennessee community is well aware of the losing skid of 13 out of the 14 games in the series, and that the Vols had six turnovers in last year’s 47-21 defeat.
Even though Tennessee finished last in the SEC East in Pruitt’s first season, and he could presumably do this motivational tactic for any divisional rival, at least for road games, it’s telling how important the Florida rivalry is to the Tennessee program.
This year’s meeting is, in fact, in Gainesville, where Tennessee has dropped seven straight. Big Orange is also trying to snap an eight-game road losing streak to SEC East opponents. Kentucky and Missouri, though, likely don’t have a dramatic weather angle that hits home.
How serious is @CoachJPruitt about toughening up his squad, both mentally & physically? Am told the @Vol_Football head man instructed signs to be hung around the #Vols practice field that report the day’s high temperature in Gainesville. (103)
— John Brice (@JohnDBrice1) August 8, 2019