Jeremy Pruitt discusses whether Tennessee would accept a bowl bid with a 5-7 record
With No. 11 Kentucky, surging Missouri and a trip to Vanderbilt left on the schedule, Tennessee’s path to six wins and a guaranteed bowl bid looks difficult.
But the Volunteers would have an outside shot of getting offered a bowl spot if they manage five wins, and coach Jeremy Pruitt would gladly take it.
During the SEC Coaches Teleconference on Wednesday, Pruitt explained why he’d jump at the chance to play an extra game in his first season at the helm. He also discussed Tennessee’s running game, quarterback and offensive coordinator as the Volunteers (4-5, 1-5 SEC) gear up to host the Wildcats (7-2, 5-2) at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Below, you can read all of Pruitt’s comments from the teleconference.
On facing a quarterback that can run like Kentucky’s Terry Wilson:
- It’s kinda like playing with 12. You have to be aware of where he is at. It’s like playing the triple-option.
On the running game that worked against South Carolina but not so much against Charlotte:
- Execution. We had very few mental errors against South Carolina. We went to the right folks. Against Charlotte, we had several mental errors. It was tough to get things going.
On the Neyland Stadium project:
- That’s really more administrative. I trust our administration;they know what we need to make this program one of the best. We have as fine of facilities as anyone in the nation. I have complete trust in them to do the right thing.
On Mark Stoops’ job at Kentucky:
- I don’t know him very well, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he’s done. I followed him at FSU, and I inherited some athletic guys that were tough. They knew how to compete. Those things, I’m seeing in the Kentucky team now. They take on his identity, and he’s done a tremendous job.
Would you accept a bowl bid at 5-7?
- We would love to play as many games as we can get. We can use all the practice we can get. Absolutely.
On QB Jarrett Guarantano:
- I think he has become more comfortable with what we are doing. When you play well, that develops confidence. Other skill players have done the same. I think he’s improved every week.
On offensive coordinator Tyson Helton:
- When you talk about coming into a program, there’s a learning curve. We’ve lost Brandon Kennedy, lost Trey Smith. To be good offensively, you have to be good up front. Our quarterback hasn’t turned the ball over. … We have developed some play-makers. … We only had one senior (on offense) play against South Carolina. … We have improved every week except ( against Charlotte).