Jeremy Pruitt discusses preparing for Kelly Bryant, this time in a new offensive system
Tennessee travels to Columbia this weekend to take on Missouri but this matchup won’t be the first time Jeremy Pruitt has game planned for Kelly Bryant.
The good news for Tennessee fans? Pruitt’s defense really stifled Bryant in that high-stakes matchup, too.
The original matchup between the two took place on Jan. 1, 2018 and featured two different programs as Pruitt was leading Alabama’s defense while Bryant was starting for Clemson. The game took place in the semifinals of the 2018 College Football Playoff with Alabama winning 24-6.
Pruitt’s Alabama defense limited Bryant to 18 of 36 passing for only 124 yards and intercepted him twice. Bryant also had 19 rushing yards on 19 carries in the game.
Here’s what Tennessee’s coach had to say on matching up against Bryant in that game.
“I coached against him when he was at Clemson. He’s extremely athletic, can extend plays, has a big arm,” Pruitt said during his Missouri press conference.
While Pruitt’s defense was successful at that time, the Tennessee coach admits Bryant has progressed in Derek Dooley’s offense.
“If you look at what he’s doing now at Missouri compared to what he was doing at Clemson, it’s a little bit different offensively but you can see that Missouri has kinda done some things to kinda cater to the things he has done best,” Pruitt continued.
How big of an advantage is it to coach against a player he’s seen before? Pruitt thinks it definitely helps on many levels.
“I think it’s an advantage going against somebody, for us at least, we’ve prepared against him before and probably have a good idea of their skill set,” he concluded. “The offenses are different but there are some things they do similar so, you know, you probably draw on some of the past to kinda help create a plan.”
If Pruitt can put together another successful plan to stop Bryant and his Tennessee players can execute it on the road, the Vols will have an outstanding shot at punching their ticket to the postseason for the first time under the coach. Given the history between Pruitt and Bryant, Tennessee should have additional confidence heading into this all-important matchup.