Jeremy Pruitt gets emotional during postgame presser following Tennessee's loss at Georgia
Tennesee put up a good fight on Saturday but after surrendering a late score and turning the ball over deep in its own territory, the final score of the Volunteers’ loss at Georgia came out deceivingly bad as Jeremy Pruitt’s team fell 38-12 in Athens.
Following the game, Pruitt met with the media and let his emotions show a bit after his team, and his defense in particular, put up a good fight for much of the afternoon.
Here are the highlights of what Tennessee’s coach had to say when this one was final.
Pruitt’s opening statement:
“To start with, Georgia’s got a really good football team. They’re very sound. They’re good on both sides of the line of scrimmage. They have speed, skilled positions on both sides, have a very good quarterback, two really good quarterbacks, good runners, their tight ends are physical, they can also get out on the perimeter, got good linebackers, got guys that can rush the quarterback, got guys that can play man-to-man in the backend.
“So, when you take the culmination of those types of athletes, it makes you good on special teams. They’ve got good returners, Mecole [Hardman]’s a good returner, Terry [Godwin]’s a good returner. I thought our guys did a fantastic job today, kicking the ball away from them. Then you talk about how they’re well coached. They have an experienced team, you know.
“Coming off the field, there’s so many guys, my last year was 2015, some of these guys I got to see for the first time in a long time. But I’ll say this about our football team. I said it last week, there were a lot of guys who played their best game last week for us and it was hard to tell that because we turned the football over. I said I thought I saw the right look in some of the guys’ eyes and I wasn’t wrong. Those same guys came out here today, they practiced this week hard and they didn’t let up.”
On what he learned about his team today:
“I learned we’ve got fight in us, that we’re not going to quit, it kind of gets me excited. … I’m proud of them and the way they fought. … It isn’t easy. That team in red today tried to change the way we fought. That’s the way they’re coached, that’s the way they play. They play the right way. Our guys kept fighting which means we’re headed in the right direction and that excites me. That’s why I’m getting a little bit emotional.”
On Tennessee’s performance in the second half:
“I thought offensively we finally got going and made some plays. We converted a couple of third downs and created some explosive plays. We made three first downs the first half, you can’t do that. You can’t put the defense out there that much. We’ve got to make some first downs, you may not score, these guys have a good football team. What’s the difference in the second half from the first half? We put some scoring drives together and had a couple other ones going. Defensively, we’ve got to find a way to get some stops. I don’t think we were good today on third down.”
— Luke Slabaugh (@LukeSlabaugh) September 29, 2018