Jeremy Pruitt explains Tennessee's plan at QB after shuffling Harrison Bailey, J.T. Shrout vs. Florida
Leave it to Tennessee to successfully play two young quarterbacks and exit a game with more questions than answers at the game’s most important position.
If you missed it, the Volunteers fell to 2-6 on the season after losing to Florida 31-19 in Knoxville on Saturday night.
If nothing else, at least Tennessee has to feel more confident in its options in the QB room on Rocky Top.
True freshman Harrison Bailey started the game for Tennessee and finished completing 14 of 21 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. While he started quite strong, his play faded a bit in the second half.
After inserting J.T. Shrout into the game, Tennessee scored two of its three touchdowns in the game. Shrout finished the game completing 12 of 14 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Here are the highlights of Jeremy Pruitt’s postgame press conference.
Pruitt on why JT Shrout came in late in the game:
“We had a plan to play both for the guys going in, if JT could. Harrison wen in there and we’re kind of rocking along, created a lot of explosive plays but we were kind of changing the momentum of the game there, and then gave up a drive right before the half there.
“As the game went in the second half, there’s a couple plays out there that, that maybe we could have been a little bit more aggressive on and JT probably from an experience standpoint, two years older then Harrison, just getting him out there and getting going so without JT done a nice on.
Pruitt on the QB competition moving forward:
“Okay, so y’all won’t ever have to ask this again, okay? Every week, we go out there and we see who competes in practice, who does the best job that we feel like affects the guys around them. And we will do that as long as I’m the head football coach here at every position so you don’t have to ask me ever ever ever again.”
Pruitt on if Tennessee has some positives to leave this game with, if this game feels better than some of Tennessee’s other losses:
“No, no. I came to this stadium to win the game. Just like you go to every one of them. So, that’s the only goal. So now, that’s the answer.”
Pruitt on why Jarrett Guarantano didn’t play in the game:
“Well, he hadn’t practiced in 13 days… It’s tougher on the quarterback (to do that over other positions on the field).”
Pruitt on if Tennessee can take away any positives from this game:
“No, that’s the answer.”
Pruitt on Tennessee’s protection issues on the offensive line:
“Well, I feel like we had a really good plan offensively when you’re four open and they want to bring pressure there’s no way to hide it, right? So everybody knows they’re coming right?
“Got to get the ball out of her hand. When, and that’s what happens with a young quarterback, sometimes holding on to the football. Got to get the ball out of hand. It’s just like reading a book, right. You see it coming. Get the ball out. It’s that simple. You know so and he’ll get better, the longer he does it.”
Pruitt on limiting Florida’s run game: (Florida ran for just 19 yards but passed for 433 yards)
“I didn’t even realize they ran it…. seemed like they threw it every play.”
During the postgame press conference, Pruitt also announced sophomore receiver Ramel Keyton would not finish out the season with the football program.
Tennessee is scheduled to play Vanderbilt next weekend.