Jeremy Pruitt following Tennessee's shocking loss to Georgia State: 'Everyone needs to look in the mirror, that's what I'm going to do''
Tennessee has hit rock bottom.
Heading into the second season of the Jeremy Pruitt era, optimism was high on Rocky Top that the program was turning in the right direction and that the Volunteers would return to the postseason after failing to do so in consecutive seasons. Now that appears to be nothing but a pipe dream for Pruitt’s team as Tennessee has fallen to lowly Georgia State 38-30 in the season opener.
Following the game, Pruitt was asked some tough questions after the game.
on Georgia State scoring on the first drive after the second half and how big that was in the outcome of the game:
“Well, lots of times and again, the most important drive is to run after half right? So, you know, that’s very disappointing, but they continue to do the things that they’ve done in the first half and, you know, we went in and felt like we had a good plan moving out the second half but couple of moves got away from us, didn’t take the guy through the read one time and a little late to the tight end in the flat. We have to be able to execute at a high level. And we weren’t far away, okay? A lot of times, we weren’t where we need to be, if that makes sense. So, hey we know we got this guy man to man, but maybe the alignment isn’t right. We have to make sure our guys understanding of what they are looking at. I’ve seen this before, when you get into games, when you got some young guys or some inexperienced guys, you have anxiety. You forget the details of what you’ve learned. That’s who we got. We got some young guys and they have talent but we have to coach them up and get them to play at a high level, but again, you have to give Georgia State credit.”
on Tennessee’s line play:
“Well, you can look at the yards rushing. So, Georgia State rushed for 213 and Tennessee rush for 93, and I think that tells the tale. I’m not sure that based off how the defense played, did we did our offensive line a chance to dominate the game because there was a point in time that every time that our offense got the ball we were down a little bit further. So, I don’t know if that’s, that’s right. When it comes to that talk about running the football offensively but that usually dictates who wins or loses the game.”
on how his team played today:
“Well, I, you know, I don’t think we played our best ball. I think Georgia State had a lot to do with that. But it’s not about, you know, sometimes it is about how hard you play, it’s always about how hard you play, it’s always about how hard you play. Okay, but if you’re playing really hard you’re running in the wrong direction, that’s not good, right? If you are playing really hard but are blocking the wrong guy or if you are supposed to run this route and you see it a different way and run another one, it’s hard to have success, and we had too much of that. And again, I’m not blaming the kids, okay? Like I told the players in the locker room, everyone needs to look in the mirror, that’s what I’m going to do and say what can I do better football team and I’m going to start with me.”
Did you sense your team wasn’t ready to play?
“No, we believe, we’re ready to play the game, we’re ready to play. But you gotta execute.”