Jeremy Pruitt questions Tennessee's play-calling against Kentucky, leaves door open for Harrison Bailey to start at QB
The one thing Jeremy Pruitt could tout about his tenure on Rocky Top, he has owned Kentucky. So much for that.
Tennessee just got embarrassed by Kentucky on Saturday, losing 34-7 in Neyland Stadium. The loss drops Tennessee’s record to 2-2 on the season with Alabama coming to Knoxville next weekend.
That margin of victory for the Wildcats tied Kentucky’s largest win vs. Tennessee in school history.
Here are the highlights of what Pruitt had to say after the game.
On Harrison Bailey playing late in the game:
“It was an opportunity to put him in the game, he’s not had a lot of reps as far as gameplan versus Kentucky. But it was a good chance to get him out there and let him get some let some of these other guys get some reps. So, you know, and I think that’s good it’s good for him and he did make one nice throw there. And then he’ll make a lot better throws and do a lot more stuff as time goes on, but he’s a hard worker.
“Everybody in their quarterback rooms got to continue to work hard. We obviously had some issues early on in camp which there shouldn’t be there now because we’ve had four weeks in a row where we’ve had everybody out there we should be gaining steam offensively, and we hadn’t.”
Could Harrison Bailey start next week against Alabama?
“I would say it’s undecided. You know, I mean right now, when you lose – What was the score? 30-7. I think that everybody within our organization has got to look and see what went wrong. We could make changes at any level.”
On Tennessee’s issues protecting their QBs:
“I don’t know that the protection protection issues surprise me. We don’t necessarily rush the quarterback very good right now on defense. Okay? And I think when you talk about competition every single day against each other, we got to have better output out of our defensive players to make our offensive player strain. We’ve got to improve at that position.
“We got some guys in there that have talent. But talent don’t equal a good football player.”
On the status of Alontae Taylor and Jeremy Banks:
“Alontae pulled his hamstring against Georgia. Something that he battled all through fall camp. Then Jeremy rolled his ankle up, I believe the X rays were negative. But I don’t know that for sure. We’ll see.”
On his message to Jarrett Guarantano after this performance/calling out play-calling on offense:
“The first thing is, getting the ball knocked out of his hand, that wasn’t his fault. Okay? You know, he should have took a check down when he threw the ball down the middle.
“On the, whatever route we ran out there on third and four, I’m not crazy about the call to be honest. Okay, just not crazy about it — and that’s my fault. Ain’t nobody’s fault but mine. Okay?
“So, should we have thrown it? I don’t know. Did the receiver push the guy off? I don’t know I didn’t see that, I was watching the interior part of our line of scrimmage. I just know that I’ve never been a big fan of throwing, you know, 35-yard out routes to gain four yards. You know, I just don’t believe in the risk versus reward. I would rather be if we’re going to throw the ball, that every one of our receivers are running toward the goal line not away from the goal one. So, that’s something that has to be addressed.”