There’s a chance Tennessee was playing for its bowl life Saturday night in Columbia against the Gamecocks. If that is indeed the case, Jeremy Pruitt’s first Volunteer team came up just short, in a 27-24 loss to South Carolina.

Tennessee held a slight lead at halftime of this one but were outscored 18-10 in the second half. Penalties really killed the Volunteers in this game as Pruitt’s squad had nine for 75 yards. The Gamecocks had only two for nine yards in the game.

The Vols’ rush defense failed them, too, as South Carolina rushed for 224 yards on the ground Saturday. Tennessee did manage to convert 11 of 16 third downs but failed to pick up two crucial fourth downs in the game.

Following the game, Pruitt met with the media to discuss the tough loss:

opening statement:

on Trey Smith:

on late-game decision making: