The Tennessee Volunteers lost another frustrating game Saturday night, this time to the Auburn Tigers 30-17.
Vols have now lost 5 games in a row and fans are getting impatient with Pruitt and Vols.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fought back, completing just 15-of-23 passes for 156 yards and a pick-six. The driving game behind Eric Gray and the offensive line was cooking. Vols rushed 222 yards against Auburn’s defense.
After the loss to Auburn, Jeremy Pruitt spoke to the media. Below is everything he said:
“Well at first, I really thought our team played extremely hard tonight. We did not always play clean, but I thought the kids played extremely hard. You see, we missed a couple of field goals. We had at least a 1
Harrison Bailey Time?
“I think you will have to evaluate everyone in our program. Our goal is to win every game. Every week we play the guys who give us the best opportunity. So we continue to do that. We had to see how each guy played in this game and figure out what the best option was. ”
Does Jarrett Guarantano give the team the best chance of winning?
“Absolutely. If I did not, I would not play him. I mean, boys, he did not miss two field goals. He did not jump a cover. There are many things. Did he make a mistake? He made a mistake. Absolutely. “I made mistakes in the game. Okay? So the bottom line is, guys, we all need to perform a little better to be productive so we can score more points on Saturday than the other team does.”
On the offensive game plan
“I thought we had a couple of guys involved in the game plan who had not had the opportunity this year. And they will continue to improve as we go. ”
On being beaten in the second half the last few weeks
“Well, I want to talk about this game because that’s what just happened. In the second quarter, we had a busted coverage and they threw a touchdown. In the third quarter there we put a good drive together. We turned the ball over and they ran it back 100 yards for a touchdown. So it’s a 10-point turn. And we missed two field goals. We did not get off the field on the third down as we would like. A couple of them I called badly. So there are a lot of things going on. I thought our kids were playing extremely hard. (Auburn has) a good football team and they beat us today. ”
Message for fans who question the direction of the program
“It’s not my job, guys. My job is to coach. If you want to ask me a football question, ask me a football question. ”
Confidence level with OC Jim Chaney
“I do not know, so you played? We had more yards than they had. So I do not know if there was inconsistency or not there. ”
At Eric Gray
“I thought our offensive line blocked well. Really, we moved the ball pretty well from 30 to 30. We didn’t get away with points three times. That was a big part of the game. So just getting off the field on the third down defensively. ”
On the running game
“I thought we ran the ball well. I thought we blocked them well. There were many holes there. I thought we had a little established driving game there. So it was good to see. ”
In case of opposing defense, revenue returns to touchdowns
Number one, we need to be cleaner on our route (by tapping). Two, the ball must be out now. And when we are not clean on a route, we just have to throw the ball away, and we did not. The end result was what you saw. There are two parts. They played as they played. Because we ran the football, stupid, there were a few times they played flash coverage. They did a good job, made a throw down there to the finish zone, we just did not come with a catch. You’ll have to be aggressive if they’re going to play like that, right? You need to be clean, run the routes the right way. If not, just throw the ball away and play the next one down. ”
On kicker Brent Cimaglia’s health
“Brent has been through this ever since we came back, I’m talking about all the way back in June. When he came back he had a bit of a problem and he has been trying to work through it. I mean, it’s very unusual for him to miss some kicks. He felt like he hit one of them really well. But hey, Cimaglia is a great kicker and he will make a lot of kicks for us down the road. ”
On what improvement he has seen in recent weeks
“I felt we improved a lot offensively tonight. Talk about production, we were better on the third down. Run the ball pretty well. Created some explosive pieces. So it was good to see. I felt like we’ve been pretty consistent all year on special teams. Tonight we missed a couple of kicks and had a really good kickoff return and one that we probably should have taken fair. But it’s like I told the guys after the game, I love their efforts. I love the way they competed. They played together, played for each other. But here we have to be cleaner. We need to perform better. And we have to finish. ”
Why did not QB Brian Maurer travel?
Brian had a really good week playing (in practice). He played scout team this week. I actually texted him before the game. I said that if we win this game, it’s because of the look you gave us this week. I thought he was doing a phenomenal job. We just decided to take three quarterbacks this week based on some injuries to our team. ”
About distance in the passing game
“I felt we had a good plan in place. I felt that our offensive staff put together a good package there that we felt we could perform. We threw the ball very early in the game, so we got a little in rhythm with driving the ball there. We offensively did what we wanted to do. Except we didn’t get away with points three times. It’s pretty simple. We were effective at breaking the law. We ran the ball. We were better on the third down. But we have to end drives. ”
On his message to the team after the loss
“The same message I just gave you all. Love their efforts, love their toughness, love the way they played together, played for each other. But when we go back and watch the movie, we all – I, most of all – made some mistakes and we need to correct them. I know they are frustrated. These guys have competed hard and played hard. (We) play a good league with good players. You will have to play pure football to get to the top of this league. ”