Tennessee football postgame: Pruitt condescending, WR opts out of year

Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt walks down the sideline during the first half against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt walks down the sideline during the first half against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

Jeremy Pruitt made no sense after the Tennessee football Volunteers’ loss to the Florida Gators.

It was another embarrassing loss for Tennessee football to the Florida Gators. The Vols lost their fourth straight in the series, and they lost their sixth straight game overall this year to fall to 2-6 on the season and clinch a losing record for the regular season.

Dan Mullen’s team, meanwhile, clinched the SEC East with an 8-1 record, winning their sixth straight overall. There wasn’t much to read into this game, but lots of revealing moments came in the Vols’ postgame press conference.

Pruitt delivered a couple of bits of breaking news when speaking to the media, but he also lashed out at one point and made no sense in one statement. You can watch all the postgame press conferences after Tennessee football’s loss by clicking here. These are our main takeaways.

Condescension by Jeremy Pruitt on QB, third down questions

According to Jeremy Pruitt, Jarrett Guarantano didn’t play because he hadn’t practiced in 13 days. Harrison Bailey got the start, but Bailey and J.T. Shrout both played a lot, and even Brian Maurer was in on multiple plays. However, when asked about the overall situation, Pruitt went on a rant. Here’s what he said.

"“I mean, guys, so y’all won’t have to ever have to ask me this again, 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 him. 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.”"

This is a ridiculous rant. Everybody with eyes can tell that Tennessee football has had issues at quarterback all year. Whether or not it falls specifically on the quarterbacks is one thing, but Pruitt has no right to criticize the public for wanting to know what’s going on. And, just for the record, people aren’t going to stop asking him about it, nor should they.

However, that’s not the only time that Pruitt was condescending to the media members in the press conference. When asked about the issues on third down, Pruitt questioned the reporter’s knowledge on the sport. Here’s what he said.

"“Well Blake, I don’t know how much you know about football, but you can play inside man-to-man or you can play outside man-to-man. And if they’re running inside breaking routes, you like to lay them inside-out. There were three times tonight that they converted first downs when we’re playing inside man-to-man and they complete balls breaking inside.”"

Now, why did Pruitt have to start that off by saying “I don’t know how much you know about football?” The reporters aren’t the ones whose defense is constantly failing to get off the field on third down.

Pruitt can try to impress the public by talking specific fundamentals all day. The fact of the matter is he is a defensive-minded coach, specifically with a focus in the secondary, he has a defensive backs coach as his defensive coordinator, and his secondary is still failing.

Ramel Keyton opts out of season

Sophomore wide receiver Ramel Keyton is not going to finish the year. Pruitt said he is opting out of the season to focus on academics, calling it a “great opportunity.”

Not much difference between Vols and Florida, Jeremy Pruitt says

Yes, Jeremy Pruitt really did say this. After losing 31-19 and falling behind 31-7, Pruitt thinks Tennessee football is close to the Gators’ level. Here’s his explanation for a statement that made absolutely no sense.

"“I just really liked a lot of things about, especially our offense, at the end of the game. The way Ty Chandler was running, the way the guys were trying to finish. I mean, that’s who these guys are. They work hard everyday, they try to finish. They’ve got really good character. It’s like I just talked to them, there’s probably not much difference in this team in this locker room and the team in the other locker room. Obviously there is based off record. But that team that just beat us, they won the (SEC) East today. So ask our guys, how much difference is there in us and them and let’s figure out how we get there.”"

So Pruitt thinks that the Vols’ two meaningless touchdowns at the end of the game, when Florida called off the dogs, is somehow evidence of his program closing the gap with the Gators. That’s embarrassing for him to say.

Next. Five takeaways from Vols' 31-19 loss to Florida. dark

Pruitt may question what media members know about football, but he’s insulting everybody’s intelligence when pretending that the secondary isn’t struggling, the quarterback play isn’t an issue and that touchdowns in garbage time mean something. Tennessee football is a disaster right now, and nothing Pruitt says can change that.