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What Jeremy Pruitt said after losing to Alabama

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NCAA Football: Alabama at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Pruitt’s debut against Alabama went just about as well as any realistic Tennessee fan thought. Tennessee lost to the nation’s No. 1 team 58-21 after the Crimson Tide built a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.

Here were the highlights of what Jeremy Pruitt said after the game.

On Alabama...

“They could have probably not thrown a pass today and scored 58 points. We didn’t block them up front, we couldn’t run the football. You’re not going to beat anybody if you can’t run the football. Going into it, we knew we would have to play a perfect game.”

On effort...

“Going into it, I wanted to see our guys compete and keep improving. There’s a lot of guys that did. The unfortunate part is, if you’ve got some guys that don’t, it don’t really show up during the game. I think we learned a lot about our football team today. There’s some guys that we had on our team that this game was way too big for. I think everybody was able to see that.”

On Jarrett Guarantano...

“Jarrett got hit, probably every time he threw the football. Keller came in and made some good throws, so we just stayed with Keller.

“(Guarantano) will be back.”

On his comment about recruiting at halftime...

“I tell you what, we’ve got guys in our program, that in ten months have really changed the way they think, the way they go about their business every day. They try to do exactly what we want them to do. If you look at (Alabama’s) sideline and you look at our sideline, it don’t hardly look the same. We don’t have enough guys out there today, okay? That wanted to do it the right way. I do think we’ve got a good core group in this bunch to keep the foundation moving forward. We’ve got to recruit guys that want to compete and play like they play every day.”

On the rushing struggles...

“The last two weeks? Yeah (on being out-manned up front). They’re bigger, they’re stronger. Could we play with better technique? Yeah. Could we have them in a better scheme?Probably. The last two teams whipped us up front.”

On the defense...

“When you can’t even look to the sidelines to get the call, that’s pretty telling. When you can’t keep your poise enough to look to the sideline and get the defensive call, that’s pretty elementary.

On the Alontae Taylor ejection...

“I think a lot of it is poise and experience. Alontae punched the guy — right in the head, right in front of me. I saw him do it. They lined up and whipped us and we made silly mistakes.”

On Keller Chryst...

“We gave them some unusual looks, so that probably had something to do with it. We had some protection and made some plays down there. But we can’t be one dimensional. We’ve got to be able to run the football to give our offense a chance.”

On his team’s development...

“You know what? We’ve got four seniors on our football team right now. We have a lot of guys that are trying to do it the right way. Unfortunately, we’ve got some guys out right now. We’re thin at a few spots. You really couldn’t tell how some guys played and competed today. You know, we’re basically going to trade 25 guys for four (in next year’s recruiting cycle).”