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What Jeremy Pruitt said after Tennessee’s win over Kentucky

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Here are the highlights.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee knocked off No. 11 Kentucky at home on Saturday night behind the efforts of their defense which only allowed seven points. Here are the highlights from Jeremy Pruitt’s post-game press conference.

On the offense...

“This was far and away the most complete game. Offensively, we found a way to run the football against a really good football team. We challenged our players this week that we wanted to have the most rushing yards. For the first time, we played with a little bit of physicality for the entire game. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very positive.”

“Our offensive coaches did a really good job. They got it in early in the week. We had better protection and the quarterback knew where he was going with the football.”

On the defense...

“We kept them from creating a bunch of explosive plays. We kind of made them one dimensional. It’s a lot easier guard the pass if you make them one dimensional. I thought twice, we put the fire out defensively. Kentucky had really good field position and our guys got some turnovers.”

On getting Ty Chandler back...

“I said it in fall camp, I like the running back room. There’s lots of competition. These guys have competed with each other all season. Ty is a guy that you can get the ball out there on some passes and things. He’s got a little bit of juice about him. He’s still a little banged up, but it was good to have him out there.”

On staying aggressive before the half...

“We wasn’t really trying to be aggressive. We were trying to run the clock out. Last thing we wanted to do was turn the ball over up ten when we were getting the ball back at half. We didn’t want to give them something positive. We ended up a little out of field goal range, so we took a shot. I thought Jarrett Guarantano did a good job evading the rush there and Marquez Callaway went up and got it.”

On Darrell Taylor and the pass rush...

“They had a lot of third and longs. That gives you an advantage. We haven’t had a lot of those all year. Then the score changes a little bit, which makes them more one dimensional. If you struggle running the football, it’s harder to pass protect. So I think the fact that we stopped the run tonight probably helped the pass rush.”

On the trajectory of this team...

“I think if you look at the great teams, they kind of play their best ball towards the end. That’s one thing we want to do here as a program. We want to play our best ball at the end. So we’re 2-0 in November. We’re going to enjoy this win, then we’ll get up and go back to work.”

On Jarrett Guarantano...

“First of all, he’s a smart guy. He’s learning a new system, which isn’t easy for anybody. He’s trying to play within himself, which is important. It’s probably a testament to coach Helton. He’s done a really good job keeping him where we want him.”

On inching closer to a bowl bid...

“The University of Tennessee is supposed be in bowl games. That’s the expectation. That’s my expectation. We’re going to go out there and do a good job this week and try to put a plan together. We’ll be playing another good football team, just like every week in this league.”

On Bryce Thompson...

“I think Bryce will be fine. He hit his head over there on the sidelines.”