Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was not pleased with his team’s effort on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The Orange team dominated the White team, winning 34-7 in what was billed to be a competitive game.
Pruitt let his feeling be known to the media after the game.
“You see some guys out there competing pretty hard. They may not being doing things perfect, but they’re headed in the right direction. And then I saw a couple of guys out there today just flat out quit. You call it what you want to, I’m gonna say they quit. That’s what I saw,” Pruitt said.
“Look at the stat sheet. One team rushed for 134 yards and one team rushes for 14 yards. Is one team that much better? Nope. Is one team that much worse? Nope.”
The White team didn’t do much right today on either side of the ball. Jarrett Guarantano led a handful of scoring drives and the first team offensive line was able to get a little push for much of the day.
“I was disappointed in (some players), but it probably tells you who you are,” Pruitt said. “Some guys did rise to the occasion, so that’s a good thing. The good thing is, in a couple of weeks we’ll have a bunch of guys that are no longer on the injury report. We’ll have 14 new guys here and maybe more. Some of these guys that don’t want to do it and do it right all the time.... they’ll just be watching.”
Pruitt said that it’s been about 20 years since he’s had to deal with players quitting on the football field.
“Peer pressure works. Eventually around here when we have things the way we want it, with guys invested I won’t have to police them,” Pruitt said.
That’s the second time that Pruitt has made that statement this spring. As he tries to change the culture in Knoxville, there are going to be some guys that don’t fit in with the new ideas. Unfortunately, that’s just a part of a coaching change.