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What Jeremy Pruitt said after Tennessee’s win over UTEP

Pruitt was far from pleased.

NCAA Football: Texas El Paso at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

A ticked off Jeremy Pruitt took to the podium today following Tennessee’s 24-0 win over UTEP. Pruitt wasn’t yelling or snippy, but you could tell he was a little annoyed with his team’s performance overall. Here are the highlights.

On swapping quarterbacks...

“We were going to play (Keller Chryst) regardless of the situation. We missed a turn because we missed fielding the ball there, but we wanted to give him an opportunity.”

On the running backs...

“Well I saw the ball on the ground three times, so that’s not very good. We’ve got to take care of the ball — first thing a running back is is taking care of the football. The second thing is you’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback. I think we’ve got guys that are plenty capable. I like the way they work in practice, I like the way they compete. On Wednesday we had two balls on the ground. Two more today. So that’s a lesson for all involved.”

On the defense’s progress...

“We’ll see as we go. I think our guys are working, but we’ve got to do a better job at creating some turnovers.”

Ready for SEC play?

“I don’t know that you have a choice in that, right? So I would hope we’re ready. If you come to Tennessee, you came to play in the SEC. So I hope they’re ready to play in the SEC. Is our football team ready? You know when you turn the ball over three times and don’t get any turnovers, get eight penalties, it’d be hard to beat anybody in the SEC playing like that.”

On Jeremy Banks’ fumble

“The only time to (stretch the ball out) is on fourth down. If he don’t fumble the football then the ball is gonna be on the one foot line. We’ve got two more downs that we could give it to him. So that’s a very poor decision by him. There’s no reason to do that.

On how they’ll respond after a lackluster performance

“I don’t know what they did that last time they won a football game around here. But I know what we’re gonna do. We’re not gonna change. Every week we’re gonna practice the same regardless of what happens on Saturday. We’ve got guys that are willing, we’ve just got to get them to go.