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What Jeremy Pruitt said after the loss to Florida

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

Tennessee shot themselves in the foot time and time again against the Florida Gators on Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. It was a disappointing night from a Tennessee perspective and head coach Jeremy Pruitt had plenty to say after the game.


On what Tennessee can build on...

“I saw guys that kind of had a look in their eye, competing. So that’s something we can build on. Am I happy with how the game turned out? No. Okay, we’re trying to build a program here. It takes guys doing it the right way and doing it the right way all the time. I saw guys, I saw young guys who made mistakes early in the game, that I felt like have a little better look in their eye. Trying to compete, trying to finish.

It’s interesting that, how many times we talk about the details of finishing — and guys being a little bit short. Lots of lessons, again not taking anything away from Florida because they had an excellent game plan and executed better than we did, and that’s on me. We’ve all got to do a better job.”

On Austin Pope’s fumble...

“We got an explosive play. Austin, I felt like he had the ball high and tight. He’s trying to compete. He’s got to squeeze the ball and finish down there on the goal line.

On turnovers...

“We got a bad snap down in the red area, so two of our turnovers came in the red area. It’s something we focus on every day. Trying to get them, trying not to give them up. For us to have success, we need to be on the other side. That’s what we have to do to give ourselves a chance to win.”

On Jarrett Guarantano’s injury...

“I think Jarrett’s going to be fine. Jarrett’s tough. I knew that when I came here. He’s learning on the go and he’s maturing. He’s a guy that’s going to be a really good quarterback one day. I like the way he’s growing into it, but we’ve got to give the guy a chance a little bit. He can’t take as many hits when he’s not looking. I thought tonight he got rid of the ball, you know, on time. There’s been a few times this year that maybe he might have held the ball too long.”

On the onside kick...

“It’s something we’ve been looking at for a couple of weeks — creating an edge in the kicking game. We felt like their guys left early. They got three guys over there, we got four. We felt like we could block them. We kicked the ball, the guy that we have that’s supposed to block their guy that got the ball, we didn’t block him.”

On the slow start...

“It was the best warmup we’ve had all year. This wasn’t the same team that went out in Charlotte. This was the best look we’ve had from our players. I don’t know what happened in the first drive, or some point in there, but we get hit in the back of the head by one of their players. Right? We fumble the ball, they score. Then we get a delay of game. Now it’s 3rd and 20 and we throw a screen pass and we throw it to them. So it’s 14-0.

I think our guys — they’re learning lessons. I can tell you that. We’ll continue to coach them and do the best that we can and I think the players will do the same.”

On goals moving forward...

“I want to fix the team in that locker room. I want us to play the right way. I want us to learn how to execute. I want us to do it all the time. Fundamental details.”