Tennessee’s schedule is set to lighten up over the next two weeks. After an eye-opening opener against West Virginia, the Vols will have a chance to get things right with a couple of tune-up games before Florida comes to town.
First up — ETSU.
“We’ve got East Tennessee State this week,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt began. “Coach (Randy) Sanders will do an excellent job. Offensively, they’re very balanced — running and passing the football. Defensively they created a lot of negative plays last week and they’re very sound in the kicking game.”
Sanders spent 1989-2005 in Knoxville as an offensive assistant coach for the Vols. He moved on to Kentucky for a handful of years after that, before landing in Tallahassee with Florida State in 2013. That just happened to be the season that Pruitt coordinated the Seminoles’ defense, helping lead Florida State to a national title.
“Randy is a really good coach and a fantastic teacher,” Pruitt said. “He did a fantastic job the year I was there with the quarterbacks with Jameis. He was heavily involved in the game-planning. He gets it. He’s a good team player on the staff, and he’s an average golfer.”
ETSU beat Mars Hill 28-7 in their opener last weekend. Behind the arm of quarterback Logan Marchi, the Buccaneers were able to put up over 500 yards of total offense. They’ll have a slightly stiffer test this weekend in Knoxville, however.
“I’m sure (Sanders) is familiar with us and on the defensive side we’re probably a little familiar with him on the offensive side, so it’ll be fun to compete and play. We’re looking forward to it,” Pruitt said.
Tennessee and ETSU are slated for a 3:00 PM kickoff at Neyland Stadium on Saturday. The game will be carried live by the SEC Network.