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What Jeremy Pruitt said after Tennessee’s loss to Georgia State

The highlights.

NCAA Football: Georgia State at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee kicked off the 2019 season with a dud, falling to Georgia State at home 38-30. Here are the highlights of what Jeremy Pruitt had to say after the game.

Opening statement

“To me, the best team out there won the game today. Out-coached us, okay? Let’s start there. The Georgia State staff done a great job on both sides of the ball. Created different looks on defense, confused us a little bit. Turned the ball over, held the ball some. On the defensive side, they kept putting the tight end inside, basically creating an extra gap there. We’d see them do it in the past, we just didn’t execute.”

“Too many times we made unforced errors, especially defensively on third down. You know, just not lining up correctly. Again, that all goes back to me.”

On the poor start...

“We start the game — tipped ball, turnover. Immediately we have a couple of mental errors there on defense.”

On the defense...

“Defensively, it would be hard for me to point out anything we did well. There’s a couple of guys that I felt like played hard, but there’s more to being a good defensive player than just playing hard. We’ve got to teach the guys how to play the plays, how to get lined up and to be able to execute. We weren’t far away a lot of times, but we weren’t where we needed to be. That goes back to me.”

“Third down — getting off the field killed us today. We’ve got to be able to get off the field. We can’t give any team extra chances.”

On Tennessee’s youth...

“We got some young guys and they’ve got talent, but we’ve got to coach them up so they can play at a high level.”

On the line of scrimmage...

“Well you can look at the yards rushing. So Georgia State rushed for 213 and Tennessee rushed for 93. I think that tells the tale. I’m not sure with the way the defense played that we gave our offensive line a chance to dominate the game.”

On his team’s overall performance...

“I don’t think we played our best ball. Georgia State had a lot to do with that. If you’re playing really hard and you’re running in the wrong direction, that’s not good, right? I’m not blaming the kids. Everyone needs to look in the mirror, right — because it’s what I’m going to do. How can I do better? I’m going to start with me.”

“They done everything better than we did.”

On whether or not Tennessee was ready...

“I believe we were ready to play. But you’ve got to execute. You know, you throw the ball out there on the bubble and we juggle it, they get a short field. We have an opportunity to hold them to a field goal, we don’t, they punch it in. We get a 3rd and 1, we don’t get a first down. We end the half with the ball on the three yard line. There’s hidden points out there.”

On the offensive line...

“We played several guys today because we felt like they all kind of played about the same in camp. We’ll watch the tape and figure that out. We need competition on our team. It makes you better. There’s certain positions where we have none. We have zero. We’ve got to recruit and get some guys back.”

On his message after the game...

“Give Georgia State credit. They did some things on both sides of the ball that we weren’t prepared for, or maybe we though we were prepared for, but we didn’t execute like we needed to. The other thing is, go back and look in the mirror. What can I do better? That’s what you do. It’s easy — everybody wants to blame someone else. It’s like I told them. This time last year we lost to West Virginia. Did you get extra scholarship money because you lose to West Virginia over Georgia State? We’ve got to go back and go to work because next Saturday night there will be a team coming in that’s probably better than them.”