The Tennessee Volunteers are 1-3 and just got their butts whipped by the Florida Gators for the second year in a row. Amazingly enough, that’s not even the worst defeat of the season. Before blowing a 99.6 percent chance to beat the BYU Cougars, the Vols experienced the worst loss in program history after the Georgia State Panthers ran them out of Neyland Stadium opening weekend.
Through four games, it appears as if the entire team has regressed. The offensive line is the only area that has seen any improvement and even that has been modest, at best.
But according to Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee is “100 times better than it was this time last year”.
He backed up his statement by referencing the fact that his team should’ve won the first two games, but turnovers played a large role in both losses. Additionally, he believes that a stronger, more physical team represents improvement and that his team just needs to learn how to win games.
“It’s not hard to figure out, he said during Wednesday’s media availability. “In the three games that we’ve lost, I mean, y’all watch the games. We had an opportunity to win two of them. The first game, we had five turnovers, whether it was three turnovers like we had or two turnovers on downs on fourth-and-1, right? And we only got one, so we’re minus-4 in the turnover margin there. It’s hard to win that way. Probably left some plays out there on both sides of the ball.
“Our football team is 100 times better than it was this time last year,” Pruitt continued, “and our guys are working hard. We’re stronger, we’re more physical, but when it comes to having success winning a football game, you can’t turn the ball over and you have to create turnovers, and that’s something that has hampered us in our three losses.”
I usually try to avoid the low-hanging fruit when it comes to opinions concerning the Vols, but Pruitt’s statements simply aren’t true.
Record-wise, this team was 2-2 at this point last year. The Vols lost to West Virginia and Florida, but beat ETSU and UTEP.
In other words, they took care of business when it mattered. Unlike this year, where they’ve blown two games in which they were favored to win.
It’s obvious Pruitt wants to instill confidence in his team, and they need it now more than ever.
But you don’t want to grasp for straws. It’s just not a good look.
And at this point, I’m sure everyone wants them to be 100 times better at the end of the year, anyway.