Share this:

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt on UK: “They’re tough, they’re physical.”

Mark Stoops (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Since he followed Mark Stoops at Florida State when Stoops left to become head coach at Kentucky, first-year Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt knows what Stoops can do as a coach.

“They’re going to be very well coached and hard-nosed. He does a fantastic job evaluating talent,” Pruitt said. “They have a lot of experience. They start 15 seniors, you can see it on both sides of the ball.

“They’re tough, they’re physical, they can run the football offensively. They have a very athletic quarterback. It seems like some of these guys have been playing forever. They have playmakers on the outside.
 
“Defensively, they’re sound and they stop the run. They give you multiple looks and they’ve got good pass rushers. They have good guys out on the edges that can deny the ball. Special teams, they give you multiple looks and they have good returners. The punter does an outstanding job. We’ll have to be at our best and it will be a tremendous challenge for us.”

Kentucky plays at Tennessee Saturday at 3:30 p.m. when it will try to win in Knoxville for the first time since 1984. A win would also give UK a sixth Southeastern Conference win and raise UK’s record to 8-2.

Kentucky lost 34-17 to Georgia last week when a win would have put the Cats in the SEC Championship game. Georgia beat visiting Tennessee 38-12 in late September.

“Georgia has a really good football team. They won the East already and we’re in week eight or nine. They have a good football team and they made some plays and made a few more than Kentucky,” Pruitt said. “They played everybody on their schedule and they beat everybody. So, they’re the champions.”

However, Pruitt, the former defensive coordinator at Alabama before coming to Tennessee, says it’s obvious Kentucky’s program is getting better.

“”You see right now on their two-deep there’s probably over 30 guys, maybe 35 guys, that have been there for three or four years. They’ve been in the system and they understand it. It’s obvious they have a lot of experience and they found a way to win,” Pruitt said.

“They’ve won on the road and they’ve won at places that are tough to win at and you can see that. You can see it in how they play. There’s not a lot of mistakes that they make. They make you earn everything that you get. There’s not a lot of errors on the offensive side, so we need to play really well.”

5 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. Nice words, but don’t fall for all that “coach talk” Cats. UT will be a tough opponent for UK. They all ways are. Cats just have too forget the past struggles in Knoxville, and rise up and beat Tennessee like a ranked team should..

  2. OMG…..I wasn’t sure I could keep it all in my B bag. Stoops said yesterday that the streak in K-ville isn’t important, but it is to a lot of us. We will have to play one of our better games to get this W and hope the guys can keep the focus and the chip to get er done.

  3. Forgot to say this….IMO Pruitt is the real deal and let’s not forget that he currently has the #9 recruiting class for next year, and I believe we are still rated in the upper 30’s at this time. I also feel that the strongest part of Stoop’s game is evaluating talent, but I am still not sure of his coaching abilities but drinking a little more of his kool aid than used to.

    1. You said Butch Jones was the real deal as I recall Mike. What’s he doing now? I do think Pruitt will turn UT around in due time. Stoops has recruited better than any football coach UK has had. The problem with UK football recruiting is that Stoops is not signing enough 4 and 5 star players to compete against the top teams in the SEC. Say what you will, that matters. We sign the best basketball players in the nation, football must follow that model, if they can. Therein lies the problem. Georgia had more top talent on the field last Sat than UK did, It is that simple. Now, everyone uses Josh Allen as an example of very little star power as a UK recruit, but he has blossomed into a dominant football player. That does happen, but don’t tell me that star power don’t matter. Sign some 3 stars yes, but you better get your fair share of the 4 and 5 stars to win in this league.

  4. UK football is ranked 33rd last I saw, and 12th in the SEC, including Wandale Robinson. Just maybe they close with a bang come actual signing day. UK can’t continue to rank low in the SEC, 12th, and expect to close much ground on teams like Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, etc. who yearly sign top 10 classes. Stoops and staff need to pick it up with a lot more 4 and 5 star players, in order to compete in this league. They lose a ton of talent off this 2018 squad. Starting talent too.

Leave a Reply