Jeremy Pruitt ETSU postgame press conference

Jeremy Pruitt ETSU postgame press conference

Football

Jeremy Pruitt ETSU postgame press conference

Jeremy Pruitt met with media following Tennessee’s 59-3 victory over ETSU.

Opening Statement:
“Today I think we did a little bit better than we did last week. You look at our offense – when we made mental errors, it went to the right folks. You have to give East Tennessee State credit, they gave a bunch of different looks and stemmed around. They played hard, and at the end of the first quarter we had eight rush attempts for negative 1-yard. Those guys got after us really well. Defensively we got two turnovers and scored once and set the offense up at the two- or three-yard line. And Marquill Osbourne blocked a punt, so you’re talking about 21 points off non-offensive touchdowns. We need to be opportunistic and take care of the ball. That’s two weeks in a row (without a turnover), which is a streak we have to keep going. We got a chance to play a lot of people, which is always good. Our twos didn’t execute very well, and we need to create depth. Our guys need to play a lot of snaps. This spring we needed one of those old-fashioned spring deals, like when I played, when you just go out there and just snap the ball. But with the lack of depth on our offensive line, we couldn’t actually do that. The more chances we get this fall to get those guys in, the more it will give them a chance to have success. I think both quarterbacks played well and played within themselves. One time we took a sack on first down, which we shouldn’t have, and we have to improve there because the margin of error is not very large, and we don’t need to be getting in second-and-17 (situations). I saw a lot of positives in this game but (also) a lot of lessons that we can still learn. We have a very inexperienced group, and I hope we take our lessons from this game and improve on them.”

On which defensive play impressed him the most:
“We got two turnovers; one of them we scored a touchdown on and the other we turned down to the three-yard line. We blocked a punt and scooped-and-scored, so that’s good. I think when we execute we give ourselves a chance, but when we don’t we have no chance.”

On the team’s play following the rain delay:
“I think last week was a good lesson for the players, but I don’t think we did a whole lot different from a coaching standpoint. I think our strength staff and support staff created a little more juice when we came on the field. Last week when we got out there, for whatever reason, it was my fault, I didn’t see a lot of that. We have to improve on that. Everything is new for our guys. We get up 45 points, and it’s new for them. How do you act? The expectation shouldn’t change. To me, the scoreboard is still 0-0, and why should the scoreboard affect the way you play? So, there are a lot of lessons for us to learn and we’re new in this program. We’ll learn and keep chugging along.”

On the slow start in the first quarter:
“I think you’ve got to give East Tennessee State credit. I watched them this week; defensively they’re very multiple, they do a good job and they’re sound. They squeeze the ball and disguise very well, so I think it was more them than it was anything else.”

On how it feels to get his first win:
“To me, I don’t see this any different than any game I’ve ever coached in. I’m happy we won, and you’ll find out (about me) the more games we win, I’m a little more ticked. There’s a standard we want to play to. Everything wasn’t perfect this week. Everything wasn’t perfect in the last couple of days, and we were trying to get things right. We’re learning from it, and I think it’ll make us a better football team, and it’s going to make us a better football program.”

On How Bryce Thompson has earned more playing time:
“Well I think that Bryce (Thompson) would be the first to tell you that he didn’t play very well last week. Some of their players had something to do with it, some of his lack of experience had to do with it, and he also made some errors that had a lot to do with it. But the one thing he did, he came back on Monday and he competed, and he played with an edge and he practiced with an edge. If he continues to do that, he’s going to get better every week. He was drastically different than some of the other guys.”

On the players opinion of lineup changes and the performance of Jeremy Banks:
“To me the guys that practice are the guys that are going to play – the guys that practice the right way. Today, Ty Chandler could have played. Ty can’t help it that he had an injury last week, but he really didn’t get a chance to truly participate until about Wednesday or Thursday, and those other guys have had good weeks, and just to be fair to those guys, we should give them opportunities. We were going to play Ty today, but because of the way the score got we held him out. Jeremy Banks is another guy that likes to practice. He practices the right way; he competes hard, but he’s still got a lot to learn when it comes to his judgement of staying on his feet (verses) when to try to run over people.”

On Emmit Gooden’s performance:
“Well, Emmitt played last week. I don’t know how much he shined today, maybe you guys saw something I didn’t. But he’s been playing, and I think the guy has ability. He’s still learning how to work; he’s still learning the defense, and when he wants to, he’ll be a pretty good football player. But he has to do it all the time, and that’s not just him, that’s a lot of guys in our program, and when they do it right, they have a chance to have success.”

On the quarterback play:
“I think it’s important that we’re efficient, and I thought we were (today). We didn’t give up one sack; we took care of the ball. For the most part we stayed in the right plays offensively, so those guys are learning. They’re developing and gaining confidence in the system that they’re running, so I think it was another solid performance by both guys.”

On what Coach Pruitt’s message to the team was:
“It’s an opportunity to learn. We’re still making a ton of mistakes. Whether it’s how we act at the hotel, how we go through walkthroughs, how we do drills – it’s all a learning experience. We have a lot of guys that are young and inexperienced, and they’re learning exactly the standard that we want – how to warm up, how to dress at the game. Things that have nothing to do with the game but that have to do with doing it the right way and the way we want it done, which is being a good, disciplined football team. I had two great parents at home, and I didn’t always do what they told me to do, so that’s why I’m disciplined, and they helped me out a lot along the way. So that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to coach. If they don’t do it right, we have a good staff, and I think our staff will continue to help develop these guys to be able to think the same way that we do.”

On limiting ETSU’s third down conversions:
“We got some batted balls, I think that helped. There was a lot of third-and-seven plus, so it’s much easier to get off of the field on third-and-seven plus then it is third-and-one to three, so I think that helped. I think our guys probably played with a little bit of technique. We still don’t get much pressure, and we have to continue to develop that. We have some guys that have some ability to do it, but they have to understand about how to get off, about what kind of pass move they’re going to do. We have a long ways to go in that regard; we have to be able to generate some pass rush.”

On Theo Jackson and his development:
“For the most part, Theo knows what to do. That’s a start. He’s learning to communicate and tries to play with toughness. He practiced better than the other guys (this week). If the other guys practice better than him next week, they’ll play and he’ll watch.”

On Josh Palmer’s continued contributions:
“For one, there for a while with Josh (Palmer) and Brandon (Johnson), we didn’t have a whole lot of receivers that were healthy. So he got a lot of opportunities, a lot of turns; he got into some rhythm with the quarterbacks. The one deep ball down the field, I thought he should have went back and high pointed the football. He caught the ball low, didn’t use his body and his frame. Again, he’s a guy that has size and speed, has pretty good hands, and tries to play the way we want him to play. He hasn’t played a ton of football, so he’s still learning, but I think he’ll continue to develop and improve.”

On simplifying the defensive schemes due to youth in the secondary:
“We’ve had a philosophy that we only do what the players can do. It doesn’t make sense to make calls if you don’t know if they can execute them or not. So we’ve tried to do that. One thing that’ll happen is they can do things on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then maybe Thursday, Friday, Saturday they get amnesia, which is not a good thing. We try to make sure that we call calls to give them a chance to have success. It’s about making the other team beat you. If you beat yourself, you have no shot.”

Latest

More VolsWire
Home