Tennessee making strides in becoming a ‘very dangerous defense’

Tennessee making strides in becoming a ‘very dangerous defense’

Football

Tennessee making strides in becoming a ‘very dangerous defense’

ATHENS – Applying pressure on the quarterback is the key to success for Jeremy Pruitt’s defensive scheme.

For the first time this season, Pruitt’s players took steps in understanding their assignments and produced the needed pressure in the backfield.

Outside backer Darrell Taylor was one that showed signs of improvement and an understanding of Pruitt’s scheme in Week 5.

“When we don’t make mistakes and we put pressure on the quarterback, we are a very dangerous defense,” Taylor said following the Georgia game.

The redshirt junior outside backer recorded a career-high three sacks, forced two fumbles and had one pass deflection against Georgia after entering the game with zero sacks and five total tackles on the season.

Taylor’s play, among others, against Georgia is what caused Pruitt to become emotional after the game while expressing his gratitude towards his player’s progressions.

“I thought we covered a little better on the back end,” Pruitt said of his defense. “We made the quarterback hold the ball some. Most of the time, we didn’t get him from protection breakdowns. We got some coverage sacks. I think our guys in the secondary played better from a coverage standpoint.”

Pruitt’s defensive philosophies of applying pressure in the backfield causes less time for quarterbacks to look downfield and having to throw into tighter secondary coverage.

The elimination of big plays was apparent against the Bulldogs.

Georgia’s longest offensive play, outside of Isaac Nauta’s fumble recovery touchdown, was a 23-yard pass completion from Jake Fromm to Jeremiah Holloman.

Tennessee will look to continue defensive progressions with an off week following the Georgia game.

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