Vols' defensive backfield prepares for November stretch

Vols' defensive backfield prepares for November stretch

Football

Vols' defensive backfield prepares for November stretch

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KNOXVILLE — Tennessee enters the last stretch of the season Saturday with a Homecoming game against Charlotte.

The Vols (3-5, 1-4 SEC) need to win three of their final four games to become bowl eligible.

Offensive passing statistics for Tennessee’s remaining opponents

  • Charlotte 197.3 passing yards per game (99th nationally)
  • Kentucky 148.1 passing yards per game (119th nationally)
  • Missouri 284.0 passing yards per game (24th nationally)
  • Vanderbilt 230.6 passing yards per game (74th nationally)

Through eight games, Tennessee has given up 214.3 passing yards per contest (46th nationally).

Ahead of playing Charlotte, Jeremy Pruitt addressed the defensive back unit and that cross-training five-to-six top players in the defensive backfield is important.

“We try to teach all of our defensive backs two spots,” Pruitt said ahead of kicking off November games. “We teach everything conceptionally, so if you pay attention in the meetings and you jump in there when we’re doing walkthroughs and things like that, you should be able to play all spots the way we teach it, so it’s not uncommon for us.

“You look over the history of our coaching staff, we’ve always had players that have played multiple spots. I think you have to do that if you’re going to keep your best players on the field. If you’re going to play with five defensive backs, and maybe the backup left corner is your 10th best defensive back and the left corner gets hurt, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to put the 10th best player in the secondary. You want to put the sixth best guy in there, so to do that guys have to learn multiple spots.”

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