Game day guide: Tenn. vs. Auburn
On Saturday, no. 21 Auburn is set to host Tennessee on their home turf at the Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Last weekend, the Tigers lost to Mississippi State 23-9; while Tennessee recently lost to Georgia and Florida.
Pruitt faces an offense with quarterback Jarrett Stidham struggling and a running game that lacks the punch it had last season with versatile tailback Kerryon Johnson.
“I know they have not run the ball in the last couple of weeks like they traditionally have in the past,” Pruitt said. “But let me tell you, Gus Malzahn and (Auburn offensive coordinator) Chip Lindsey know how to run the football as good as anybody in the country and they’ve proved it over the years in the SEC against the best folks. We’ll definitely have to be at our best in this game.”
Here are some things to know about the Tennessee-Auburn game:
PRUITT VS AUBURN
Pruitt is 6-2 as an assistant against Auburn, having faced the Tigers every year since becoming a position coach in 2010.
Stidham has thrown only one touchdown pass in Auburn’s three SEC games and has misfired on deep balls that could have been scores. Tennessee’s pass defense has improved since allowing five Will Grier touchdown passes in a season-opening lost to West Virginia. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 50.5 percent of their passes for 484 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in Tennessee’s last four games.
VOLS SEEK TO END SLIDE
Tennessee will try to end an 11-game skid in SEC competition, a slide that began with a loss to Vanderbilt in its 2016 regular-season finale. The Vols also have lost 15 straight games to the SEC West and haven’t beaten a Western Division team since knocking off Mississippi in 2010.
Tennessee defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is a College Football Hall of Fame inductee who won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Trophy while playing for Auburn in 1988. He also was Auburn’s defensive line coach in 2009-10 and helped the Tigers win a national title in 2010.
Auburn is hoping right tackle Jack Driscoll is able to return after missing the Mississippi State game with a knee injury. Calvin Ashley took his place for an offensive line that has already had troubles. Tennessee is without freshman safety Trevon Flowers, who broke a collarbone during practice. Pruitt said starting safety Micah Abernathy has a “banged-up ankle” but will be ready to play Saturday.
To watch the game, tune in Saturday at noon on the SEC Network. You can live stream the game