Pruitt: “Our best practices all year”

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt said on Wednesday night that the Vols are coming off two of their best practices of the season following the latest session at Haslam Field.

“The last two days have been our best practices all year here in the season and I like the way we practice,” Pruitt said. “Our guys seem to be gaining some confidence, and I’m talking about confidence in what they’re doing. That comes with age and experience. We’ve got to take it from the practice field and take it to a Saturday.”

Pruitt said he has liked the team’s attitude, effort, execution and finish following the bye week. “We’ve had two good days and we need to have another one tomorrow and Friday,” Pruitt said. “And hopefully it’ll show up tomorrow.”

After taking last weekend off Tennessee is healthy as it is has been all season heading into the 11th game of the season on Saturday at Missouri.
“We got guys that our banged up from the last game, but having a week off we tried to get them ready to play, but at the same time use common sense. There might be a couple of guys that might be a little bit limited, but we should have everybody ready to play.”

The Tigers have a 5-5 record like the Vols, but have lost four straight games. Still, Missouri has the SEC’s No. 1-ranked pass defense and the nation’s 10th-ranked total defense.

Missouri is led by graduate transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant, who is coming back from injury. He led Clemson to the College Football Playoff in 2017 and faced Alabama, whose defense was coordinated by Pruitt, in the Championship Game. “They’ve done a nice job of adapting to his ability to run with the football,” Pruitt said. “Obviously, it is two years later so he’s more mature, probably has more confidence and can make all the throws. He’s a guy that stretches you all over the field with his arm talent and his leg talent. It will be a tremendous challenge for us.”

Tennessee will look to win its fourth straight game while becoming bowl eligible with a victory at Missouri. WVLT Sports reporter Zack Rickens will have our coverage from Columbia. Kickoff Saturday night is 7:30pm. The SEC Network will have the broadcast.