Pruitt: Team is 100 times better than last year

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Practice continues for the football Vols as they work to put the past behind them and the mistakes of the Florida game as they prepare for one of the toughest match ups all season against the third ranked Georgia bulldogs.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt met with the media Wednesday, and the talk continues to surround the struggles that this Tennessee football team has had through four weeks of the season. The head coach, who's currently 6-10 as Top- Vol, was asked if his players are numb to the idea of losing.

Pruitt said it can be if it happens over and over again, but he also said it's not in the nature of this football team, "To me, when we lose a game, doesn't matter wherever I've coached, it hurts. There's lots of things where we need to coach them up better, we need to play a little better, we need to be a little more opportunistic on both sides of the ball. We don't need to shoot ourselves in the foot. But our guys are working hard, and they'll continue to do that. I don't see any quit in this group."

When asked if he felt confident that his talent could be competitive in the SEC this year, Pruitt said, "Our football team is 100 times better than it was this time last year. Our guys are working hard. We are stronger and more physical."

"But when it comes to success on winning the football game, you can't turn the ball over and you have to create turnovers, and that is something that has hampered us in our three losses. Our guys are working hard and we're getting better on the offensive front. Our tight ends are playing winning football. We have to get the ball to our skill players and be more consistent there."

Among those who'll be the first to admit this team needs to get on the same page and get a little tougher and nastier, including himself, is All American lineman Trey Smith, who was asked about moving from tackle to guard this season. He said, "It's a different brand of athlete you have to block. With a tackle you have a more wiggly guy. Going into guard it's a pretty big hubba bubba type of guy. They're not really moving. They might give you a nice burst off the line. After that they start chilling as the season progresses we'll get even better athletes on the interior so I expect a better challenge going forward."

Moving from tackle to guard is not the only transition Smith has made this season. His doctors have devised a new plan which allows him to battle his blood clots issue while still playing football. Trey says all is going well on that front and that the plan will carry him where he needs to go.

The Vols are slotted to face off against Georgia on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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