First-year Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt made an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show Monday to talk about the Vols’ fall camp and their preparations for the season opener against West Virginia in Charlotte on Sept. 1.
The Vols are nine practices into fall camp and had their first scrimmage on Sunday.
“We had the opportunity to put guys out there in a game-like situation and see how they performed,” Pruitt said. “So we have a baseline and we’ll go from there.”
During the interview, Pruitt addressed the team’s quarterback competition, saying the team will keep giving players equal reps until someone separates themselves from the group. Jarrett Guarantano, who started six games as redshirt freshman in 2017, is battling Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst for the starting job.
“I think all our quarterbacks have arm talent. Some are more mobile than others, but to me, all of them can make throws and do some really good things,” Pruitt said. “What I’m looking for are the critical areas… the plays you can’t have… throwing into coverage, taking a sack in the red area, not being aware of the play clock.”
Pruitt said players have started to step up and demand more from their teammates.
“Guys are bought in and want [teammates] to raise their level of play,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the team is looking to move forward from 2017’s disastrous 4-8 season.
“The past will have no effect on the future,” Pruitt said. “Everyone is starting over all over the country… we have to worry about the things we can control and that’s the present.”
Finebaum asked Pruitt to weigh in on West Virginia and the challenge the Mountaineers will pose in Week 1.
“They have playmakers on the outside, their quarterback can extend plays with his feet and has a really good arm,” Pruitt said. “It will be a tremendous challenge for us.”
Tennessee has a day off from fall camp on Monday, then will practice Tuesday through Saturday, before another rest day on Sunday.
Tennessee’s season opener is set for Saturday, Sept. 1 at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.