KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt reaffirmed his belief in Vols’ QB Jarrett Guarantano Monday after a double-overtime loss to BYU but stressed the need for the entire program to raise their level.
Coach Pruitt began his Monday press conference following a 29-26 double-overtime loss to the BYU Cougars by touting many positives from Saturday’s game, including a strong performance by the running backs as well as on special teams.
While there were positive takeaways, Pruitt bemoaned missed chances by the Vols offense and stressed the need for more turnovers by a defense that has forced just one thus far this season.
“In the last two weeks, we’ve forced one turnover,” Pruitt said. “I said early on this year that we really need to take care of the football offensively and we’ve got to be opportunistic on defense and we have not done that in either game.
When asked what was holding QB Jarrett Guarantano back on gameday, Pruitt took the opportunity to reaffirm his faith in the redshirt junior.
“I don’t think anything is holding Jarrett back,” Pruitt said.
“Jarrett Guarantano has practiced extremely well from spring to fall camp and has made some really nice plays in both games. Jarrett will tell you just like I’ll tell you we all, myself included, have to raise their standards and expectations in this program and be a little more consistent. That’s everybody and he’s no different from anybody else.”
Pruitt confirmed that Guarantano hit his hand on a helmet during Saturday’s game against BYU but said he is fine.
Looking forward to week 3, Pruitt said he’s very familiar with the coordinators at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“These guys are used to winning. I’ve seen them play. My son played at Jacksonville State and I saw it first hand they get after it pretty good.”
Tennessee looks to get their first win of the season Saturday, September 14 at noon vs Chattanooga. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network.