Do you want to know how I know the Tennessee Vols are close to being back to where the program wants to be?
It’s because a 35-12 win against the Missouri Tigers isn’t a cause for celebration anymore.
That was just Tennessee taking care of business before the game on the calendar that really matters — the matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs.
According to VolQuest, after the win against Missouri, Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt immediately shifted the focus from the win against Missouri to the game against Georgia (which is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Athens).
VolQuest pointed out that unlike in previous weeks, there was no postgame locker room video from Tennessee’s win against the Tigers on Saturday. That’s reportedly because Pruitt closed the doors to cameras, which insinuates he had some things to say to his team that he didn’t necessarily want cameras seeing.
We already know that Pruitt gets fired up in the locker room, so I can’t imagine how fired up he was talking about playing Georgia.
The Vols obviously still aren’t where they need to be, which is something that Pruitt pointed out this week during a virtual media session with reporters.
“Our team has continued to improve over the last couple of years and we’ve got to continue to do that,” said Pruitt this week. “We’re nowhere (near) where we want to be.”
But while Tennessee still has a lot of room to grow, it should be encouraging for fans that the team’s primary focus has shifted from simply winning conference games to winning the games against the best teams in the SEC.
The Vols believe they can compete with Georgia for four quarters. They believe they can win the game in Athens.
On Saturday, they’ll have a chance to give the rest of the nation the same reason to believe.
Featured image via Tennessee Athletic Communications