There weren’t a lot of positives for the Tennessee Vols in their 14-3 win against the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday.
On the surface, the only positive takeaway from the game was the fact that Tennessee added a W to the win/loss column.
But there was one positive I took away from the Vols’ ugly win, and it has to do with how Jeremy Pruitt coached his team.
In Tennessee’s loss to South Carolina, Pruitt went for it on fourth down on two occasions. Against Charlotte, Pruitt declined to go for it on fourth down on several occasions. Even when the situation (between the 40 yard lines) seemed to call for going for it.
After the game, Pruitt explained his decision to not go for it on fourth down against Charlotte.
I absolutely love his response. I also think it says a lot about Pruitt as a head coach.
I think when you look at it, you have to have a feel for the game. Our defense was doing a pretty good job of holding them, so we played field position. Last week we went for it and in the second half we couldn’t stop them. If you aren’t stopping them, you aren’t about to start. And if you are stopping them, then you probably will continue to stop them.
Tennessee’s previous head coach, Butch Jones, never had a good feel of the game. He simply wasn’t a good in-game coach.
While the results have been mixed on the field thus far in Pruitt’s first season at the helm, I think we’ve seen that the former Alabama defensive coordinator has a tremendous feel for the game.
Pruitt clearly made the right call to not go for it on Saturday against Charlotte. Tennessee only gave up three points to the 49ers (their lowest point total of the season). The defense did its job when it came to winning the field position battle.
Moving forward, I think we’ll continue to see Pruitt get more comfortable as an in-game head coach.
Mistakes are obviously going to happen. But so far, Pruitt’s been able to limit his mistakes as a new head coach.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports