The Tennessee Vols’ three 26 point losses probably lead most folks to assume that UT hasn’t improved much during the first five games of the Jeremy Pruitt era.

But 26 point losses can apparently be misleading.

Tennessee’s run defense, an achilles heel for the Vols last season, has actually improved tremendously so far during the 2018 season.

The Volunteers are allowing nearly 100 less rushing yards per game this year than they did in 2017.

While that’s a significant improvement, it’s still nowhere close to where Pruitt wants his defense to be.

Here’s what Pruitt had to say on Wednesday during the weekly SEC coaches teleconference about his team’s improving run defense.

I think if you look at our games, there’s too many times that the pile moves the wrong way. There is a lot of hidden yardage out there. You know, we’ve given up a couple explosive runs. We’re improving. We’re nowhere near where we need to be. But I think we are headed in the right direction.

I think it’s abundantly clear that Tennessee is moving in the right direction under Pruitt.

If the program is making this kind of improvement after just five games, imagine where Tennessee will be in a few years when Pruitt has completely changed the culture and has his handpicked players in place.

It’s an exciting time for Tennessee football. While there was optimism that things would turn around under previous head coaches Derek Dooley and Butch Jones, it feels different under Pruitt.

With Dooley and Jones, it seemed like fans were constantly having to convince themselves that Tennessee had hired the right guy.

In Pruitt’s case, fans are constantly receiving small signs that the Volunteers finally hired the right man for the job.

Featured image via 247Sports

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