Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt is in over his head.
The guy has no clue how to be a head coach. He has no plan.
And it was evident before the Vols even kicked off on Saturday against Florida.
Word broke on Saturday morning that true freshman Harrison Bailey would start at quarterback for Tennessee against the Gators. It was a move that was immediately celebrated by fans on social media.
But it was also a perplexing move.
All year we’ve heard that Jarrett Guarantano gives Tennessee the best chance to win.
But suddenly Pruitt thinks Bailey is the guy? Against Florida, the best team in the SEC East? He wasn’t good enough to start against Arkansas but he is against the Gators?
This is a coach who clearly is just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks (there’s no clear depth chart at quarterback).
On Saturday, Bailey played well. He’s still a true freshman, so he had his moments. But he arguably looked more poised than Guarantano has at any point this year.
But for some inexplicable reason, Pruitt pulled Bailey in the fourth quarter (when the game was already out of hand) for redshirt sophomore JT Shrout (and this was after sophomore Brian Maurer came into the game for one play earlier in the game).
Bailey is the future of Tennessee. It’s not Shrout. And it’s now Maurer. Bailey needs as many reps as he can get.
One of the main reasons that Bailey hasn’t been playing much this season, according to Pruitt, is the lack of reps this fall.
How is he supposed to get those reps when he gets pulled in the fourth quarter of a blowout game?
I don’t see how anyone can defend Pruitt at this point. The defense looks terrible. The secondary is a mess and the offense has no idenity. The gap IS NOT closing. In fact, it’s just growing bigger.
Why would recruits want to come play for Pruitt and a program that is quite possibly in worse shape now than it was in 2017 (remember, Tennessee barely lost to Florida in 2017 because of a hail mary).
If Tennessee regressed this much in one year, what’s it going to look like next year?
Six straight losses are enough for me. I don’t need to see anything else to know Pruitt is done.
And if you’re on the keep Pruitt train, just remember this article in a few years when you’re talking about him the same way you talk about Butch Jones now.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA TODAY