The Tennessee Vols are playing some good football right now.
But they’re not playing great.
And that’s something that hasn’t been lost on head coach Jeremy Pruitt during the Vols’ current four game winning streak.
While a lot of folks see Tennessee’s recent wins as a sign the program is moving forward in the right direction, Pruitt sees all the things that aren’t being done correctly.
It was evident in Pruitt’s postgame remarks on Saturday night after the Vols beat Missouri to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2016.
Pruitt was proud of his team, but he also quick to point out the areas where they needed to improve.
Jeremy Pruitt was pretty mild postgame & @colecubelic jacked him up a bit.
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) November 24, 2019
Pruitt carried that same attitude into his weekly press conference on Monday, telling reporters that Tennessee needs to be better in special teams. He also mentioned that his team needs to create more turnovers (the Vols didn’t create any turnovers in the win against Missouri).
Pruitt: Didn’t create any turnovers and was disappointed in the kicking game. Also didn’t punt the ball well. We’ve always been able to create an edge in the special teams and we weren’t able to do that.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) November 25, 2019
It would be easy for Pruitt to pat himself on the back for the job he’s done over the last two months. Everyone in the college football world seems to be praising Pruitt right now.
But the second year Vols head coach is staying focused. He isn’t listening to the outside noise (which happens to be positive, for the first time in a long time at UT).
That’s because Pruitt is a competitor. He wants his team to play perfect (even though that’s not attainable). Pruitt is never going to be satisfied. His hungry attitude is a reflection of what kind of head coach he is — determined, driven, and focused.
Pruitt knows the Vols are nowhere near where they can be as a program. That’s why he’s not doing any victory laps simply because Tennessee reached a bowl game.
I have a feeling Pruitt didn’t come to Knoxville to reach bowl games. He came to win championships. And there’s still a lot of work that has to be done before championships will be celebrated on Rocky Top.
Featured image via Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports