Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt wants his squad to prove they’re the best team on the field on Saturday against South Carolina.

But he knows the first game of the year — after a strange offseason full of adversity — won’t necessarily be “smooth sailing”. And he’s not expecting it to be.

“l know that we are going to make some mistakes in the game, and we are going to play through them,” said Pruitt on Thursday during a virtual media session with reporters. “Hopefully, we’ll get better as the game goes.”

“We’ve got to continue to improve over the next two days, we have a lot of work to get in in all three phases and can’t wait to do it,” added Pruitt.

Tennessee Vols

Obviously, Pruitt wants his team to play a perfect game. He wants to limit mistakes, take care of the ball, and not give up big plays to South Carolina.

Pruitt, however, understands that asking a team that hasn’t been able to practice together as a complete team very much this fall to play at a perfect level isn’t realistic.

Going into the matchup against the Gamecocks with that kind of attitude should allow Pruitt to stick to his game plan when mistakes inevitably happen on Saturday.

Fortunately for the Vols, South Carolina will be facing the same challenge.

Mistakes will be made, but this game is going to come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes.

It’s coach speak, but it’s true.

“We got to play aggressive knowing that we’ll make mistakes in the game,” said Pruitt.

“We got to play with confidence…we’ve got 60 minutes to prove that we’re the best team on Saturday.”

Featured image via Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports/Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

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