The Tennessee Vols’ matchup against the Florida Gators this past weekend at Neyland Stadium was a complete disaster.

Tennessee turned the ball over six times on their way to a 47-21 loss.

After watching how ticked off Pruitt was after the wins against ETSU and UTEP, I was expecting to see the UT head coach completely enraged over the loss.

But surprisingly, Pruitt actually seems encouraged.

Pruitt told reporters on Monday that his players kept competing on Saturday night in the face of adversity. He said he liked the look in their eye.

Pruitt also mentioned that quite a few players were in the complex on Sunday watching film.

I think we’re starting to see a small culture shift on Rocky Top, which is why Pruitt is encouraged despite the horrible loss.

What Tennessee is going through right now isn’t unusual for a program with a first time head coach at the helm.

We saw similar things happen in Athens when Kirby Smart took over the Georgia Bulldogs in 2016.

Georgia won eight games in Smart’s first season, but they also barely beat a Nicholls State team (UGA won 26-24) who was later blown out by McNeese State.

The Bulldogs were also embarrassed by Ole Miss in 2016, losing 45-14.

And Smart took over a team that won 10 games the year before.

I think that’s proof that it takes time to build a program. Pruitt has to completely eradicate every trace of Butch Jones from the UT football program.

That’s not an easy task, considering Jones handpicked the majority of the players on the team. And we all know the recruiting preferences of Pruitt and Jones are vastly different.

Pruitt’s comments on Monday also show that he’s in this for the long haul. He’s not looking for a magical overnight cure. Instead, he’s looking for a long-term solution that will turn Tennessee into a force again.

I don’t know when it will happen, but I’m still confident Pruitt is the man to get the job done in Knoxville.

Featured image via Knox News
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