As if the 2-3 start to the season wasn’t enough of a tough start to the season on paper, Tennessee’s 48-17 loss to Alabama last weekend only makes it worse. And experts around the country are calling out the Volunteers and head coach Jeremy Pruitt.
On Tuesday morning’s edition of Keyshawn, J-Will and Zubin, ESPN Radio host Paul Finebaum ripped Pruitt for some comments Pruitt made after the loss to the Crimson Tide. Finebaum doesn’t appear to be interested in any positive spin on the start to the Volunteers’ season.
“I don’t have great eyesight. Obviously, I wear glasses. But I would strongly recommend Coach Pruitt going to see an eye doctor this morning at his earliest convenience,” Finebaum said. “Because he clearly didn’t see the game the way I did. What he’s trying to say is, ‘I coached for Alabama three years ago. I’m now the head coach at Tennessee.’ But the results are the same.
“The scoreboard is the only thing that matters. I have yet to see a lot of closing. Tennessee led Georgia at halftime, got blown out in the second half. Kentucky beat them. Kentucky. A team that has already lost to Ole Miss and Missouri. You don’t see them in the College Football Playoff race. Kentucky beat this team 34-7 at (home). Now Jeremy is losing by 31 and he’s trying to convince people the gap is closing. The gap isn’t closing one bit.”
It only took until the 7:40 mark of the first quarter for the Crimson Tide to get things rolling. Alabama scored 14 points in each of the first three quarters of the victory and six more in the fourth quarter. Tennessee managed to score just three times, but didn’t score a touchdown since the 6:13 mark of the second quarter.
According to GoVols247, Tennessee hasn’t led in this series against Alabama since 2015 and have lost to the Crimson Tide by 38, 37, 22 and now 31 points since the five-point loss in Tuscaloosa that season. Alabama’s 14-game winning streak in the series is the longest in the history of this rivalry. Below are the comments that Pruitt made, which Finebaum was referring to.
“I was the other sideline three years ago. You think I didn’t see that (gap)?” Pruitt said. “I can assure you that the gap is closing. It might not show on the scoreboard today, but the gap is closing. I can assure you that. That’s one thing that’s frustrating to me, and it’s frustrating to our players, is there’s times that we’ve done some really good things, but as a team, whether it’s the offense playing really good and the defense playing really good and the special teams, we’ve not put any of that together, and that’s what the elite teams in our conference, that’s what they do.”
247Sports’ Brad Crawford contributed to this story