Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt
First off I want to give credit to West Virginia. Those guys got better as the game went, which is what a good football team is supposed to do. We didn’t. I thought our guys fought hard in the first half. We had some costly penalty’s, some lack of execution…against a good team like that, a good quarterback you can’t give them a whole lot of time. I don’t know how much pressure we got on the quarterback and he got away from us…in the second half the guy made some throws. Made some throws, made some catches and we’ve got to find a way to get around.
What went from being a very close football game…basically with a little bit lack of execution, and execution on their part…gets out of hand just like that. That’s what happens when you have a team that’s very well coached, he’s got a good trigger man, knows how to protect, and knows what he’s doing with the football. He does a great job. You can try to disguise and muddy the looks all you want, the guy’s got a lot of experience and he’s got some really good receivers on the other side that made some plays.
Offensively for us in the first half we really shot ourselves in the foot. Those guys did a really good job mixing up the looks. Way too many negative plays…too many negative plays, we got behind the down and distance. We put a good drive together, 17 plays at one point, got us back in the football game and we did some good things as the game went. There’s a lot of positives, lot of positives, but the most important thing is who wins and loses the game. We didn’t win today and West Virginia did and they deserved to win.
I’m going to look at our football team and I’m going to take the things that we did well, and there’s lots of things that we did well. Probably one of the biggest problems that we had is that we were inconsistent and we’ve got to be able to do that. If you’re going to be a good football team you can’t make mental mistakes. You’ve got to play with good technique and you’ve got to do a good job communicating.
We’ve got some things that we can go back and build on. If we’d have won this game we’d been 1-0…What does that mean? It means we’re 1-0. We lost it, we’re 0-1. I’m not real happy about that but somebody’s going to lose and unfortunately today it was us. We can either wallow in it or we can sit here and figure out a way to make us better and I think that’s what our guys will try to do.
On impressions of Will Grier:
I’ll tell you something about him and it really impressed me. Our offense kept the ball in the first half, I think we had 20 minutes to their 8 minutes in the first half. I thought he did a really good job not being impatient, letting the game come to him which shows maturity, it shows that he is very well coached. And when he got the looks that he was looking for he took advantage of it. He executed and those guys did a nice job and made a couple of really nice catches. Great throws, nice catches into the right coverage. To answer your question, he’s really good.
Tennessee Running Back Tim Jordan
On the 100-yard day
I had a 100-yard day – I had an okay day but we lost. We couldn’t secure a couple plays and need to execute better.
On if you knew you were going to get a lot of carries today…
I knew I had to step up a little bit today and I tried to do that.
When did you find out you were the guy?
Right before the game.
Coach’s message after the game?
We’ve got to execute and do our jobs better.
Tennessee Defensive Lineman Shy Tuttle
Thoughts after the game…
WV executed and we didn’t. we made a lot of mistakes and they didn’t especially in the 2nd half
On Will Grier after halftime…
He was making the right throws and that was it.
On him getting out of the pocket…
That’s part of it. As the rush you have to contain the QB.
On difference between first half and second half…
We didn’t match their intensity in the second half.
What was the message from coach after the game…
That we made too many mistakes. They capitalized on our mistakes.
Coach has been talking about intensity – did you see that carry over to the game?
Yes. 100%. Our play was inconsistent. We have to pick it up from here on out. You can’t come into the game and do stuff you haven’t been doing all week.
How do you fix something like that?
It starts with practice. It starts with film study. We have to come out with a higher energy in practice and have that carry over into the game. It’s stuff that you haven’t been practicing that you have to prepare for.
Is it nice to have an easier 2 games next before Florida rolls into town?
I mean we go into every week expecting to win every game. It’s about ourselves and not the other team – that’s the way I try to look at it. No matter who we have next, we are preparing to win.
Do you think things snowballed? One mistake to another?
No. After one play, things clear. You have to go get it. We have to pick up our intensity.
Did you see Tim Jordan’s runs? What did you think of him?
Yes. Tim is our heart. He went out there and did what he was supposed to do.
What do you learn from a game like this?
We came out with high intensity in the first half. In the second half we let it get to us. We got lackadaisical and couldn’t keep up.
What’s the message to the younger guys?
It starts with practice. The intensity in practice.
You’re an older guy – do you relish the chance to get back out there Monday?
Yes. Senior year came fast. I’m ready to get back out there.
On the weather delay – did it affect you guys? What did you do?
We tried to stay focused and stretch. No I don’t think it affected us.
Tennessee Tight End Dominick Wood-Anderson
On coach’s decision to go for it on 4th down – what does that say?
That he has confidence in us.
What was coaches message after the game?
We’ve got to execute better. Shout out to West Virginia, they wanted it more.
What did you guys do at halftime with the rain delay?
Same thing as always- just breaking down the defense.
Did they do anything different on defense than what they showed on film?
No. they did everything the film showed us. It’s just us having the execute better.
The first play of the game was a fumble and you got hit pretty good
It’s football – those things happen.