KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt answered questions from superfans at the Knoxville Quarterback Club luncheon the Monday after the team lost its second game of the season.
The Volunteers haven’t lost both the first and second games of a season since 1988.
Pruitt told the group that the fastest way to fix their 0-2 losing streak was to own it and then figure out what happened.
Some longtime fans at the luncheon agreed the first game against Georgia State was rough and that the team didn’t show up to play like it was the first game of the season.
They also agreed that the second game looked promising from the start.
“The second game, they actually played really well. The offensive line approved 100 percent. The defensive line was better,” Jim Sternberg said.
Sternberg blamed the lack of experienced and scholarship players for a portion of the loss.
He believed the team was worn out from being overplayed during the second half against Brigham Young University.
Recruitment and player eligibility was another hot topic at the luncheon.
Some questioned Pruitt’s choice of going for it on 4th down.
Pruitt said he went into work on Saturday knowing he wanted to play aggressive, and told his team the same.
He said the only “bad 4th down” decision to go for it instead of kicking was the first 4th down when they scored a touchdown.
He said that technically it was 4th and 3rd.
Tim Patterson, another long-time Vol fan and member of the QB club, said the Vols are used to not being happy with a season unless the team goes undefeated.
The Volunteers haven’t been undefeated since 1998, when Phillip Fulmer was head coach.
While some head coaches were cut after a rough start or rough end, both Patterson and Sternberg believed Pruitt won’t be going anywhere just yet.
“He’s a good enough coach, he’ll ride this ship. He’ll get us headed in the right direction and get back on the winning ways,” Patterson said.
“I’m 100 percent behind him. He’s put together a great staff and we will get the program turned around,” Sternberg said.