Sitting in 2nd or 3rd place and about to end the week, Jeremy Pruitt and the Tennessee staff needed to show us something. Show us some improvements – show us a few different ideas. There are probably a number of different personnel.
Raising the score to 13-0 after the break, the Tennessee fans feel pretty good. But boy, will things ever change.
Arkansas made a big comeback in the third quarter, almost immediately removing that lead. Razorbacks took a 14-13 lead, then quickly sent a deep dive to get to 21-13.
Going through the half-time break, it was clear which coaching staff had the upper hand. That was the theme of the year for the second half, going back to week one. South Carolina has recovered to lead the opening year, and we all know what happened in Athens before Georgia.
It was a familiar feeling ̵1; a feeling of powerlessness. The feeling is overwhelmed, this time by an Arkansas team that won two games last season. Razorbacks is improved, but this is a game you cannot lose in your third year if you are Jeremy Pruitt.
Pruitt also didn’t just lose this match.
Sam Pittman and the Arkansas staff have been coaching the loops around him.
Kendal Briles, a guy Pruitt interviewed after the 2018 season for his own attack coordinator position, found a lot of holes in his own scheme.
The Tennessee defense had no answer to a simple ramp in the second half, which happened after throwing the ball into the net in the first half. That tilt turned Razorbacks into a commanding lead, something crime just couldn’t overcome.
Speaking of offense, this could be Jim Chaney’s worst match in Tennessee. He pledged to play on the ground in the first half, but fell away from it as things hit fans in the third. When Brian Maurer stepped into the game, it was clear he had no confidence in his second year passer.
Things got worse when Harrison Bailey stepped in. The five-star freshman joined Maurer and did nothing but serve – until his fourth goal arrived. His first pass came 4th and 4th in a position of pressure, and was picked (after an unmarked pass clearance) in a position where Vols should have scored.
So, rather than opting to shorten the score for a one-scoreline match with an on-field goal in fourth place, Tennessee opted for it with their freshman toilet quartet, who didn’t throw a line. pass all night. That decision defies all logic.
It turns out, Tennessee got the ball back with a chance to score a goal at the end of the game. Here’s the basics too – take the point and cut it to a one-point lead and stay alive.
Pruitt’s explanation made things worse.
Jeremy Pruitt about not kicking in late: “We weren’t close enough.”
– David Ubben (@davidubben) November 8, 2020
It would be a 42-yard field goal for Brent Cimaglia, who scored between 50 and 48 earlier in the night.
That’s just the latest example of frustrating moments in 2020 for Pruitt, who now feels his seat is starting to warm. With Texas A&M, Florida and Auburn remaining on the schedule, there aren’t many chances of achieving this.
Tonight is the match of the two teams quite evenly. In the end, coaching won. In the third year, it is a huge problem that Phillip Fulmer may have to solve.