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Grading the Vols’ Performance Through Five Weeks


Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Nathanael: B-

To me, none of Tennessee’s losses fall squarely on the coaches. And that’s a huge change from last season.

Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t gotten off to the start Vol fans would’ve liked, but it’s not been because he’s made poor decisions in-game or anything. Execution, or lack thereof, has been the Vols’ downfall this year. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Pruitt in his decisions to go for it on fourth down, his handling of adversity, and his personnel calls. He’s had his fair share of questionable decisions, but every coach does. He’s done a decent job considering the hand he was dealt.

My biggest gripe with the coaching staff is with Tyson Helton so far. I’m not as down on him as a lot of people, but he hasn’t exactly impressed me yet. The Vols are far too predictable on offense, and that has to change. I know he’s a bit hamstrung because of the poor offensive line play, but there are things he can do to help the offense out that he’s just not doing.

Ben: C+

I don’t necessarily believe in grading a coach five games into a tenure, but if I had to give Jeremy Pruitt and his coaching staff a grade, it’s a C+. If this was year three, the 2-3 start with blowout losses to West Virginia, Florida and Georgia would result for an F. But in Pruitt’s first season in Knoxville with a tremendous lack of talent, he gets a pass for me. There haven’t been outrageous coaching blunders, and Pruitt is starting to get the players to not only trust one another, but play for one another. Considering the culture he inherited, that’s a huge step in the right direction.

What’s been most concerning is the offensive game plan. They’ve been weak, predictable, and a disservice to the play-makers on the team. I can understand Tyson Helton and Pruitt being cautious due to the poor play from the offensive line, but it’s become far too predictable. With nothing to lose this season, the game plan should reflect just that.

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One Response

  1. No way the QB gets a B-. UT has a QB that has no feel for the game, cannot read defenses, and has no running ability. JG is the worse QB in the conference behind the worse line in the conference.
    I grade him a D- at best, just due to the fact he has improved from last year in the “throw game” (but not by much) and is playing behind this horrible offensive line.

    With this team, we need a true mobile QB that can make plays with the legs. I would bring Jennings back to QB and let him run the team against Auburn, Miz, Kent, Charlotte, and Vandy. We have no chance with JT.


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