Pruitt Responds to Georgia Fans’ Efforts to “Checker Neyland”

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    For the last week, Georgia football fans have been trying to make a push to embarrass Tennessee fans on national television this upcoming weekend. Bulldog fans are confident their football team can do just that to the UT football team, but they aren’t content with that; no, UGA fans want to add insult to injury to Tennessee.

    Bulldog fans have been pushing to “Red Out Neyland” with a hashtag on Twitter for weeks, but last week a new movement started to catch waves.

    Back in 2014, Tennessee began a tradition called “Checker Neyland” where fans would alternate orange and white apparel all throughout Neyland Stadium. In 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Tennessee checkered their stadium for one big home game every season. The Vols did so against Georgia in 2015 and 2017, and now UGA fans want to return the favor.

    Thanks to a post on Reddit, the “Checker Neyland” movement has taken hold again, except this time it’s Bulldog fans making the push.

    With Tennessee slogging through a brutal start to the 2019 season and Georgia ranked No. 3 in the country and looking like a real challenger to No. 1 Alabama this season, Bulldog fans are feeling confident they can flood Neyland Stadium with red and black on Saturday.

    Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has his doubts, though.

    During his Monday press conference, Pruitt was asked a two-part question at the end of his media appearance. The first part dealt with Tennessee’s wide receiver room, but the second was about the “Checker Neyland” movement by Bulldog fans. Pruitt believes Vol fans won’t allow that to happen.

    “I have a hard time believing that the other question you asked is gonna happen,” Pruitt said on Monday about Georgia fans’ efforts to checker Neyland Stadium.

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    Despite the abysmal start to Tennessee’s 2019 season, fan turnout hasn’t been nearly as big of a problem as most anticipated. The Vols had over 85,000 fans reportedly show up for the season-opening loss against Georgia State, and fans showed out the following week against BYU, topping the 92,000 mark despite the embarrassing loss the previous week. Against FCS foe UT-Chattanooga, Tennessee actually reported a higher attendance total than in the season opener, claiming over 86,000 fans showed up to Neyland Stadium that day to see the Vols’ lone win in 2019 so far.

    Georgia’s 41-0 shellacking of the Vols in 2017 was the last time Tennessee sold out a home game. Since then, UT has only topped the 100,000 attendance mark once (2018 Florida game). But aside from last year’s Alabama game, opposing fans haven’t really been able to take over Neyland Stadium to the extent Bulldog fans are trying to do so this year.

    Tennessee and Georgia will kick-off at 7:00 PM Eastern this Saturday, October 5th. The Bulldogs are 25-point favorites over the Vols according to Vegas Insider.