Category Archives: Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Denial is a river in Knoxville.

Shot.

Chaser ($$).

If Pruitt is right about the gap closing between Tennessee and the teams it envies the most, he’s yet to prove it. He’s coached eight games at Tennessee against its three biggest rivals: Georgia, Florida and Alabama. He’s never come within 22 points of any of them, and three times, his teams have lost by more than 30. His average margin of defeat in those eight games is more than 28 points.

Leave the damned bottle on the bar and go away.

He’s now lost 12 games by at least 21 points, the same number as Butch Jones and Derek Dooley combined.

You know, maybe Fulmer is trying to engineer a return to being UT’s head coach.

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TFW you’re PO’d your QB threw another pick six

Yeah, that’s not a good look, Jeremy.

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Money well spent.

You know, there’s some perfect karma working here:

Throwing around money is what Power 5 athletic programs do, though, and Tennessee is among the industry leaders in that area. Less than a month ago, athletic director and former coach Phillip Fulmer (13) announced a contract extension for Pruitt through 2025 that will increase his salary to $4.2 million next year. Per the release announcing the extension, Pruitt was credited with “establishing a culture of toughness, a bowl appearance following a six-game winning streak and a top-10 recruiting class.”

… At the time of the extension, Pruitt’s record was 13–12. There is no reason to believe anyone was preparing to poach him. Today his record is 15–14, with a 2–0 start followed by humbling losses to Georgia and the Wildcats. Butch Jones, Pruitt’s much-pilloried predecessor, was 17–12 in his final 29 games at Tennessee.

Shades of Mike Hamilton giving Fulmer a raise and a contract extension a year before canning his ass.  It’s a Tennessee tradition.

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“Honey, Tennessee football’s done that, I didn’t do it.”

I do believe a Vol fan has written the perfect country and western lyric.

A post-game caller to the Knoxville-based Tony Basilio Show reported that he was so frustrated by the Vols that he snapped.

“I did something today that I’ve never done,” he said on the radio. “I messed up, threw a beer bottle through my window and my wife left me.”

(h/t)

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Desperate times call for desperate measures.

This is what happens when you can’t fire your starting quarterback:

Tennessee is making a change to its coaching staff just four games into the 2020 season. Jimmy Brumbaugh, who was hired in February, is out as the Vols’ defensive line coach, sources told GoVols247 on Sunday night. The former assistant coach at Colorado, Maryland, Kentucky and Syracuse replaced Tracy Rocker, whose contract was not renewed after it expired and is now at South Carolina following two seasons at Tennessee, and also held a co-defensive coordinator for the Vols.

The Vols have lost their past two games to Georgia and Kentucky after starting the season with wins against South Carolina and Missouri.

Brumbaugh previously worked with Tennessee defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley for three seasons (2013-15) at Kentucky and played in the SEC at Auburn. In February he signed a two-year deal at Tennessee with a base salary of $650,000.

That should make all the difference in Tennessee’s game this week against **checks notes** Alabama.

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How you like that winning streak now, Vol fans?

Wowser.

Don’t forget that Fulmer gave Pruitt a raise and a contract extension before the start of this season.

“I’m excited that this extension gives Jeremy the runway to continue to build on the momentum and energy we have around our football program coming out of last season,” said Tennessee athletics director Phillip Fulmer in an official statement.

When it comes to poorly timed rewards for coaching mediocrity, Auburn and Tennessee are the SEC’s gold standard.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Stats Geek!

Moar and moar gappin’

Hey, remember just a few months ago, when Florida and Tennessee fans were chirping about how their programs were flat-out dominating 2021 recruiting?

Good times.

Screenshot_2020-10-15 2021 SEC Football Team Rankings(1)

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

Alternative reality blues

Boy, here’s a Vol fan jonesing for moral victory praise:

Matt: How about that for a statement game from the Vols, pal? You’ve been doubting us for months. We were beating top 3 Georgia on the road for 2 quarters, and we just couldn’t close it out. Respect us!

Tory Stephens
Nashville

Tory: The Vols still haven’t won a game of significance under Jeremy Pruitt. I don’t know any other way to look at it.

If losing by 23 qualifies as a statement game, I have to wonder what Tennessee’s message was.

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Ballistic

Yeah, the unsportsmanlike penalty Pickens got was world-class stupid, but he caught a break when he was not called for holding/blocking in the back on Bennett’s touchdown run.  Watch Pruitt’s reaction:

George is a little lucky he didn’t get flagged for chirping afterwards.

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Key to the UGA-UT game?

Bud Elliott thinks he’s found it.

The line gives them a shot in this game. I want to see how much of it can translate. So far Tennessee is No. 3 in the country at avoiding third-and-long. To what extent Tennessee can continue that will be crucial in this game. And they’ve played two SEC defenses, though not good ones, but it’s not like they’ve played a soft schedule. Seven out of ten third downs faced by Tennessee are not long downs. That’s awesome.

And as a result, QB Jarret Guarantano has not been asked to face many passing downs. They have run the ball, thrown the short pass, and stayed ahead of the chains.

I have questions about Guarantano and the Tennessee receivers. I don’t know if Tennessee has difference makers outside.

So can Tennessee continue its avoidance of long down and distance? And how well will Guarantano and the receivers play in those situations? That will be a major key in this game because I suspect Georgia’s awesome defense will force a lot of leverage situations.

So far, the Tennessee passing game has been bad on third and five plus. Guarantano has dropped back 11 times in that situation. Twice they converted for a first down, three times he was sacked, and four times the ball fell incomplete.

Or, to put it another way…

So, is Guarantano a case of a quarterback who’s grown and figured out how to play the position, or has Jim Chaney done a good job of leveraging his solid offensive line play and running game to protect Guarantano from his inconsistencies?  Either way, what can Georgia’s defense do about it?

Well, for one thing, there’s this:

And this…

And, finally, this.

Job One looks like what it always is for Smart and Lanning — stop the other guy’s running attack.  Not an easy thing to do this week.  As this tweet shows, it’s strength against strength.

Essentially, Jim Chaney is doing at UT what he did at UGA, albeit with less talent at the skill positions.  Can Georgia’s defense take him out of his comfort zone?  Or — and I know this is a somewhat weird thought — can Georgia’s offense be productive enough to accomplish the same ends?

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