Jeremy Pruitt sees Vols as 1-9 despite holding longest win-streak in SEC

Sports

Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt talks with Will Albright (46) before the team’s NCAA college football game against South Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After starting off the 2019 campaign a concerning 1-4, the Vols now boast the longest win-streak in the Southeastern Conference.

With a 31-27 season-opening win on Saturday night over South Carolina, Tennessee has now won seven-straight games dating back to last season.

When asked via Zoom on Monday what the win-streak says about his team, one might expect the typical coach-speak answer saying, “We’re just 1-0,” but Jeremy Pruitt took it a step further.

“The way I look at it, I count all the games that you play as losses in my book so I say right now we’re 1-9 until you go earn it and win it.”

In Pruitt’s eyes, the all-SEC gauntlet they’re set to face in a strange 2020 season is considered lost until it’s won. This is a season where wins are arguably harder to come by than any year considering the randomness of being without players due to COVID-19 implications and the lack of “cupcake” match-ups. Pruitt alluded to missing a handful of guys this past weekend due to COVID testing and contact tracing.

It is just one game, but considering where the Vols were in Week 1 last season — a 38-30 loss to Georgia State — this year is already off to a considerably better start.

“We’ve got a long ways to go, we got a lot of things to work on,” he said. “This team, they’re identity, how they’re going to be remembered, they’ve got 9 weeks to decide that and it’ll be up to them. We’ve got a lot of season left.”

The Vols look to move to 2-8 on the season when they host Missouri Saturday at 11 a.m. on the SEC Network.

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