Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt on his team having a bad week at practice

"We've got to improve practicing, we've got to understand our expectations at practice and I think that will help us grow as football players, a football team, and we better because now the real season starts."

Pruitt on running back Ty Chandler's return to the field after being injured

"Well you know, Ty is a guy, he's (a) pretty instinctive runner, he's got good vision, he's got good speed so he got out there, done a good job finishing that run."

Pruitt on the performance of the running backs

"I saw the ball on the ground three times, so that's not very good, we've got to take care of the ball. The first thing the running back is, taking care of the football, the second thing, you've got to be able to protect the quarterback. So, I think we've got guys that are plenty capable, these guys, I like the way they work at practice, I like the way they compete, I think it's a good room okay? But on Wednesday, there was two balls on the ground. How many balls were on the ground today? Two more, right? So, it's a good lesson for everybody involved."

Is Tennessee ready to play in the SEC?

"Well I don't know that you have a choice in that, right? So I would hope we're ready. If you come to Tennessee, you came to play in the SEC, so I would hope they're ready to play in the SEC. Are we ready as a football team? You know, when you turn the ball over three times, don't get any turnovers, make eight penalties, probably ten, you don't count the ones they declined, it'd be hard to beat anybody playing in the SEC playing like that."

Players Post-UTEP

Ty Chandler (12 carries 158 yards 1 TD)

On returning from injury

"Well it was tough, but it was just fighting through adversity. I've got great teammates encouraging me to get back out there, ready for me to get back out there so I was just able to fight through it man, keep pushing, keep moving forward and I'm glad it paid off."

Baylen Buchanan (2 tackles, 1 TFL)

On practicing to Jeremy Pruitt's standard

"I think we just need to do a better job at effort, um, everyday that we go out there we can't take it for granted because we're not going to get that day back so effort just has to improve."

Kyle Phillips (3 tackles)

On pitching a shutout as a defense

"It doesn't matter what offense does, it just matters what we do as a defense so we just got to make to control what we can control, so that's why I think it's pivotal for us to keep on with the zero on the scoreboard cause I think as a defense you love that, coaches, they love that cause if they don't score, they don't win."

Darrin Kirkland Jr (3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL)

On Jauan Jennings scoring his first touchdown since 2016

"I was ecstatic... I saw he got the touchdown and I got kind of emotional for him. We battled a lot you know this offseason being together. He's a fighter everyday you know and I'm just happy for my man."

Brandon Johnson (4 catches 51 yards)

"It's always frustrating, you know especially when we put together good drives you know, really trying to get down the field, we put together a great drive and shoot ourselves in the foot. It's frustrating."