Vols Hope to Maintain Momentum Going Into Home Finale

(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee football team returned to the practice at Haslam Field Monday, coming off of its second win over a ranked opponent this season.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt, who became the first Tennessee head coach to defeat two ranked teams in his first season since Phillip Fulmer in 1993, reflected on the win over Kentucky and looked ahead to Saturday’s home finale against Missouri (3:30 p.m., CBS).

“We are playing against a really good football team,” Pruitt said. “They are very well coached and balanced offensively. It starts with their quarterback and up front they have a lot of experience.

“Missouri has really good tight ends and playmakers on the outside. They also play multiple running backs, take care of the football and make explosive plays. Defensively, they have been good against the run. They have good pass rushers and they give you multiple looks defensively.”

Standing out in Tennessee’s 24-7 win over the Wildcats was redshirt junior linebacker Darrell Taylor, who recorded four sacks. Taylor’s four-sack game was just the third performance of that variety in Tennessee history, as the Waverly, Va. native joined Reggie White (1983 vs. The Citadel) and Corey Miller (2013 at Kentucky).

For his showing, Taylor was named Walter Camp National FBS Defensive Player of the Week and SEC Defensive Player of the Week.

“Darrell has ability,” Pruitt said. “We’ve been harping on him all year about consistency. He’s learning a new scheme and he’s got a lot thrown at him just like the other guys and he’s going to continue to improve in the duration of his career.”

Tennessee’s defense had a successful day as a whole, as well. The Vols held Kentucky to just seven points, the fewest points that a Tennessee team has allowed to an SEC opponent since 2008.

Senior Day
Tennessee will honor 13 seniors during its Senior Day festivities prior to Saturday’s game.

“If you look back there are some really good times for this group and some times they probably wish they had back,” Pruitt said. “In the last 11 months, these guys have really bought in and they have really tried to do what we’ve asked them to and we are thankful for that.

“Hopefully some of these guys behind them can follow their lead and the expectations and standards of how they went about their business.”

Injury Update
Pruitt said Monday that freshman defensive back Trevon Flowers should be back for the home matchup against Missouri. Flowers suffered a collarbone injury earlier this season.

Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols

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