Jeremy Pruitt may not have head coaching experience at the collegiate level, but he has proven to be more than capable of putting together a strong team in his coaching spots. Let’s take a look at Pruitt’s history against teams in the SEC East he has faced and opponents that he and Tennessee have shared.
Florida: Pruitt got his first major coordinator position at Florida State in 2013, and in doing so got his first experience leading a defense against an SEC offense in Florida. Pruitt held the Gators to just seven points and only 193 total yards of offense during the Seminoles’ dream season, defeating Auburn to cap off an undefeated season with a national championship.
After making the move to Georgia in 2014, Pruitt’s Bulldogs were manhandled by the Gators in a 38-20 loss, giving up 418 rushing yards. In 2015, the Gators rolled again, winning 27-3 and racking up 258 yards on the ground.
At Alabama, Pruitt defeated the Gators in the SEC Championship by an overwhelming score of 54-16 in 2016. Alabama held Florida to no rushing yards (yes, really — none) in the win.
Tennessee: In Pruitt’s first game against the team in orange as a defensive coordinator, Georgia gave up squeaked out a close one, defeating the Vols 35-32 (Tennessee racked up 401 total yards, 284 through the air). The next year he came up short after the Bulldogs held a 24-3 halftime lead, losing 38-31 in Knoxville.
Pruitt then moved on to coach the Alabama Crimson Tide and defeated the Vols 49-10 in his first season, then 45-7 this season.
South Carolina: Pruitt has faced the Gamecocks twice in his short time as a defensive coordinator in Athens and was 1-1. In 2014, the Bulldogs were upset by the Gamecocks 38-35 and had their chances of a perfect season smushed early. But, Pruitt got his revenge in Athens when the ‘Dawgs pummeled South Carolina in Athens, 52-20.
Kentucky: All three meetings between Jeremy Pruitt’s teams and Kentucky haven’t ended well for the Wildcats.
At Georgia, the ‘Dawgs routed Kentucky 63-31 in Lexington in 2014 in a weird game that included the Wildcats scoring 24 second-quarter points and nearly being shut out in the other three quarters. Georgia smothered the Big Blue 27-3 between the hedges in 2015.
Alabama faced Kentucky in 2016 for homecoming, and the Tide rolled over Kentucky, 34-6. Aside from the first meeting, Pruitt’s platoon of defenders has fared well against the ‘Cats.
Vanderbilt: Pruitt has also faced the Commodores three times in his career, coming out victorious each time. His defenses never allowed more than 17 points: Georgia put a hurtin’ on Vandy in Athens in 2014 by a score of 44-17 and kept the streak alive in 2015 by winning 31-14.
The Commodores realized too late that they didn’t want ‘Bama in this year’s 59-0 rout at the hand of the Crimson Tide. This was Pruitt’s seventh shutout as a defensive coordinator and his third against an SEC team (2016 LSU, 2014 Missouri).
Missouri: Pruitt’s track record against the Tigers from Mizzou may be his most impressive record yet. In two wins against Missouri, his defenses didn’t allow a touchdown. He shut out a ranked Mizzou squad 34-0 in his first meeting with the Tigers, then survived a 9-6 win in 2015.
4-2 vs. SEC East
26 points per game allowed to division opponent
4-2 vs. SEC East
18 points per game allowed to division opponent
2-0 vs. SEC East
16 combined points allowed to Tennessee (10) and Kentucky (6)
2-0 vs. SEC East
7 combined points allowed to Tennessee (7) and Vandy (0), but no offensive points