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Vols’ Passion Against Alabama Proves the Culture is Changing

by | Oct 22, 2019

As Jeremy Pruitt walked to mid-field in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday night, there was likely a mixture of anger and contentment when he shook hands with his former boss, Nick Saban following the controversial 35-13 loss. Make no mistake about it; Tennessee outplayed Alabama for most of the game, and while hapless mistakes and egregiously horrendous calls by the officiating crew ended up costing Tennessee a chance to win the game, the Volunteers should still hold their heads high going into a must-win match-up against South Carolina.

The effort and will to win the team possessed Saturday Night has been the key ingredient that the Volunteers have lacked since the resignation of Phillip Fulmer in 2008; if Jeremy Pruitt and his team continue to show that characteristic, it will translate to monumental victories in his tenure. From Greg Emerson to Tim Jordan, to Trey Smith; everyone on Tennessee’s squad truly gave their all for Tennessee and it was a sight that was as beautiful as anyone could have imagined. This characteristic is the reason the Vols went toe-to-toe with Alabama, it’s an instinct that can not be taught. Even though the Vols were not able to pull off the upset, this is a topic that deserves to be addressed.

Additionally, when recruits see the passion demonstrated by everyone associated with Tennessee, it will also largely affect the Volunteers’ efficiency on the recruiting trail. Recruits want to play for a coach with passion, and if there’s one thing Coach Pruitt proved he has last Saturday, it’s that he and his players possess the passion and determination that is apparent in elite programs across the nation, they’re all in on righting the course of this ship.

A perfect example of this good culture being built by the Volunteers was shown early in the match-up against the Crimson Tide when Jauan Jennings wasn’t able to haul in a ball which would result in an Alabama interception. Jennings almost immediately owned up to his error as he walked down the sidelines personally apologizing to each teammate who crossed his path. It’s players like this that are changing the culture at Tennessee and will help restore the Vols to a national brand.

In all, if the Volunteers continue to plant the traits they put on display last Saturday into the foundation they are attempting to lay down, it may just be enough to resurrect Tennessee to its past glory. Only time will tell if Jeremy Pruitt and his staff will be able to succeed at Tennessee, but right now they are putting their potential on full display.

Luke A. Thomas

Luke A. Thomas

Senior Writer

Luke was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and grew up with a passion for SEC Football.

His career in journalism started in 2016 when he covered his hometown MTSU Blue Raiders. He would later go on to cover the local Vanderbilt Commodores before he would begin covering the Volunteers. He wrote for SBNation, covering UT Athletics before joining Volunteer Roadshow in May of 2019. At Volunteer Roadshow he covers all things Tennessee, with a focus on UT Football and Basketball.

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