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Paul Finebaum: Tennessee Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt Made A Mistake

ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum has weighed in on the comments made by Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt after his team's spring game. Finebaum thinks the first-year head coach made a mistake.

Pruitt called out part of his fan base after the spring exhibition. He thinks there could have been more people in the stands on Saturday.

“To me, it’s kind of like our football team for the fans,” Pruitt said. “The ones that were here, I’m proud they’re here. They’re fired up, ready to get going. And then there were some people that weren’t here, they had legitimate reasons they couldn’t be here. Then there were some people that weren’t here, why weren’t they here?

“It’s kind of like our football team. I think we all need to look in the mirror and see who we want to be.”

Finebaum said on the radio this morning that he needs to be careful with comments like this.

“I really liked what he did and I think everyone is starting to understand how he won Phillip Fulmer over and how he won Nick Saban and some of the other people over in the past,” Finebaum said during his weekly appearance on WJOX-FM’s The RoundTable, per 247Sports' Brad Crawford. “But what I am concerned about is when you criticize the people who actually showed up at the game. It’s not a good look. I think they tried too hard in Knoxville to hype this game as something more than it was.

"I was in Knoxville last year and I saw this football team. I’m not sure that I blame anyone for not wanting to go see them again. I mean, Jeremy Pruitt has to prove something on the field. And just trying to hype ‘let’s have 60 or 70 or 80 thousand at the game’ or whatever just wasn’t going to do it. I think it was a mistake. I don’t think it was a critical mistake because right now the fans are all-in, but it’s like you’re an entertainer. You’re the Eagles on a Friday night and you’re saying, ‘Man, where are the people?’ Well, you’re talking to the people who showed up and bought tickets. It’s never a good look when you do that.”

Tennessee had a decent crowd on Saturday. The Vols had more than 65,000 people in the stands.

The game itself wasn't close. The orange team, led by quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, knocked off the white team 34-7. Guarantano put up 226 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon.