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After a player made an obvious mistake, Jeremy Pruitt had a profound answer

Snapping a football is a bit like defusing a bomb. Do it right and no one notices, get one thing wrong and everything goes to hell.

Tennessee had a bomb go off on its first punt of the season.

Freshman long snapper Will Albright's first snap was low, but punter Paxton Brooks scooped it up and managed to get off a rushed shank that proved meaningless, because Tennessee committed a procedure penalty that nullified the play.

Given another chance, Albright fired a straight up ground ball. Brooks recovered it, but full-on chaos had ensued by that point. Brooks danced in the backfield, eventually tossing an illegal forward pass to Albright

The story improves from there, thankfully. Tennessee's defense forced a punt on the ensuing South Carolina possession, and the Vols came back to win the game, 31-27.

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt could have unloaded on Albright. He had one job, and he didn't do it.

Instead, asked about the freshman's performance on Wednesday, Pruitt showed grace and humility.

Players know when they make mistakes of execution, especially those in "You had one job!" positions like long snapper. The last thing you want is a snapper who performs perfectly in practice, but then can't tell the green wire from red when the clock is ticking. At a position that is highly technical and more mental than physical, knowing his head coach believes in him is much more likely to inspire better performance than a rear-chewing would. Pruitt's players will appreciate such an approach. One player especially. And, by the way, Pruitt wasn't the first Vol to lift Albright up after the errant snap. Look at the talking-to that kicker Brent Cimaglia gave Albright on Saturday night.

Moments like that show how Tennessee, after starting 1-4 last season with losses to Georgia State and BYU, now owns the nation's third-longest winning streak.