The Tennessee Vols were expected to show some progress in 2019 after winning five games in Jeremy Pruitt’s first season.
Tennessee lost to BYU 29-26 in overtime on Saturday night after blowing a lead they held nearly the entire game late in the fourth quarter.
The reason they lost?
It wasn’t because of a lack of emotion — Jeremy Pruitt was fired up before the game. They lost because they couldn’t trust their quarterback to make plays.
Jarrett Guarantano is a tough kid who gives his all on the field.
But he’s not a SEC quarterback.
Guarantano frequently looked lost on Saturday evening. At one point he threw into triple coverage (resulting in an interception). He constantly threw short of the first down marker in third down situations. He locked in on receivers and didn’t give Tennessee’s playmakers a chance for big gains.
Jarrett Guarantano has not seen the field well at all tonight. The latest interception was a horrible misread. Had two guys wide open for first downs. One defender even fell, but he looked to a side w/ 5 covering 2 in routine cover 3. @withrowzone @JohnDBrice1 @DaveFoster17 pic.twitter.com/NdZuzc1wtS
— Alex Apple (@AlexApple_) September 8, 2019
Pruitt has to make a change next week against Chattanooga. If he doesn’t, then we might see the first three win team in Tennessee history (or worse).
I don’t know if JT Shrout or Brian Maurer will be any better than Guarantano. They might not be. But what the Vols are doing right now isn’t working.
Guarantano is 6-14 as a starter. He’s a redshirt junior. This is who he is as a quarterback. It’s not going to get any better.
Pruitt is doing a disservice to talented wide receivers like Jauan Jennings, Josh Palmer and Marquez Callaway by continuing to play Guarantano.
A quarterback can’t lack confidence and win in the SEC. And at this point, I think it’s clear to everyone that Guarantano has a serious confidence issue.
Pruitt’s at a crossroads. If he’s going to salvage the season, he has to make a quarterback change. And he has to make it soon.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today