Quarterback Brian Maurer made his highly anticipated first career start for the Tennessee Vols this past weekend.
The true freshman played very well against a stout Georgia defense, throwing for over 250 yards and a pair of beautiful touchdown throws.
Maurer showed that no moment is too big for him. I believe that whatever quarterback competition was happening in Knoxville should be over now.
I don’t know what happened to Jarret Guarantano in the off season, but he is significantly worse this year. Maurer’s game on Saturday is what Vol fans expected Guarantano to be this season. I think he earned the right to be the starter for the rest of the season.
Maurer’s two touchdown passes showed me he is a better quarterback than Guarantano.
His first touchdown throw, a beautiful bomb to Marquez Callaway for a 73 yard score, was perfect.
Brian Maurer’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Callaway is @Vol_Football‘s longest touchdown pass since Oct. 31, 2015, when Josh Dobbs completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Josh Malone at Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/RvYtkw7JGb
— Tennessee Stats & Info (@Vol_Stats) October 5, 2019
It was a throw that Guarantano missed twice this season. He missed a wide open Dominick Wood-Anderson against Florida that would have gone for six. And nearly every fan remembers when he over threw Jauan Jennings against BYU, which is a play that would have likely won the game for the Vols.
Maurer’s second touchdown to Jennings reminded me of the touchdown that Jennings caught in overtime against BYU. I say “Jennings caught” opposed to “Guarantano threw” because Jennings took it away from the BYU defender.
The throw against BYU was into tight coverage and behind Jennings and could have just as easily been intercepted if he didn’t take it out of the defender’s hands.
Maurer’s touchdown to Jennings was also into tight coverage, but he threw it perfectly between two defenders for the score.
Maurer exceeded everyone’s expectations on Saturday and I believe he should be the starter going forward. Making him the starter will not fix all of Tennessee’s issues. However, I think the offense is far more prolific with number 18 under center.
PHOTO CREDIT: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports