Maybe Jeremy Pruitt didn’t mean to do it, but the second year Tennessee Vols head coach threw some ever-so-subtle shade at redshirt junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano on Monday.
Pruitt, who was meeting with the reporters for his regular Monday press conference, was asked why Kirby Smart has been able to turn Georgia into an elite program in such a short amount of time.
In the midst of Pruitt’s response, which contained references to the talent Smart inherited from former UGA coach Mark Richt, Pruitt hit Guarantano with a jab.
“In this day and time, you need to be good at the quarterback position and he has a really good player there.”
Pruitt is basically saying Georgia has been good at the quarterback position, while the Vols have not been good.
It’s no secret that the main reason for Tennessee’s three losses this season has been poor and inconsistent quarterback play from Guarantano.
Prior to the season, Pruitt praised Guarantano and referred to him as the only for sure starter on the team.
Obviously, Pruitt’s tone has changed in recent weeks.
Pruitt indicated after the Vols’ loss to Florida that the starting quarterback position is an open competition (along with every position).
When asked about who would start against Georgia, Pruitt wisely declined to answer the question, saying “we’re not going to give Georgia a scouting a report”.
Jeremy Pruitt on #Vols’ QB depth chart this week: I don’t want to give Georgia a scouting report.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) September 30, 2019
There’s no doubt that Pruitt desires more consistency from Guarantano. It’s clear he’s not pleased with how the fourth year quarterback has performed this season. I think it’s also clear — especially with the comments on Monday — that Pruitt knows the quarterback position is the crux of Tennessee’s woes.
It’s anyone’s guess as to who starts against Georgia on Saturday. For now, I’m still betting on it being Guarantano.
But if he struggles, which is almost a certainty against the Bulldogs, then I think we’ll see Brian Maurer enter the game early.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today