After starting the season with two straight losses, the Tennessee Vols need a win in the worst way possible.
Fortunately for Tennessee, Chattanooga, an opponent they should destroy, is coming to town on Saturday.
While a win is the most important thing that can happen for the Vols against the Mocs, there’s something else very specific I think UT fans should be hoping to see on Saturday.
And that’s true freshman quarterback Brian Maurer.
Specifically, they should be hoping to see Maurer ball out and look like a star — even if it’s against a FCS opponent.
I need all of Vol Nation in Neyland on Saturday 😏 https://t.co/K78dDCOF0l
— Brian Maurer (@maurerera_2) September 13, 2019
Maurer won’t be starting on Saturday. Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt has been adamant that Jarrett Guarantano is the team’s starting quarterback moving forward.
But everyone under the sun has seen that Guarantano has struggled to make plays this year. The Vols’ ceiling is low this season as long as Guarantano continues to be the starter.
If Tennessee builds a significant lead on Saturday (and that’s a big IF), we’ll likely see Maurer take some snaps.
That’s important for a couple of reasons. None of the backup quarterbacks on the roster have any collegiate in-game experience. If something happens to Guarantano, the Vols have no idea what they’ll be getting. Maurer (or JT Shrout, though it’s more likely to be Maurer because of Shrout’s practice mistakes) needs to play.
The other reason Maurer getting snaps is important is because UT fans need some hope. They need to see a quarterback they believe can make things happen when plays fall apart. Guarantano isn’t that guy. Maurer has a reputation for being that guy, but he hasn’t proved it at this level yet.
Saturday could be Maurer’s chance. If he comes into the game and lights it up, Pruitt will have some tough questions to answer this week.
Even if Maurer plays (and plays well) against Chattanooga, I don’t expect an imminent quarterback change (especially with a trip to Florida looming).
But it will at least give Pruitt and his staff something to think about.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports