July 19, 2018

Tennessee to start redshirt freshman at QB against SC

12 October 2017, 01:42 | Anna Jefferson

Tennessee makes quarterback change


Tuesday afternoon it was announced that backup quarterback Jarrett Guarantano would likely start Saturday against SC, sparking a lot of conversation among fans and players. That was the plan as of Tuesday afternoon, anyway.

Guarantano has played in three games, mostly in the second half, but his sample size is small. He played in relief of Dormady against UMass and Georgia due to Tennessee's offensive struggles.

Guarantano, the nation's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect in the 2016 industry-generated 247Sports Composite, has completed 12 of 24 passes this season for 54 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

Saturday will provide Guarantano's biggest stage to date as his previous action game in non-conference games against Indiana State and MA and late in Tennessee's 41-0 loss to Georgia. He's tossed six touchdown passes but he's also thrown six interceptions.

On Monday evening, offensive coordinator Larry Scott intimated that one of the biggest keys in Guarantano's development may have come as a result of the quarterback's biggest embarrassments.

Guarantano had lost a preseason competition with Dormady for the starting spot. "Quinten did some very, very good things as well, and like I've continued to say all year long, a lot of times the quarterback is a byproduct of execution of everyone around them, but Jarrett's worked very hard and he'll have that opportunity on Saturday". It was all over national TV.

The quarterback's behavior was singled out by well-known analyst Kirk Herbstreit, only heightening the attention it got.

"He can see that, 'If I'm going to be the face of a program, the face of the team, the quarterback, it can't look like that. For him to have that experience the way it happened is as real as it gets".

"With the help of your parents, us as coaches, your teammates, we're going to help you through this", Scott said. We go through life, we have setbacks and it's how you deal with it.

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