When Tennessee head coach Butch Jones was asked about his quarterback situation on Monday, he was non-committal. Jones has inserted Jarrett Guarantano into the game in relief of Quinten Dormady during the past two games now, but isn’t ready to name a starter for the game this Saturday against South Carolina.
Here’s what he had to say about the situation.
“Just like any other position group, we tried to manufacture as many game like conditions as possible. From coming out to one minute to redzone — we really try to put them in those type of situations,” Jones said.
Butch wasn’t interested in anointing a starter, however.
“We’ll still continue to compete just like anyone else and we’ll see how this week of preparation goes,” Jones said.
Quinten Dormady has started every game to this point, but turnovers and a flat offense have become a problem since the UMass game. Jarrett Guarantano hasn’t played well in his limited action, but he’s also been put in some tough spots. It’s a little surprising that he hasn’t been given more action, considering the quarterback battle that occurred this summer.
Tennessee’s official depth chart names Dormady as the starter for this week, but Butch didn’t confirm that on Monday. It does seem like some wheels are turning here. Offensive coordinator Larry Scott told the media that the quarterback position is absolutely open yesterday.
Will all of that result in a Guarantano start? Maybe. But the staff wants the two to battle it out through the week.
Personally, if I want to figure out what I’ve got in Guarantano, it would make sense to name him the starter early in the week. Let him prepare as the number one without looking over his shoulder or wondering if he’s going to get his chance on Saturday.
We’ll see if Saturday is his day, but Butch Jones and Larry Scott have to try something different to jumpstart this offense.