The 3-3 Tennessee Volunteers will head down south to face the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend in Tuscaloosa. It will be start number two for Tennessee’s redshirt freshman quarterback, who is looking to build and improve off of his first start last weekend against South Carolina.
Guarantano knows the weight of the game in front of him.
“I definitely know the history. I’m definitely looking forward to it. Alabama’s always been a great team and I know they’re hot right now. I’m very excited for the opportunity,” Guarantano said.
When asked about how he’s preparing for a trip to Tuscaloosa, Guarantano said that he’s reached out to another SEC quarterback for advice. “I got the chance to talk to Shea Patterson from Ole Miss. I just asked him how that atmosphere was and what they did well. That’s good enough for me.”
Alabama comes into this one looking like the class of the college football field, as they usually do.
“They definitely deserve all of the respect that they get. They’re the number one team — their defense is top five in every single aspect. We’re not just gonna go down there and lay down for them. We’re going to go down there very confident and we’re going to out-physical them and just play ball,” Guarantano said.
Guarantano said that Alabama compares favorably to Georgia scheme wise, which isn’t surprising considering where Kirby Smart came from. As I’m sure you remember, Tennessee wasn’t able to score a single point against Georgia. “They both have the same level of talent,” Guarantano said when comparing the two.
Hopefully we’ll see some type of progress from the offense, but expectations need to remain low for this one. Alabama ranks 14th in total yards allowed and second in points allowed. For a team that struggled with South Carolina’s defense at home, Butch Jones and Larry Scott likely aren’t going to find many answers on the road against Alabama.
The good news for Guarantano is that the road gets a lot easier after this one. It should be fun to watch him develop down the stretch.