“Score points and win,” Tennessee offensive coordinator Larry Scott said confidently on Friday. Scott was asked what his realistic expectations were for the season offensively. He didn’t hesitate. “There’s not much more to a football game than finding ways to win, that’s what we’re going to do.”
“First games are always interesting,” Scott said. “It’s a discovery project for us too because we’re going to find out who we are. We’re gonna find out what guys can handle it and how guys react to it. It’s gonna be a lot of questions answered.”
The Tennessee offense is at the forefront of those questions. They will be breaking in a new quarterback — potentially even two of them. They’ll be introducing a new offensive line combination and featuring several freshmen at the skill positions. It’s also going to be the first game for Scott calling plays.
Of course, it always comes back to the quarterback. Scott wasn’t ready to spill any beans about what the Volunteers were planning on doing at the position either.
Scott simply said, “In time — in time it will all come into place.” Junior Quinten Dormady and redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano have been locked in a quarterback battle throughout the offseason. With just a little over a week remaining before the opener, the Tennessee coaching staff has yet to offer up an answer for us.
“We’ve still got 11 days to make sure we’re headed down the right path with that,” Scott said.
You can take his “down the right path” comment a couple of different ways. Personally, I can’t see Tennessee not playing both Guarantano and Dormady at this point. Butch Jones has maintained that it’s a definite possibility throughout the offseason. I would think that Jones would like to see how both players respond in a game setting.
Keep in mind that this isn’t just another opener. This game will be played on a Monday night with no television competition. A national audience will be tuning in. We may not get an answer under center until those lights come on at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Like Scott told the media on Friday — “We’re going to find out who we are.” It sounds like we might see the quarterback battle play out before our eyes in Atlanta.