The annual Orange and White Game started — slow. Real slow. Thankfully, things picked up in the second half as a couple of quarterbacks came to life. Here’s what stood out from today’s action.
Brian Maurer leads first scoring drive
The freshman quarterback was the third quarterback in the rotation today, but he immediately made the biggest initial impact. After fumbling the opening snap from under center, Maurer found a rhythm in the gun. He found Jacquez Jones in stride to really kick start the drive. The quick passing game worked off the bat for Maurer, who went 5-5 in his first opportunity.
However, the drive fell apart at the five yard line. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney dialed up three straight runs, but each failed to even gain a yard. It’s a spring game, so we won’t be too critical. But it was interesting that Maurer wasn’t given a shot to finish off the drive himself after a hot start.
Maurer’s day went downhill from there as he threw two second half interceptions. But we did get a chance to see him in rhythm in the two minute drill right off the bat.
Jarrett Guarantano starts slow, but finds some rhythm in two minute offense
The first team defense definitely got the better of the first team offense to start. The pressure was consistency getting to Guarantano, though it’s difficult to determine if that was because of the defense’s effort or the offensive line’s lack of effort.
Finally, with under four minutes to go in the first half, Tennessee dialed up the two minute offense. Guarantano found Jauan Jennings with a strike over the middle to flip the field position. Tim Jordan added to that with a nice run, before Guarantano capped the drive with a quick slant for a touchdown to Dominick Wood-Anderson.
Guarantano’s second attempt in the two minute offense finished just as the first did. A 52 yard strike to Marquez Callaway set Tennessee up with a chance to end the first half with consecutive touchdowns. As the clock struck zero, Josh Palmer secured a pass in the back of the endzone to do just that.
Guarantano added two more touchdowns in the second half, each coming by way of Jauan Jennings.
Freshman safety Jaylen McCollough steals the show
Welcome to Knoxville, Jaylen McCollough!
The freshman safety grabbed two picks today, each coming off the hand of freshman quarterback Brian Maurer. His first nearly went for six points. Safety is a spot where there’s a bit of an opportunity open right now. McCollough did everything possible to help himself today.
- The offensive line struggled for the better part of the day. Neither group was able to generate much of a push, while the first team in particular really struggled in pass protection. The good news here is that help is on the way. The bad news is they’re all freshman.
- Jeremy Pruitt on Jarrett Guarantano: “I thought he held on to the ball too long.”
- The defense was not limited. A lot of times in spring games, you’ll see a lot of vanilla. Upon my first viewing, Derrick Ansley was letting them fly today. He sent multiple blitzes and got home with pressure several times.
- RB Ty Chandler was seen working out of the slot multiple times.
- Freshman TE Jackson Lowe made a big play down the sidelines, but was caught from behind and fumbled during his run.
- WR Josh Palmer went down with a lower body injury late in the fourth quarter. He was helped off the field.
- RB Tim Jordan dropped an easy touchdown late.
- WR Jauan Jennings looked healthy again — something we hadn’t seen in a couple of years. He looked notably quicker tonight.
- Oh — the white squad won 28-10, if you’re into that sort of thing.
JT Shrout came out with a bang, finding Tyler Byrd for a 43 yard gain. Really nice ball here from Shrout.
Freshman linebacker Quavaris Crouch with a “pop” on this play. Watch how quickly he reads this.
Quavaris Crouch with a big hit. Glad to see #27 at LB laying wood again. pic.twitter.com/7oPhgMtVE2— VoʟBʟooᴅ (@volblood) April 13, 2019
Guarantano’s third touchdown went to Jauan Jennings. Easy money on the fade here.
Here’s McCollough’s second pick. He took advantage of Maurer lofting a lazy floater down the sideline.
Announced attendance: 50,967
Jarrett Guarantano: 19-37, 198 yards, 4 TDs
JT Shrout: 10-19, 138 yards, 1 TD
Brian Maurer: 7-10, 105 yards, 2 INT
Jeremy Banks: 7-24
Tim Jordan: 8-39
Ty Chandler: 7-32
Jacquez Jones: 3-44
Tyler Byrd: 2-50
Jauan Jennings: 5-57-1 TD
Dominick Wood-Anderson: 4-19-1 TD
Josh Palmer: 3-25 1 TD
Marquez Callaway: 2-61
Jaylen McCollough: 2 INT, 6 tackles
Shanon Reid: 9 total tackles