This interception is the first of two interceptions against the Florida Gators.
On this play, the Vols are down 33-6 with around 11 minutes left in the third quarter. Similar to the last post, the offense needs a big play and it needs one quick.
Tennessee comes out in 11 personnel with trips to the right. Florida is in a 3-3-5 (nickel) showing Cover 3.
Once Florida’s linebacker sees UT’s running back stay in to block, he uses a green dog blitz to force Guarantano into an early throw.
Guarantano launches a prayer and the prayer is answered by Brad Stewart Jr., a Gator defensive back.
There are a few things wrong with this play:
First off, this appears to be some type of vertical concept, but there is no intermediate route(s) to help create a hi/lo read to properly stretch the defense. That would also give Guarantano a quick read in case of pressure.
The only route that even resembles a hot route is the flat the running back occupies after staying into block for a couple of seconds. That’s hardly a decent emergency plan.
But Guarantano is also the issue here. He made no adjustments, no protection calls - nothing. He went with the play as is and paid the price as he threw into double coverage.
Whether that’s a lack of awareness or bad coaching - I’m not sure. Regardless, he has to get better at pre-snap reads and making adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
The throw was also underthrown, likely due to an indecision to pull the trigger. Guarantano double clutches before he releases the ball and that extra half-second allows the linebacker to prevent him from fully stepping into the throw.
It’s poor design, poor awareness, and poor mechanics on this play. All around, it’s just a bad play.
If you missed part one of this series, check that piece out here. Look for part three on Friday morning.