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Tennessee benches Jarrett Guarantano to open second half against Florida

It’s Maurer time.

NCAA Football: Chattanooga at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

A 17-0 deficit was enough for Jeremy Pruitt to make the move.

Starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was benched to open the second half against Florida in Gainesville on Saturday. The redshirt junior passer started 8-15 for just 73 yards against the Gators, including two interceptions.

Pruitt made the move to true freshman Brian Maurer to start the third quarter.

Guarantano tossed two interceptions, but the first one wasn’t his fault. Jauan Jennings dropped a touchdown pass from Guarantano in the endzone, only to watch it be picked off — meaning Tennessee came away with no points on the drive. The Florida lead was just seven points at that point in the game.

After that though, Guarantano was totally ineffective. This stems back to the BYU and Georgia State game, where Guarantano seemingly handicapped the offense.

Jeremy Pruitt played both Brian Maurer and JT Shrout last weekend against Chattanooga. Maurer attempted just two passes.

It’s an interesting time to see what you’ve got in Maurer, but it’s certainly a decision that just about every Tennessee fan can understand.

Update: Jarrett Guarantano came back into the game with a minute left in the third quarter. Maurer led one drive to a field goal to open the second half.