Jeremy Pruitt opened the quarterback controversy door coming out of halftime against Florida. Pruitt benched starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano after several quarters of ineffective play and turnovers. He turned to true freshman passer Brian Maurer, who signed as a three-star prospect back in December.
Maurer led Tennessee to their only points of the game, adding a field goal to the cause on his first drive. From there, Maurer looked like a freshman. The Tennessee offense stalled once again, prompting Pruitt to put Guarantano back into the game.
So that begs the question — what is Tennessee going to do at quarterback against Georgia? Today, Pruitt wasn’t interested in showing his cards just yet.
“We’re not going to give Georgia a scouting report on what we’re going to do this week,” Pruitt said on Monday. “We’re going to rep the guys that we feel like gives us the best opportunity to have success.”
For what it’s worth, those in attendance said that Guarantano got most of the work with the first team last week. We’ll see if that changes this week.
Guarantano is 60-93 on the year with 736 passing yards through four games. He’s thrown seven touchdowns against four interceptions, despite having better protection than he had last season. His regression was detailed earlier this morning by The Athletic.
“(Guarantano) had a really good practice last week,” Pruitt said. “That’s not unusual — he’s practiced really well in spring and fall camp. I think the big thing with Jarrett is taking it to the game, being consistent and creating the right habits. That’s something that he’s got to improve on. Taking care of the football is the number one goal.”
The question remains — do you want to throw Brian Maurer to the third-ranked team in the country? Is he ready for that kind of challenge? We don’t know. What we do know is this — Tennessee is 1-3 and in desperate need of a spark. Maurer might be that spark, even if he’s doesn’t play full time.
At this point, it’s at least worth a shot.