KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones sent a message to his team on Saturday that no one, at any position, is irreplaceable if they are not performing.
Jones sat starting quarterback Quinten Dormady in the third quarter of Saturday’s 17-13 win over UMass, giving redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano three consecutive series to spark the team.
Guarantano managed to direct only one first down, that coming on a John Kelly run, but he did have a would-be first down pass dropped.
Guarantano’s stat-line wasn’t impressive —2-for-5 passing for minus-3 yards — and it was evident he still has a tendency to hold the ball too long and struggle to make anticipatory throws.
It also seemed the redshirt freshman was hesitant to take off and use his great speed and athleticism as a runner, one of the characteristics that would seem to give him an edge over Dormady.
Dormady, meanwhile, did not command or motivate the offense in the fashion that quarterbacks coach Mike Canales insists on.
Dormady was 17-for-27 passing for 187 yards with a touchdown, but he appeared to lack the verbal presence needed to keep the Tennessee offense moving down the field.
Jones said Dormady and Guarantano would continue to compete as the season progressed, and the fifth-year head coach has stayed true to his word in a manner that lets everyone on the Vols’ team they need to stay at their best.
SEC Country’s Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward discuss Tennessee’s quarterback situation, and what fair expectations are for the team.