KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s quarterback situation remains a work in progress, with coach Butch Jones pulling starter Quinten Dormady out of the last two games looking for a spark.
Redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano, the nation’s top-ranked dual-threat QB in the 2016 class, has not been able to do enough with his opportunities to take over the starting role.
But with the Vols (3-2) having a bye week leading up to their Oct. 14 home game with South Carolina, Jones and offensive coordinator Larry Scott have some time to reassess how they use the quarterbacks and split the time.
Dormady, a junior, is more of a prototypical pocket passer with good but not great mobility. Dormady’s strengths are his arm, his poise and the trust he has earned from his teammates.
That said, quarterbacks coach Mike Canales has worked with Dormady to help him become more verbal and assertive since the spring. This is an area that Dormady still needs to work on as he has not been able to get the offense to respond to him when it has bogged down.
Guarantano has flashed his great athleticism and rifle arm at times, and he is certainly the more verbal of the two, but he has yet to show the consistency Jones and Scott are seeking.
The leaves Dormady the likely starter for now.
Tennessee Football Question of the Day
Why does Dormady throw off his back foot and stare down his receivers? He is not coached up!
Mechanics are something Dormady is aware of and works on each day, but at times this season, he has been a victim of circumstance.
The offensive line protection has been good at times, but not always great, and on occasions when the pocket has broken down, Dormady has not stepped into throws. Dormady said he’s been made aware of those tendencies and has become more conscientious of his footwork,
The occasions where Dormady has held the ball has had to do with receivers not running the proper depth on prescribed routes, or not making the same read on option routes.
Dormady has shown he can work through his progressions and look off the primary receiver, but the youth and inexperience in the receiving corps has created some doubt for both him and Guarantano in game situations and perhaps given a false impression of their abilities.