Brian Maurer led the Tennessee Volunteers to a surprisingly competitive game on Saturday against Georgia and gave the Vols offense a spark.
Brian Maurer went 14/28 for 259 yards, which isn’t a bad performance for a true freshman in his first start against the third-best defense in the country.
It could’ve been better, though, but Tennessee’s offense stalled in the second half and was unable to move the ball against Georgia’s dominant defense.
I don’t think the coaching staff expected to be in the game going into the second half, so the gameplan was more conservative than the first half. Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure didn’t seem like Jim Chaney or Jeremy Pruitt were trying to dial-up anything too risky in the second half.
This has to change this week if the Vols plan to beat Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are struggling similar to the Vols but not to the same degree. Tennessee has a chance to upset Hail State with the game being in Knoxville but only with Maurer in at quarterback.
The true freshman now has an official start under his belt, and it came against one of the best teams in the country. If the team can bring that same attitude from Saturday to the Mississippi State game, then I don’t think they could lose this game.
For the first time all season, the Tennessee offense finally looked like they had a spark on offense, and it was something that could lead the Vols into some success in the second half of the season if Maurer continues to improve.
It was a nice change of pace with Maurer in against Georgia, and I hope the coaches are smart enough to leave him in for the remainder of the season.
Jarrett Guarantano will not be able to beat Mississippi State, but Maurer just might be able to pull it off as long as the defense can apply a little pressure on the Bulldogs’ offense.