Tennessee Football: How long is Jarrett Guarantano’s leash?

Tennessee Football could be seeing a new starting quarterback next week, or not depending on how long Jarrett Guarantano’s leash is.

Last night, I watched a fired up Tennessee football team, at least in the first half. In the first half, the team that showed up was ready to beat the No. 3 team in the nation on the road and shock the country.

The team in the second half seemed to be the mortal enemy of the team in the first half. The offense didn’t show up, and from the first drive, the offense completely fell apart.

This was a combination of bad blocking from the offensive line and worse quarterback play from Jarrett Guarantano. In the second half alone, Guarantano fumbled the ball three times, and Georgia recovered two of those. Add an interception to that, and JG finished the night with three turnovers.

As I watched the game with my dad, he was ready for JG to be pulled after his second turnover. I agreed. Tennessee had lost all momentum and at that point in the game, and if Jeremy Pruitt wanted to win that football game, then he should’ve pulled Guarantano at that point.

I followed that up by saying we’d have to see Guarantano have four turnovers before the coaches pull him. He had a really long leash last season, and the coaches didn’t pull him until they absolutely had to. It seems like the leash is just as long, if not longer, this year.

After Guarantano was pulled last season, the offense saw a boost. The Vols could’ve used that boost yesterday in the second half.

Tennessee’s offense had a grand total of 56 yards in the second half, with 42 of those yards coming on the final drive of the game. Three of Tennesse’s eight second-half offensive drives ended with Tennessee losing yards on the drive.

The offense also abandoned the run game. I’m not sure why because it’s the best part of our offense, and anyone that has seen Guarantano play against good teams knows that he can’t win the big games with just his arm.

I know that Georgia’s defensive line was dominating Tennessee’s offensive line, but I’d rather put the ball in Eric Gray or Ty Chandler’s hands instead of throwing screens or running end arounds that end up with no gain or a loss. It might not have changed anything, but at least the defense would’ve had to worry about something other than Guarantano’s arm.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be the last time we see Guarantano as Tennessee’s starting quarterback. The coaching staff loves him so much; I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished the season as the starting quarterback and finds a way to lose a game or two we shouldn’t lose.

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Jarrett Guarantano is tough. He’s a fighter. He’s exactly what Tennessee fans want as a quarterback when it comes to physical toughness. Unfortunately, he’s just not talented enough with his arm to take the Vols to the next level.