Tennessee football: Vols 10 greatest seasons with junior starting quarterback

Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport
Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport /
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Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images /

Tennessee football quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is a rising junior. These are the Volunteers 10 best seasons with signal callers of that year.

Jarrett Guarantano is in a unique situation with Tennessee football. He’s about to enter his junior year with plenty of experience under his belt as a starting quarterback. Usually, Vols quarterbacks who enter this year with his level of experience have a track record of winning big.

However, that’s not the case with Guarantano. He went 1-5 as a starter in 2017 as UT suffered its first eight-loss season in school history. This past year under Jeremy Pruitt, Guarantano went 5-7 starting every game.

As a result, he enters his junior year with a 6-12 record as a starter. However, there are some positives. Guarantano showed flashes last year, particularly in the Vols’ win over the Auburn Tigers. And he was highly efficient.

The problem is Tennessee football focused so heavily on keeping his efficiency numbers up that he never really made any big plays. That can’t be the case this year if the Vols are going to take the next step.

To be fair to Guarantano, he is learning from a fourth offensive coordinator in four years, and it’s a fifth if you count his final year in high school. So he’s had no stability. The good news is he’s at least returning to a pro-style this year, and Jim Chaney knows how to maximize quarterbacks with his talents.

Taking all this into account, there’s cautious optimism for Guarantano as he enters his junior year. But how have the Vols done in past seasons with junior quarterbacks? Well, in this post, we’re going to look at UT’s best seasons with them.

Many of these junior quarterbacks entered their first year starting. Others came in with high expectations because of what they did as sophomores, and sometimes the Vols had high expectations because of elite seasons the year before. But what’s pretty clear is some of their best years came with junior quarterbacks.

So let’s go ahead and break down these epic years that Guarantano hopes to emulate. Just a heads up, though, we’re only counting seasons from the Doug Dickey era onward. His T-formation in the 1960s was the first time a single quarterback was crucial to UT. With that, these are Tennessee football’s 10 greatest seasons ever behind a junior signal caller.