With expectations of an improved offensive line, returning starters all over the field, weapons everywhere and the arrival of Jim Chaney, Jarrett Guarantano is looking for a breakout year. Sure, he had fewer than 160 passing yards a game last year, along with just 12 touchdowns while being knocked out of three games, and he also is 6-12 as a starter.
But a deeper look at the stats shows a guy who only threw three interceptions for a 4-1 touchdown to interception ratio, a guy who completed over 62 percent of his passes and averaged nearly eight yards an attempt, and a guy who was the top passer under pressure last year. His only problem was he was under pressure too much.
However, if Tennessee football truly does have an improved offensive line, Guarantano should have the opposite problem this game. Georgia State was horrible at getting to the quarterback last year, so returning starters on that side shouldn’t mean much. And with more time, Guarantano should be able to torch that defense.
Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway, Josh Palmer and Dominick Wood-Anderson could all be on here with GSU’s issues in the pass defense. But we might as well put the guy who is going to be distributing the ball on there for all of them. That’s why Guarantano is here. This could be the start of something special for him under Chaney.