On paper, Jarrett Guarantano’s day wasn’t so bad last Saturday. He averaged nearly eight yards an attempt and completed 65 percent of his passes for 311 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. However, the stats are misleading, as many of those yards and one touchdown came on a final drive with Tennessee football trailing 38-23.
Simply put, the Vols need more from Guarantano. Although he doesn’t get the blame for what happened Saturday, there were multiple times in which he missed key guys, costing the Vols a touchdown on one drive and not allowing them to keep another drive alive. Against the BYU Cougars, things will get much more difficult.
Last year, BYU allowed an average of less than 200 yards a game, and although they allowed Tyler Huntley to complete 13-of-16 passes against them last week when facing the Utah Utes, he only had 106 yards. So they don’t let you gain a lot after a completion, and they limit big plays, a speciality of head coach Kalani Sitake.
As a result, Guarantano will be key, but he’s got to be aggressive. The Cougars don’t have horses to cover the Vols’ elite, big receivers, and Jim Chaney and Guarantano need to cash in on that as much as possible. Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway and Josh Palmer will all be key to providing mismatches, but Guarantano needs to be the one to get them the ball.