There’s no debate here. Jarrett Guarantano’s 311 yards and two touchdowns in Tennessee football’s loss to the Georgia State Panthers was a deceptive stat line, as many of those yards and that final touchdown were in garbage time, but there were numerous other issues outside of his control. So fans let it go, despite the fact that he missed lots of open players.
Against the BYU Cougars, though, Guarantano was awful. His stat line of 17-of-28 for 176 yards and two touchdowns with an interception is still deceptive. He three five passes into double or triple-coverage. And he was late on a sure TD pass to Jauan Jennings. Those passes are where the INT came from and where his lucky TD pass came from. And it’s a growing issue that needs fixing.
Beyond Guarantano, the offensive line did improve dramatically this game. But interior blocking remains a huge issue. Jim Chaney smartly called lots of misdirection and toss plays to get his rushing attack going since blocking on the outside was so good, and that’s also why Guarantano was only sacked once in this game.
But on the inside, the Vols could never convert short-yardage situations. It’s why they failed on two 4th and 1 plays. Jeremy Pruitt still can’t trust his interior line to properly block for his players, and it continues to show time and time again. So the Vols are struggling a lot here, and it starts with Brandon Kennedy living up to his hype as a veteran center.