Tennessee football: Starting QB still undecided for Vols against Alabama

Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t named a quarterback for the Tennessee football Volunteers against the Crimson Tide.

Halfway through the week, Tennessee football still doesn’t have a starting quarterback for its upcoming matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Vols played three last Saturday in their 34-7 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.

According to Patrick Brown of GoVols247, Jeremy Pruitt said on the SEC teleconference that the Vols are working with several players at the position. What that means for Saturday is anybody’s guess, but it follows up with what Pruitt said on Monday.

After two pick-sixes and turnovers on three straight drives, Jarrett Guarantano was benched in Tennessee football’s 34-7 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. However, he came right back in after J.T. Shrout threw an interception on the next drive.

Guarantano was part of a touchdown drive when he came back in, but the Vols only got one first down the rest of the way with him in there, and Kentucky scored on three straight possessions in the second half. As a result, once they fell behind 34-7, UT put in Harrison Bailey for its final offensive drive. Bailey led the Vols to the red zone before a turnover on downs.

As a fifth-year senior, Guarantano would seem like the choice to start given his experience. However, Shrout, a redshirt sophomore, started two games last year, and Brian Maurer, a true sophomore started four. Bailey is a true freshman who was a five-star recruit and is projected to be the program’s quarterback of the future.

Of course, the Vols have less likely options too. Jimmy Holiday, a three-star athlete, committed as a guy who could play quarterback, wide receiver or defensive back, and while he has started out at receiver, Pruitt and Jim Chaney could definitely give him some looks at quarterback.

Even less likely than Holiday, Tennessee football has two walk-ons, Spencer Smith and Steven Orr. Still, the starting job is completely wide open, and maybe Pruitt is just trying a bit of gamesmanship against Nick Saban. It isn’t likely to work, though.