KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones named Jarrett Guarantano the starter for Saturday’s game against South Carolina.
SECCountry.com reported on Tuesday that Guarantano had been elevated to first team on the depth chart leading into the week of preparation for Saturday’s noon home game against the Gamecocks (TV: ESPN).
“We felt Jarrett has earned the opportunity,” Jones said. “You’re always looking for what you feel gives you the best opportunity to win the football game
“You need to score points in this conference.”
Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC) is coming off a 41-0 shutout loss to Georgia, and the week before, the Vols failed to score a touchdown in the second half of a 17-13 win over UMass.
Jones said the decision to give Guarantano his first career start over junior incumbent Quinten Dormady is also a reflection of finding the right quarterback to fit the offense around them.
“I’ve said all year long the quarterback is a byproduct of the execution of everyone around them,” Jones said. “It’s no reflection on Quinten — it’s a lot of individuals around him.”
While Dormady was more of pocket quarterback capable of distributing the ball to several targets, Guarantano offers more mobility and the ability to extend plays and scramble for yardage.
Jones said Dormady, who stated the first five games, was disappointed with the news on Tuesday.
“Quinten is a competitor and obviously he was very, very disappointed, and that’s what you would expect from a competitor,” Jones said. “I felt he had one of his best practices yesterday. He went out and he worked. You’re always one snap away. I think he’s dealt with it very well.”
Jones said Tennessee would game plan around Guarantano’s skills, but he did not rule out playing Dormady.
The post BREAKING: Tennessee coach Butch Jones announces Jarrett Guarantano will start at QB appeared first on SEC Country.
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