Tennessee’s quarterback saga took one other twist throughout Saturday’s night time win towards Southern Miss.
The redshirt got here off freshman Will McBride, who started the season because the third-stringer and just lately moved into the backup position when Quinten Dormady elected to have season-ending shoulder surgical procedure, after starter Jarrett Guarantano needed to go away the sport briefly within the first half and sat out your entire second half resulting from an ankle damage.
Head coach Butch Jones was largely mum on the standing of Guarantano past the 24-10 homecoming win because the Vols look towards subsequent week’s sport at Missouri, although he mentioned the redshirt freshman may have performed if wanted within the second half.
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“I’m not going to comment on injuries from here on out to protect our players,” Jones mentioned, “but we expect him to be ready to go.”
Guarantano began brightly even after narrowly lacking Josh Palmer on a deep submit on the opening play of the sport after Evan Berry‘s lengthy kickoff return.
He accomplished three pbades to drive the Vols down the sphere and capped the sequence with a brief landing run and completed 9-of-13 pbading for 102 yards in his fourth begin for Tennessee since taking up for Dormady after the open date in early October.
On the sideline within the first half, Guarantano had his proper ankle re-taped, however he did not miss any snaps till he stayed down after successful within the second quarter. He was tended to by two trainers and Jones for a few minutes earlier than strolling to the sideline gingerly beneath his personal energy. Guarantano was examined additional in Tennessee’s medical tent on the sideline.
McBride, who primarily was the No. four quarterback behind Dormady, Guarantano and Sheriron Jones (who transferred within the spring) when he enrolled in January, got here in for 3 performs: Two handoffs to John Kelly and a deep shot to Palmer, which the Texas native missed by merely inches.
Guarantano got here again within the sport to complete the drive that resulted in an Aaron Medley subject objective, however McBride began the second half and completed the sport.
“Will has been ready to go for a number of weeks now,” Jones mentioned. “So he is been prepared and he needs to play. To be very candid with you, he has to play. We’ve been saying all alongside he is one snap away, and Will has a quiet confidence about himself. He does not get rattled a lot. It’s exhausting to essentially get an emotional response out of him, and the youngsters consider in him.
“I thought Jarrett did some really, really good things at the beginning of the game throwing the football and standing in the pocket. I thought he continued to grow and develop as well until having to leave the game. He could have went back in at the end of the game, but where we’re at, we had a lot of confidence in Will.”
Tennessee’s offense did little or no with McBride on the helm within the second half.
He was simply 1-of-Eight pbading for 13 yards, and the Vols had simply 70 yards and 4 first downs within the second half.
Tennessee’s two touchdowns got here on brief fields following a pair of turnovers, an interception by Emmanuel Moseley and a strip-sack by Darrell Taylor and with a 24-Three lead and a protection controlling Southern Miss till a 95-yard fourth-quarter drive, the Vols stored it fairly conservative on offense with McBride taking part in behind a patchwork offensive line.
The Vols ended the sport with 5 consecutive three-and-outs.
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Guarantano’s standing and the quarterback scenario figures to be Tennessee’s largest query for the sport towards the Tigers, who’re able to scoring factors in bunches.
And it is fairly doable McBride may get the decision if Guarantano is just too harm to play successfully.
“We have a lot of confidence in him,” Jones mentioned. “We’ve seen it, really since August training camp. We’ve really seen it, and again, we’ve tried to throw him into some very challenging situations in practice, and he’s very steady, very poised, very calm. That’s what we saw tonight. You look at the situation he was put into, that’s a challenging situation. There was no panic, very calm, very poised.”