Well, here we are again as Vol fans, we are once again shaking our heads, wondering what went wrong. We should have one of the best O-lines in the country and maybe we do. Is the problem at QB, maybe? It certainly doesn’t help. Is the problem coaching? It doesn’t seem to be helping either. This team has regressed and that’s all there is to it. Yeah, we barely beat South Carolina, but we showed promise and then showed even more promise when we exertee our dominance on Missouri. We went into halftime at Georgia with a lead and that’s where the progression turned into regression and we ended up getting blown out in the second half and lost 44-21.
Fast forward to that abomination that we saw Saturday. You hoped that you would see a pissed off team ready to dominate a Kentucky team that we absolutely should’ve dominated. Instead, we all saw what happened. The Vols got embarrassed, once again, but this time on their own home field and against Kentucky for the first time since the Reagan Presidency. The game started off fine. We forced a three and out then came out and moved the ball pretty well getting about 4-5 yards a carry, then after a penalty we had to punt and give the ball back to Ky. Then once again we make a stand and get the ball back with the score 0-0. Here is where everything went south. We had multiple turnovers, including two pick sixes and we went into the half trailing 17-7 where KY moved forward never looked back.winning the game 34-7.
Three different vols played in this game. Jarrett Guarantano, JT Shrout, and Harrison Bailey. JG was 14/21, 88 yards, and two pick sixes. JT Shrout? 0/1 and an interception. Harrison Bailey? 1/4 for 24 yards. Something seems strange there to you? well , it should. JG was a part of 3 turnovers until he got benched for JT Shrout. Shrout came in, threw one pick, and was immediately benched. Why not give him another chance? Why not give him as long of a leash as we did JG? He was our backup QB after all. In the post game presser, Jeremy Pruitt said something that was definitely a head scratcher. When talking about Harrison Bailey, he said that Bailey had “zero snaps” during camp or early scrimmage and his first snaps were not until the “JV” scrimmage earlier in the week. Why not? Why would you not try and develop the future of your team? It’s weird in my opinion.
Did you notice anything else weird? Well, once again, you should’ve. Brian Maurer received zero snaps in the game. So, is Maurer the fourth string QB? After the game, Fox Sports Knoxville reported that Brian Maurer’s name was in the transfer portal and that he intended to transfer. Not long after the tweet Brian took to twitter and replied saying “i’m not giving up on my team mid season this is false.” The tweet from Fox Sports has since been taken down. So, once again we sit here and wonder what the future looks like on Rocky Top? In my opinion, you cannot throw Jarrett Guarantano out there against Alabama. You just can’t. You either throw JT Shrout out there and give him a longer leash like you did/do with JG, or you put in Harrison Bailey and begin to develop him. In my opinion, our best chance at future success is Harrison Bailey. The Vols do have another talented QB who is coming to Rocky Top in Kaidon Salter who tweeted that he “ Wouldn’t commit just to decommit i’m locked in!!”
Get ready Vol fans, one way or the other, we are in for a wild ride.