Tennessee football: Who will start at QB against Arkansas?

Tennessee football is coming off a bye week heading into the game against Arkansas this Saturday night. The Volunteers are coming into Saturday with a three-game losing streak and a record of 2-3. A game that was once considered a definite win for Tennessee is now considered a toss-up with which team will come out victorious.

Hopefully, coming off a bye week, the Vols tightened up and made changes to both sides of the field. We will have to be patient and wait for the Saturday night game to see if the team changes were for better or worse.

What we do know is head coach Jeremy Pruitt did not change who is behind the ball. Yes, Jarrett Guarantano will be the Vols starting quarterback for the game against the Razorbacks.

Now, the call to keep the fifth-year senior as the starter did not come as a surprise. I am not fully convinced Guarantano was named starting quarterback from the overwhelming confidence the coaches have for him, but more because the team is lacking in the quarterback department. The Volunteers just do not have enough experience or trust in the younger quarterbacks.

Younger quarterbacks stats

Harrison Bailey, a freshman quarterback, played in the Kentucky game after Pruitt had enough of watching Guarantano play. Bailey completed 1 of 4 passes for 24 yards. The Kentucky game is the only chance he had on the field this season.

J.T. Shrout, a redshirt sophomore, appeared in four games last season. In the 2019 season, Shrout rushed for four yards and thew for 179 yards. This season, he has played in one game against Kentucky but had no rushing or passing yards that appearance.

Brian Maurer, a sophomore quarterback, played in eight games last season. He threw for two touchdowns, 56 yards and ended up negative in rushing yards. This season, Maurer played in the Alabama game and completed one pass for 15 yards.

Back to Guarantano

There is no denying the rollercoaster of a season Guarantano has had up to this point. He has the back half of his last season ever in Tennessee football orange and white to make a drastic change in the team’s record. Not many people are in his corner right now, but luckily the man in charge of the Vols has not lost hope in his player.

Pruitt met with reporters on Wednesday and had this to say:

“He understands our expectations,” Pruitt said. “I felt like he’s had another good week, continuing to do the things that I’m talking about, getting the guys around him to play at a higher level.”

He continued to defend his offense.

“It’s one thing about on the offensive side, it takes all 11 guys to play together,” Pruitt said. “Defensively, you can have a couple of great players and they can just make some plays sometimes. It only takes one guy that can create a bad play offensively.”

Hopefully, the coach is correct because Tennessee doesn’t have many opportunities for miscommunication. The last half of the regular season will be more challenging than the first half for the Vols, especially while the team attempts to pull itself out of a hole.

For the last five games of the season, the Vols take on Arkansas, Texas A&M, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Florida. Can Tennessee football turn around its season starting this weekend against Arkansas? Guess we will have to wait until kickoff on Saturday at 7:30 pm. ET.