In Week 8 of the 2019 college football season, Tennessee was in Tuscaloosa playing No. 1 Alabama tough, something that no one expected.

In a pivotal part of the game, Tennessee had the ball on fourth and goal inside the one trailing 28-13 with a chance to make it a one-score game.

In what appeared to be a play designed as a handoff to the left, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano elected to keep it for a sneak over the top, which ended miserably. Alabama’s Trevon Diggs scooped the ball in the end zone and ran it back 100 yards for the touchdown, giving the Tide a 35-13 lead that would end as the final.

Jeremy Pruitt’s reaction after the play drew some ire from members of the national media, believing Tennessee’s head coach was too hard on his quarterback.


The play was disastrous, and for a moment it seemed doubtful that Jarrett Guarantano would ever have a big impact for the Vols again. On Saturday, as Tennessee hosted South Carolina the narrative started to change around Guarantano, as he was 11 for 19 passing with 229 yards and two touchdowns before getting injured in the 41-21 win.

Pruitt and his quarterback shared a moment after the game that contrasted his reaction in Tuscaloosa.

Pruitt had been on the record earlier in the year that he believed Guarantano would help Tennessee win games this season, despite being benched for true freshman Brian Maurer, who was out with a concussion on Saturday.

Guarantano has proven his head coach right twice since that comment, leading the Vols to wins over Mississippi State and South Carolina. His long term future at Tennessee certainly remains uncertain, with redshirt freshman JT Shrout, Maurer, and highly-touted Tennessee quarterback commit Harrison Bailey all set to be on campus next season.

Regardless of whether or not Guarantano is the quarterback of the future, there likely will not be much more talk about Pruitt’s light facemask grab at the Alabama game.