Rapid Reaction: Jarrett Guarantano has career day as Vols top Mizzou to clinch bowl eligibility
Tennessee is going to a bowl game.
Who thought that was possible after the Vols dropped their first 2 games and started 1-4?
The Vols won their 4th consecutive game Saturday night, spoiling Missouri’s senior night with a 24-20 victory.
Now 6-5, the Vols are over .500 for the first time since Sept. 15, 2018. That was Game 3 … of last season.
They’re heading to a bowl for the first time since 2016.
They’re heading to a bowl game with Jarrett Guarantano leading the way.
Again, who thought any of this was possible?
Guarantano, the super sub, started Saturday. He completed passes, made good decisions and delivered a few timely runs, too. He had a career night when the Vols needed it most.
In the 1st half, Guarantano threw for 243 yards and a TD as the Vols headed to the break up 17-10. He finished with a career-high 415 yards.
Jeremy Pruitt has gone from the hot seat to extension candidate. He can’t receive enough credit.
Likewise for the Vols’ veterans. They again led the way Saturday night.
Jauan Jennings had 103 yards and a TD in the 1st half. Marquez Callaway made plays.
The Vols showed their resolve when Mizzou tied the score at 17 after recovering a fumble off a blocked field goal to set up a short field early in the 3rd quarter.
After trading punts, the Vols reclaimed the lead when Guarantano hit a tightly covered Callaway for a 17-yard TD to make it 24-17.
On the next series, Guarantano set a career-high for yards when he hit Josh Palmer for 33 yards on a post route. That pushed Guarantano’s total to 360 yards.
Palmer, a junior, joined Callaway and Jennings in the 100-yard club — the first time in Vols history they had 3 receivers top 100 yards in the same game.
The Vols made plays. The defense made stops.
Everything that went wrong in September has gone right in November. Just like the old days.
And the Vols are going to a bowl game.