Tennessee vs. Georgia: 5 things I want to see from the Vols on Saturday
Tennessee will host Georgia in what will likely be a mismatch Saturday night. However, this game is not quite that simple.
Here are 5 things I want to see from the Vols on Saturday:
Improvement from Jarrett Guarantano
I was firmly in the camp that Guarantano could end up being the No. 3 quarterback in the SEC behind Alabama’s Tua Tuavalio and Georgia’s Jake Fromm after the season. I’m still betting on Guaratano despite all the talk that there’s a quarterback controversy in Knoxville. Guarantano has plenty of skill. He has just been seemingly uncomfortable in a new offense under Jim Chaney in his return to Tennessee.
Far too often Guarantano seems to look to one side of the field while making his reads. Chaney is smart enough to recognize as much. Chaney can fix Guaratano’s issues — or Guarantano can fix them himself. Look for either, or both, to occur Saturday.
As much as Guarantano has been criticized, he’s still ranked No. 6 in passing efficiency in the SEC. Guarantano finished the season No. 8 last season. That’s improvement, although slightly. It takes time to rebuild an offense. It’s worth noting that Chaney has only been on UT’s coaching staff for just over 9 months. Good things could still happen.
More Jauan Jennings
Man, Jennings is good. As I’ve said for weeks, he’s become a strong, emotional leader for the Vols. It’s time to put the ball in his hands more — much more.
Three years ago, he made his signature play against Georgia — catching the game-winner in traffic on the Hail Mary from Josh Dobbs.
Imagine some sort of Wildcat-package with Jennings playing quarterback. Jennings played quarterback in high school and he just might provide the Vols with a little more pop on offense.
Jennings tried to take a similar role before he was kicked off of the team following the 2017 season. Maybe he was right. When it comes to size/speed ratio, the Vols don’t have anyone much better.
Georgia fans have talked about “checkering” Neyland Stadium like the Vols did against Oklahoma in 2015. Well, that was a home game for the Vols against the Sooners. There will be no “checkering” of Neyland Stadium on Saturday. UT fans have shown support for the Vols for the past decade when they’ve been stumbling. There’s no doubt in my mind that UT fans will show up Saturday.
True, raw emotion — and a win
Tennessee can beat Georgia on Saturday. Yes, it’s true. Both teams will be intent on running the football, which will keep the game close late into the 4th quarter. The Vols will need 1 key play. Something tells me that in this weird world we call college football that the Vols will actually beat Georgia on Saturday, just like they stunned Auburn last year and beat No. 11 Kentucky despite entering both games with a losing record.
Support for Pruitt
It’s been a long road for Jeremy Pruitt to become a head coach. He’s faced some incredible twists and turns, especially this week. UT fans should show him the support he deserves on Saturday.
Imagine how the narrative would change if UT actually beat Georgia on Saturday. Seriously, take a moment. All of the talk about the instability in Tennessee’s football program would suddenly change. The Vols would be the talk of college football and likely more.
Will it happen? Can the Vols actually upset one of the top teams in the nation? Why not? Nothing in UT football history has been predictable for the past decade. Why start now?