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Final Thoughts from Tennessee’s Loss to Georgia


Photo by Anne Newman/RTI

Here’s what I charted for Jarrett Guarantano during the game:

Good throws: 15 throws on 21 attempts

Bad throws: 7 throws on 8 incompletions

Shots downfield: 1-for-2, 37 yards, TD

In shotgun: 38 times

Under center: 6 times

Dumped off to the running back: 3 times

Play-action: 9 times

Had good protection: 17 times

Passing on third down: 2-for-5, 25 yards

Passing on fourth down: 0-for-1 (defensive pass interference)

Passing against the blitz: 3-for-11, 46 yards, TD

QB draws: 0

What stands out about Guarantano’s numbers is when passing against the blitz. Guarantano completed just 27 percent of his passes against the blitz, but the numbers are misleading. The offensive line did a poor job of picking up the Georgia blitzes on numerous occasions, forcing Guarantano to get rid of the ball far too quickly. Granted, part of picking up the blitz falls on the quarterback, but Guarantano faced pressure as soon as the ball was snapped. To make matters worse, most of Georgia’s rushes consisted of simple four-and-five man-rushes, as seen below.

Three-man rush: None

Four-man rush: 25

Five-man rush: 19

Six-man rush: 2

Seven-man rush: None

The way Tyson Helton and Pruitt utilize Guarantano still befuddles me. Yes, Guarantano needs to work on his footwork and work to identify coverages better. But he still has a very live arm that isn’t used nearly enough. He doesn’t turn the football over at a high clip, he’s capable of fitting the football into small windows, and he throws a pretty deep ball.

Guarantano’s first intermediate pass attempt didn’t come until there was 8:59 remaining in the third quarter. With weapons at receiver such as Jauan Jennings, Marquez Callaway, and Josh Palmer, that absolutely can’t happen. Dominick Wood-Anderson is also capable of making plays over the middle of the field. Many have complained about Helton not taking enough deep shots. I feel as if they haven’t attacked the middle of the field near enough. There needs to be a good mix going forward.

I digress. The point being, Tennessee’s offense, though limited, is far too vanilla at the moment. It’s time to open things up a little bit and let a talented quarterback do his thing.

Keller Chryst saw three snaps against Georgia, all three being hand-offs to run out the clock at the end of the game.

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