After a brutal first half performance against the No. 9 Florida Gators, redshirt junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano found himself on the bench to start the second half.
Tennessee trailed Florida 17-0 at halftime after an awful showing by the Vols’ offense in the first half. UT’s defense held strong a few times against Florida’s offense, but Tennessee’s offense floundered time and time again.
A lot of that was due to the play of Guarantano, too.
Guarantano threw two interceptions and completed just eight of his 15 pass attempts for 73 yards and no touchdowns. Guarantano’s first interception wasn’t on him, as Jauan Jennings dropped a pass in the endzone and Trey Dean dove to make the interception. But Guarantano’s second pick was all on him, as the fourth-year junior had a miscommunication with Marquez Callaway and threw the ball right to Florida’s Marco Wilson.
Throw in a few missed screen passes and a missed throw on a wide open Dominick Wood-Anderson that likely would’ve resulted in a touchdown, and Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt had seen enough.
When the Vols came out on offense to start the second half, it was true freshman Brian Maurer who led the team at quarterback. And he got off to a good start.
Maurer completed his first two passes of the game and finished 3-of-6 for 46 yards on the opening series. Despite a three-yard sack on third down, Tennessee was still able to get points on the board thanks to a 40-yard Brent Cimaglia field goal.
Tennessee now trails 24-3 as of the writing of this article.