Pruitt: Maurer “Game-Time Decision” for Alabama Game

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    Photo by Jake Nichols/RTI

    Tennessee freshman quarterback Brian Maurer suffered a concussion on Saturday against Mississippi State, and now it appears his status for this Saturday’s rivalry game against Alabama is questionable.

    On the weekly SEC coaches teleconference, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said that Maurer will be a “game-time decision” for the Vols’ match-up with No. 1 Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

    “He has went through the protocol here and has taken some reps, but he will be game-time decision,” Pruitt said via quotes from Michael Bratton on Twitter.

    Maurer suffered the concussion when he went airborne and landed awkwardly on his head after a 13-yard run in the second quarter of Tennessee’s 20-10 victory over Mississippi State. The freshman stayed in the game for three more plays, handing the ball off twice then throwing an interception on his next throw.

    After that pick, Maurer was evaluated on the sidelines and was diagnosed with a concussion. Redshirt junior Jarrett Guarantano played the last series of the first half at quarterback and played the entire second half in relief of Maurer. Guarantano finished 6-of-7 for 106 yards and a touchdown. Maurer, meanwhile, was 4-of-7 for 61 yards and two interceptions.

    Maurer has practiced this week with Tennessee, and Pruitt said on Monday that he believes the freshman will be “fine” moving forward after suffering the concussion on Saturday.

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    The Vols’ contest with Mississippi State was Maurer’s second start of the season. In his first start, he finished 14-of-28 for 259 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and a fumble in UT’s 43-14 loss to then-No. 3 Georgia. Maurer didn’t finish that game at QB either, exiting in the fourth quarter after taking a huge hit on a blindside blitz.

    In four appearances (two starts) this season, Maurer is 22-of-48 for 364 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. He also has 29 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts.

    If Maurer is held out, it’s likely the aforementioned Jarrett Guarantano will start in his place. Guarantano began the 2019 season as Tennessee’s starting quarterback, but he was replaced by Maurer in the second half of the Vols’ 34-3 loss to Florida and ultimately lost his starting job when UT played their next game against Georgia.

    On the season, Guarantano has completed 67 of his 105 passes for 856 yards, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions.

    Tennessee and Alabama will kick-off at 9:00 PM Eastern in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, October 19th.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.