In the first quarter, it looked like Tennessee’s quarterback play would help give them a chance to win the game. Brian Maurer was playing with his hair on fire, and his interception wasn’t his fault (Jauan Jennings, again, dropped a pass, and it sailed right into a defender’s arms). But when Maurer went down, things changed. Jarrett Guarantano rarely played well, and he missed at least three wide open passes that would’ve resulted in crucial completions. Guarantano finished 6-of-17 for 55 yards and had the most memorable play of the game: the fumble at the goal line on fourth down in the fourth quarter.
Brian Maurer doesn’t get this grade. His play warrants an “A” or something slightly below it. Jarrett Guarantano on his own gets an “F” in my book.
Brian Maurer was very efficient in the limited time he played, which is why this grade is better than some may expect. Maurer was an efficient 5-of-7 for 62 yards and a 2-yard rushing touchdown. The freshman did throw an interception, but that was because Jauan Jennings let a pass slip through his hands.
Tennessee would have had a chance to win the game late had Brian Maurer played the whole game, but that wasn’t the case due to a getting a concussion in a second-straight game. Jarrett Guarantano entered and was simply bad. He was 7-of-16 for 55 yards while missing Jauan Jennings wide open in the end zone and then fumbling at the goal line with the game still in reach.