Tennessee smothered South Carolina by a score of 41-21 on Saturday afternoon to pick up its second SEC win of the season. The Vols threw for a season-high 351 yards in the process of totaling a season-high 485 yards of offense. While doing so, though, Jim Chaney’s offense suffered a couple of injuries.
Following the win over the Gamecocks, Pruitt mentioned that quarterback Jarrett Guarantano had broken a bone in his left wrist that would require surgery. Pruitt updated the status of Guarantano during his Monday press conference as he previewed this Saturday’s game against UAB.
“I’m sure he’ll be limited for a day or two,” Pruitt said of Guarantano. “He’s gotta take mental reps, and he’ll do that. He’s in here watching film, and he’ll be ready to go unless something happens that I don’t know about.”
Guarantano played his best game of the season against the Gamecocks according to Pruitt. The fourth-year junior was 11-of-19 for 229 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he didn’t turn the football over.
Redshirt freshman J.T. Shrout was the first quarterback to play in the game, as he played the first two offensive series before turning it over to Guarantano. Shrout then finished the game after Guarantano’s injury.
Shrout was effective in the absence of Guarantano. The California native was 7-of-11 for 122 yards and a touchdown. With Tennessee seemingly having three quarterbacks capable of getting the job done against UAB, Pruitt floated out the idea of playing all three quarterbacks.
“We might play all three of them, we might just run them in and out,” Pruitt said. “Coach (Steve) Spurrier used to do that. Just run the plays in there. We won’t have to signal. We can do like we did back when I played for my dad. He whispers the play, you run out there and whisper it to the quarterback, we break the huddle. I kind of like that.”
Tennessee should have all three quarterbacks available on Saturday because Maurer will likely be back in the fold following consecutive concussions suffered against Mississippi State and Alabama. He sat out of the South Carolina game.
“Brian (Maurer), he’s going to go out there and start practicing this week,” Pruitt said. “So we’ll see where he’s at, at the end of the week, but he’s ready to go.”
The Vols are also dealing with injuries up front along the offensive line. Jahmir Johnson and K’Rojhn Calbert have been dealing with injuries throughout the season. Adding to the list of banged up linemen, both Darnell Wright and Wanya Morris were shaken up at separate points of the game against the Gamecocks.
Morris was able to return to action against Carolina, and Pruitt didn’t offer an update on Monday. He did give details on Wright, however, who is dealing with an ankle injury. Wright is considered day-to-day. Offensive line coach Will Friend added to the injury update at the Knoxville Quarterback Club.
“Darnell (Wright) was really playing well,” Friend said. “I think he was going have his best game. He really had a good week of practice last week. We will wait and see how he does with practice. Wanya (Morris) is banged up. I think Wanya will be fine.
“That’s what you do as an offensive lineman. You get banged up, and you think more about team than anything else. You get yourself ready to help your team. If you can’t go and you’re a backup, you step in and help your team and play well for your team. We will do that.”
Along the defensive line, senior outside linebacker Darrell Taylor is also considered day-to-day with a knee contusion he suffered late in the game. Pruitt said the veteran pass rusher will take it day by day this week at practice.
Before exiting Saturday’s game against South Carolina, Taylor had two sacks, two tackles for loss, and two pass breakups from his edge rushing spot.
Tennessee will hold two open portions of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday this week before hosting UAB for homecoming this Saturday at 7:00 PM Eastern.