Tennessee football hit the practice field on Tuesday afternoon in preparation of Saturday’s game with Kentucky in Lexington.
The conversation surrounding Tennessee football, again, centers around the Vols’ quarterback room. Who will take the first snap as the head signal caller against the Wildcats? If Tuesday’s practice is any indication, it’ll be true freshman Brian Maurer, who went first during drills. J.T. Shrout was second in line, while Jarrett Guarantano went third.
Maurer has missed the Vols’ last two contests after being named the starter in Tennessee’s home match-up against Georgia in the fifth game of the season. The freshman suffered concussions in back-to-back games against Mississippi State and Alabama, leading to his benching as he recovered from those injuries the last two weeks.
Head coach Jeremy Pruitt mentioned on Monday that Maurer was cleared to play Saturday against UAB, but the coaching staff elected to start redshirt freshman J.T. Shrout and played redshirt junior Jarrett Guarantano throughout the game instead.
All three quarterbacks looked fine during routes versus air and while they were handing the football off to the running backs. Each quarterback was up-and-down throwing the football, which included deep routes.
Along the offensive line, Jahmir Johnson and Darnell Wright were both dressed out and going through drills. Both have been banged up as of late.
The O-line worked on combination blocks. Tackles worked with the tight ends, and the guards worked with the centers.
Defensively, the emphasis with each unit this week is to play sound, disciplined football. Doing so will be crucial this weekend so Tennessee can limit Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden Jr., who is dynamic with the football in his hands.
Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker emphasized gap integrity with his defensive line group, and inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer was focused on footwork with the linebackers. The defensive backs worked on open field tackling.
Tennessee will be back on the practice field on Wednesday for another open portion of practice. Jeremy Pruitt will meet with the media after Wednesday’s practice concludes.