For the third-straight game, Jarrett Guarantano came off the bench to lead Tennessee to victory.
Two weeks ago, Guarantano relieved JT Shrout/Jauan Jennings as the Vols hosted South Carolina, and he helped Tennessee keep pace in the first half and eventually helped UT take the lead for good in the second half. Last week, Shrout got the start against UAB, but Guarantano came into the game after a series and helped give the Vols an early lead and pushed them across the finish line in the second half.
On Saturday in Lexington, Guarantano did it again.
With screws in his wrist and a wrap encasing a large part of his left hand, Guarantano put together one of the more impressive performances of his Tennessee career. The redshirt junior started the second half of Saturday’s contest against Kentucky after freshman Brian Maurer struggled in the first half.
Guarantano was on fire once he took over.
Tennessee’s offense immediately clicked with Guarantano at the helm, as he went a perfect 7-of-7 for 115 yards and two touchdowns to start the second half, erasing Kentucky’s 13-3 lead and giving the Vols a 17-13 lead.
But Guarantano wasn’t the only story for Tennessee.
The Vols’ defense was pounded to death in the first quarter by Kentucky’s rushing attack, and they got gashed a few times in the second quarter, too. But in the second half, Tennessee found a way to contain the Wildcats, and after scoring 13 points in the first quarter, Kentucky never scored a single point the rest of the game.
Tennessee intercepted a pass, got two sacks, and totaled six tackles for loss on Saturday night. Daniel Bituli was all over the place, totaling 19 tackles. The most important tackle of the game came on Kentucky’s fourth down attempt at the goal line with less than 90 seconds to go in the game.
There was plenty to talk about after the Vols’ thrilling 17-13 victory over Kentucky, and we discussed all of the main talking points after the game.
Managing editor Nathanael Rutherford hopped on Youtube for the RTI Post-Game Reaction Show late Saturday night/early Sunday morning to discuss Guarantano’s play, the continual improvement of the Vols’ defense, Tennessee’s bowl chances, and much more. Vol fans also joined in on the discussion and celebration.
If you missed the show live, here’s the full recording of the post-game reaction: