Pruitt: "I don't think anything's holding Jarrett Guarantano back"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT.)-- Head coach Jeremy Pruitt met with the media as he usually does on Monday's following a Tennessee football game. Unfortunately for he and Vol nation, this latest gathering comes after a loss to BYU, one which has left the Volunteers winless through two games.

There can certainly be a lot of finger pointing when a situation like this arises, but the 2nd year head coach points to one thing in particular, and that's what he calls inconsistencies. He says those issues are why his team is 0-2 instead of 2-0.

Now there are many who feel that not helping the cause is quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. The red-shirt Junior has not looked sharp through two games. When asked what might be holding Guarantano back on game-day, coach Pruitt responded, "I don't think anything's holding Jarrett back. Let me tell you, Jarrett Guarantano has practiced extremely well from Spring to Fall camp and has made some really nice plays in both games. Jarrett will tell you like we all would tell you, myself included, that everybody's got to raise their standards and expectations in this program and be a little more consistent, that's everybody. He's no different than anybody else."

By the way, Guarantano got his hand hit on a helmet in the first quarter of last Saturday's game with BYU, but coach Pruitt says he'll be fine this week.

With regards to playing the quarterback position, having played it, Jeremy Pruitt says it's all about getting your eyes on the right spot, moving pretty fast through your progressions and have a timing mechanism, which happens to be one of the knocks against Guarantano by those who follow Tennessee football.

Coach Pruitt added that there's no doubt who the starting quarterback is on this football team, but did say they've gotta get a back-up QB ready to play.

"It's been important the entire time but the opportunity has not presented itself. We said in the first game or second game if the opportunity presented itself we wanted to put one or both quarterbacks in the game. We've gotta create a back-up quarterback. There's no doubt if you've been around our program for the last six months who the best quarterback on our team is, but there's also no doubt sometimes that when you get under the lights a little bit it's interesting to see how guys play and we've got to get both of these guys live game opportunities so we can see."

Both of "these" guys are red-shirt Freshman J.T. Shrout and true Freshman Brian Mauer out of Ocala, Florida. The two young signal callers were never in the mix for the #1 QB job this past off-season and according to the coaches, not ready to unseat Jarrett Guarantano as UT's starting quarterback.

Shrout, who did not play in 2018, is a consensus three-star prospect and top-50 recruit out of California. Longtime NFL QB Sage Rosenfels said Shrout would be “the guy who could step in on day one and fundamentally work within an NFL system.”

Mauer is an Elite 11 quarterback who starred at West Port High School in Ocala, and came to UT as a 4-star prospect. He finished his high school career with a county-record 7,664 yards and 64 touchdowns.