Jarrett Guarantano, UT Vols show swagger in thumping Kentucky back to reality


Josh Allen had just knocked Jarrett Guarantano to the ground, but Tennessee’s quarterback didn’t seem to mind.

Guarantano popped up, had a few words for Kentucky’s talented pass rusher and then brushed off his shoulders. He was feeling good. He’d just completed a 34-yard strike to Tim Jordan to set up the Vols for their first touchdown.

“There’s no hit that’s going to take me out,” Guarantano said.

Guarantano and Allen both hail from New Jersey.

“I’ve known him for a while now, and he’s a great player, and I was having some fun out there with him,” Guarantano said.

The Vols had all the fun Saturday night.

They didn’t resemble an underdog in a 24-7 victory over No. 12 Kentucky. Led by their quarterback, they showed some swagger.

The Vols (5-5, 2-4 SEC) proved they still own Kentucky at Neyland Stadium, where the Wildcats (7-3, 5-3) haven’t won since 1984.

Tennessee surpassed its win total from last season. With one more victory, the Vols will ensure a bowl bid. That would be undeniable progress under first-year coach Jeremy Pruitt.

“The University of Tennessee is supposed to be in bowl games,” Pruitt said. “That’s the expectations here. That’s my expectations. That’s the players’ expectations.”

To reach that goal, Tennessee needed a strong November. The Vols improved to 2-0 this month. Winnable games against Missouri (6-4) and Vanderbilt (4-6) remain.

“We’re trying to be undefeated in November,” wide receiver Marquez Callaway said.

Callaway made the game’s defining play when he came down with a 39-yard touchdown on Guarantano’s Hail Mary to end the first half.

“It was big momentum,” Guarantano said.

And, of course, Guarantano wasn’t shy celebrating his completion.

“You know how I get after we make big plays. I get a little happy,” he said.

Guarantano said he wasn’t aiming for Callaway in particular. Rather, he was throwing to a spot in the end zone, where three Vols and three Wildcats congregated. Had Callaway not caught the pass, teammate Jauan Jennings might have.

Jennings caught a Hail Mary for a touchdown two years ago against Georgia. Callaway figures Jennings was OK sharing this one.

“If I would’ve dropped it, he probably would’ve been mad, but since I caught it, he was happy for me,” Callaway said.

Callaway’s touchdown gave UT a 17-0 halftime lead. Its advantage swelled after Guarantano executed a play-action pass to Dominick Wood-Anderson for a 2-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.

The scoreboard read 24-0 at that point — unfamiliar territory for the Vols the past two seasons.

“It felt good,” Guarantano said. “We are not used to it. It definitely felt like we need to do it more.”

Source : https://www.knoxnews.com/story/sports/college/university-of-tennessee/football/2018/11/10/ut-vols-jarrett-guarantano-tennessee-football-thump-kentucky/1896391002/