Vols Say High-Octane Tide Has Schemes Similar To Georgia

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - by special to The Chattanoogan.com
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who made his first college start last week in a SEC loss to South Carolina, says he's feeling more comfortable with his surroundings now. Guarantano, who replaced starter Quinten Dormady, gets an ultimate test Saturday when Tennessee plays top-ranked Alabama.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who made his first college start last week in a SEC loss to South Carolina, says he's feeling more comfortable with his surroundings now. Guarantano, who replaced starter Quinten Dormady, gets an ultimate test Saturday when Tennessee plays top-ranked Alabama.
- photo by UT Athletics

Tennessee redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, senior offensive lineman Jashon Robertson and sophomore linebacker Quart'e Sapp spoke to reporters during Tuesday's media availability.

Guarantano, Robertson and Sapp discussed areas in which the Vols can improve and this week's game against No.

1 Alabama.

The Vols take on the Crimson Tide on Saturday at Bryant–Denny Stadium with a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS.

Guarantano Settles In As Starter

Guarantano completed 11 of 18 passes for 133 yards in his first collegiate start against South Carolina this past Saturday. He led Tennessee 73 yards down the field with under two minutes remaining in the game and was one completed pass away from leading the Vols to a comeback win.

"I think I played pretty well," Guarantano said. "I think there's a lot of things that I can learn from and I think that there's certain things that I could have done better. But all around, I think it went pretty well, but not well enough for the win, and that's all that matters."

On Monday, Tennessee offensive coordinator Larry Scott praised Guarantano for providing a spark to the offense. Guarantano, who had seen action last month off the bench against Indiana State, UMass and Georgia, said that starting the game helped him establish a rhythm.

"I felt a lot more comfortable being able to work around things," he said. "I think some of the situations that I was in didn't really let me get into a groove and that's not the type of player that I've been. I think just having that opportunity was soothing, and it also helped me out."

Sizing Up The Crimson Tide

The Vols are well aware of the challenge that No. 1 Alabama presents to any team. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC in scoring at 42.7 points per game (10th in the nation) and scoring defense at 10.1 points allowed per game (second-fewest in the nation).

Robertson and the UT offensive line are prepared for a tough test in the trenches.

"There are some similarities between (Alabama) and Georgia scheme wise," Robertson said. "They play multiple fronts, such as 'Bear' or even fronts. Just like Georgia and the rest of our opponents, we have to be really prepared for the different things they can do up front. They rotate in and out a lot to get fresh bodies in the game. We have to be prepared physically and mentally in that part of the game."

Defensively, the Vols will face the SEC's top rushing attack as Alabama ranks seventh in the nation with 302.6 rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide features three of the league's top runners in Damien Harris (625 yards), Jalen Hurts (558 yards) and Bo Scarbrough (359 yards).

"Having a running quarterback, you have to really think of the options of extending plays," Sapp said. "So it does put a lot of stress on us and being able to fit the runs, fit the pass rush, and everything in that manner."

Additional Quotes

Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano

On his overall performance against South Carolina:
“I think I played pretty well. I think there’s a lot of things that I can learn from and I think that there’s certain things that I could have done better. But all around, I think it went pretty well, but not well enough for the win, and that’s all that matters.”

On what he could have done better against South Carolina:
“I could’ve gotten the ball out a little quicker when I’m outside of the pocket, just getting the ball away. Even if it’s third-and-three and I’m taking a sack, I could throw it away and keep better field position. I think I’ve learned from those things and will get better from them.”

On the difference between being the starter and coming off of the bench:
“I felt a lot more comfortable being able to work around things. I think some of the situations that I was in didn’t really let me get into a groove and that’s not the type of player that I’ve been. I think just having that opportunity was soothing, and it also helped me out.”

Offensive Lineman Jashon Robertson

On his thoughts on the offensive line's play halfway through the season:
"Right now, we are trying to find a consistency in our play. At times, we have come out and played really well, and then other times, we have like intensity. That is evident throughout some games and through the course of six games. That will happen, but we have to continue working to be consistent in everything we do."

On Alabama's front seven:
"There are some similarities between them and Georgia scheme wise. They play multiple fronts, such as Bear or even fronts. Just like Georgia and the rest of our opponents, we have to be really prepared for the different things they can do up front. They rotate in and out a lot to get fresh bodies in the game. We have to be prepared physically and mentally in that part of the game."

Sophomore Linebacker Quart’e Sapp

On getting back into the swing of things:
“I have been really trying to progress each week. I make mistakes every game, I try not to make the same mistakes twice each game going forward. I’m just really happy, and it’s a blessing to be back. I take every opportunity like it’s my last, seeing what I’ve went through over the past two seasons.”

On running quarterback putting pressure on defense:
“A running quarterback we can’t really account for. Having a running quarter back you have to really think of the options of extending plays, so it does put a lot of stress on us and being able to fit the runs, fit the pass rush, and everything in that manner.”

On winning first down:
“I think I’ve played good, I think I have grown a lot with communication and being vocal. I need to minimize mistakes more, each week I have improved. I just want to minimize my mistakes. I don’t want to progress in mistakes, meaning the number of mistakes I make every game.”

(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 


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