By Luke Thomas
Tennessee back-up quarterback Brian Maurer underwent surgery on his knee Thursday following the Volunteers’ come from behind victory over the Indiana Hoosiers in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl, according to his Instagram account. Maurer broke the news by posting a photograph of his leg, which had been wrapped in bandages, with the caption, “First day, post surgery,” to his story.
While not much is known about the injury, David Ubben of The Athletic reported that Maurer was wearing a knee brace during practice in the days leading up to the Gator Bowl. Ubben tweeted the news back on December 29th, writing, “Brian Maurer looked like a full participant (in practice) but he was wearing a bulky knee brace.”
Maurer played one drive during the Gator Bowl in which Tennessee marched down the field setting up a 43-yard field goal for Brent Cimaglia to pull the game within a single touchdown, which would later prove to be monumental in the Vols’ 23-22 comeback victory. Maurer finished the Gator Bowl 1-3 for 17 yards while earning another 8 yards on the ground.
Maurer finished the season with 541 yards alongside 2 touchdowns and is often credited with giving the Vols ‘a spark’ at the quarterback position when they needed it most. Tennessee was 1-3 with losses to Georgia State, BYU, and Florida when Maurer got his first start against Georgia, following Jeremy Pruitt’s decision to bench Jarrett Guarantano. While the Vols lost the match-up to the Bulldogs, they hung around for most of the game, in fact, many refer to that moment as when the season turned around for the better. The next week, Maurer started again, and while he was knocked out of the game with a concussion, he was a major factor in the Vols’ 20-10 victory over Mississippi State, which started the Vols hot streak in which they won 7 of their final 8 games.
Maurer played in 8 match-ups, 4 of which being starts, during his first season at Tennessee and will likely be a major candidate alongside Jarrett Guarantano, JT Shrout, Kasim Hill, and Harrison Bailey to win Tennessee’s upcoming quarterback battle. We will update this article as any additional information comes to light.