Freshman Feature: Shrout Shines in South Carolina victory
The Santa Clarita (CA) native was thrust into action against South Carolina on Saturday night in primetime. Shrout had only seen very limited action during his at Tennessee before Saturday night, but you could have never guessed that from his performance on the field.
Shrout was labeled as a gunslinger coming out of high school, but he always had the number of interceptions that he threw looming over his head. If Shrout’s play in this game is indicative of what is left to come, then Tennessee fans have a lot to be excited about.
Shrout completed 7 of 11 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. He finished the game with a QBR of 88.4. His longest completion of the game came on a mesmerizing 55-yard touchdown bomb to Marquez Callaway that extended Tennessee’s lead to 31-21.
This play earned Shrout a spot in this week’s Freshman Feature. To start, Shrout is under as he takes the snap. He moves left to extend a perfect ball fake that conveys the Vols are running the outside zone stretch played that they have based their rushing attack off of this season.
On the edge, Calloway is lined up in a two-man bunch formation with Ramel Keyton. Calloway releases clean on the South Carolina corner, Mukuamu, who is backed off in man coverage. Keyton releases behind Calloway and occupies the safety in the middle of the field, allowing Calloway to take Mukuamu one on one.
Back to Shrout, he extends the ball fake, sets up off the play action, and is ready to uncork one. Calloway is open, and Shrouthad time, but not all the time he wanted. As he gathers to heave one deep, Marcus Tatum lets Keir Thomas come free. It was unlikely Thomas was going to get to Shrout but the pressure was still evident in front of him.
This comes back to Shrout being a redshirt Freshman, and Jim Chaney dialing up the perfect play at the perfect time. If Shrout hesitates one bit, the outcome of that play could have been significantly different. Mukuamu is one of the best cover corners in the conference, and it could have allowed him the opportunity to get back in the play, but Shrout’s calm and poise allowed him to deliver a ball that kept Marquez Callaway running in stride.
Matt Ray is the managing content editor for VR2. He founded VR2 in November of 2017. He is an FWAA Member and covers Tennessee prospects across the country from the Opening Regional Camp series to Under Armour All-American game and everything in between.