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What Brian Maurer Getting His First Start Means For Tennessee

Oct 4, 2019 | Tennessee Volunteers Analysis, VOL Articles, VOL Football 2019

The Tennessee Volunteers have a new starting quarterback in Brian Maurer according to ESPN’s Chris Low, as they have benched Junior quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. This seemed to be inevitable as Tennessee’s quarterback situation has been trending this way since rumors began flying about a possible quarterback change since Wednesday, and while this is the right move going forward, it’s important to remember that Brian Maurer is a true freshman quarterback who is about to get his first-ever start at the collegiate level.

First off, this was no doubt the correct move for Jeremy Pruitt and his staff, Jarrett Guarantano seems to have regressed from last season and things simply weren’t working out. Guarantano has a great personality and is an even better human being but it was simply time for a change. Maurer will bring a sense of freshness and youth into a struggling Tennessee Offense, and while with all things new come a sense of optimism, it is very important to remember the sobering truth. Brian Maurer is a true freshman quarterback who was playing in High School this time last year, he will make mistakes; the question will be the severity and quantity of those mistakes. Additionally, Brian Maurer getting his first-ever start against a top 3 team and an elite defense is an extremely tough break. Georgia’s defense will almost certainly attempt to rattle the newcomer with an aggressive pass-rush tomorrow night, and with that pressure comes turnovers. You can expect offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to scheme around this by creating short, easy throws to build up the confidence of the true freshman. Additionally, if Maurer wants to succeed the number one thing he has to focus on is not turning the ball over, Georgia will already have enough of an advantage on offense as is. To prevent these turnovers the offensive-line must block well to protect Maurer, this is always an important key but especially under these circumstances and we consider it the most important key to the game.

The most important thing to remember during this entire process is to remain patient with Maurer. As we mentioned earlier, he is a true freshman and will make some mistakes but the worst thing that could happen is Maurer getting yanked out of the game for making a freshmen-mistake. Tennessee needs to do everything in their power to ease Maurer into the game and establish a suffice run-game to take some of the pressure off of the back of Maurer. One of the worst things that could happen to Tennessee would be if they are not able to get their run game off to a good start because it would lead to Maurer having to make tough throws too early in his career.

In the end, Maurer’s future will not just be determined tomorrow night; it will be determined over the next few years both on and off the field. He has the potential to be a very successful quarterback and has the capability of building a legacy that will never be forgotten on Rocky Top. Tomorrow night will be a special night as a player will get his first opportunity to make something happen and start a new chapter of his life. You can watch it all unfold on ESPN at 7:00ET, or come watch the game at our watch party at Tennessee Taphouse.

Luke A. Thomas

Luke A. Thomas

Senior Writer

Luke was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and grew up with a passion for SEC Football.

His career in journalism started in 2016 when he covered his hometown MTSU Blue Raiders. He would later go on to cover the local Vanderbilt Commodores before he would begin covering the Volunteers. He wrote for SBNation, covering UT Athletics before joining Volunteer Roadshow in May of 2019. At Volunteer Roadshow he covers all things Tennessee, with a focus on UT Football and Basketball.

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