Vols Must Take Advantage of Bye Week

Vols Jarrett Guarantano and Quinten Dormady
Photo Credit Caitie McMekin, Knoxville News Sentinel)

The 41-0 debacle that took place in Knoxville last weekend will take some time to pass. Fortunately, the Tennessee Vols will have an extra week to recover.

Georgia Clobbering

The “Knoxville Massacre” still has orange hearts aching. Granted, the Vols were given little to no chance to pull off the upset against the seventh ranked Bulldogs. No one anticipated a shutout – at least not in Tennessee.

The Georgia defense is for real. It only took four seconds into the game for the Bulldogs to make a statement. Quinten Dormady’s awful day began with a pick. Dormady consistently was off target with his receivers, underthrowing several balls throughout.

Georgia's Nick Chubb runs through the Vols defense
Photo Credit Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee’s defense struggled to stop the run. For the Vols to be successful moving forward, the defense has to play better. Defensive fatigue was likely due to the Tennessee offense having a tough time staying on the field. To help the defense, the offense must find a way to get going and put points on the board.

Vols Bye Week Adjustments

Jarrett Guarantano should be the starter against South Carolina. Dormady’s overall play and decision-making should not cement him as the bona fide starter. In fact, some would say he’s played his way out of the starting role.

Head Coach Butch Jones has not ruled the possibility of Guarantano getting the start, but has vocalized he and the coaching staff are looking for “consistency”. The eye test shows Dormady has been consistently bad.

Jones must see how the offense, as a whole, flows with Guarantano running the show. The scheme helped ex-Vols Josh Dobbs utilize his athletic ability can do the same for Guarantano. His play against Georgia cannot be an accurate depiction of what he could do in a game, as Tennessee was one-dimensional and disheartened by the time Guarantano replaced Dormady.

Run, Run, Run

And run some more. The stable of running backs the Vols have are a solid set of athletes. Led by John Kelly, who essentially is the Vols offense, Tennessee should find a way to make running the football the centerpiece of their offensive attack. Had Alvin Kamara elected to return and Jalen Hurd didn’t take his talents to Baylor, the trio would have been thunderous.

Tennessee Vols John Kelly
Photo Credit Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly has proven he can move the chains, whether he’s carrying or catching the football. Hard to imagine he was only a three-star recruit coming out of high school. The Vols can benefit from feeding the ball to a passionate Kelly, as he tends to gain chunks of yards when it matters most.

Behind him is another three-star recruit in Carlin Fils-aime is averaging nearly seven yards a touch. Four-star recruit Ty Chandler fits the mold of what Kamara did for the Vols offense, he just needs more opportunities.

Guarantano Needs a Chance

With a stable of solid running backs to rely on, it’s time to see what Guarantano can do to this offense. Hard to imagine he can make matters worse. Jones needs to show confidence in Guarantano as that could influence his play on the field.

Allowing Guarantano to develop a rhythm in the offensive scheme could be a breath of fresh air. Tennessee fans would view the switch as a means to generate an offensive spark. If it fails and Dormady proves to be the best available option, put him in.

Whatever it takes to win football games and put the Vols on the path to prominence is all the fans desire.

Stats referenced at ESPN.com

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About Brandon Morales 111 Articles

Brandon Morales is the State Manager for both Kentucky and Tennessee Sports. Despite being a New Mexico Native, he is a diehard Tennessee Titans fan. He’s followed the team since the Houston Oilers days and continues to support the Two-Tone Blue. He covered High School football, basketball, volleyball, and track for a local New Mexico newspaper after his playing days in were ended due to injuries. His love for journalism was inspired by English Teacher, Sara Ball. In 2010, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New Mexico State University. His contributions to the site include in-depth analysis on the Tennessee Titans, coverage on the Tennessee Vols and other SEC teams. He prides himself on being a supporting husband and loving father. This New Mexico family is a Titans household that loves cheering on their team each and every Sunday.