KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Football is a fluid game, with downs and distances and personnel substitutions and formation shifts constantly changing the look of the contest.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that Tennessee football coach Butch Jones made it clear he’s not locked into playing two quarterbacks against Georgia Tech.
The No. 25-ranked Vols play the Yellow Jackets at 8 p.m. on Monday in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (TV: ESPN).
Junior Quinten Dormady is a strong favorite to start, though Jones said redshirt freshman Jarrett Guaratano will compete with him through warmups.
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Gurantano is a charismatic, dynamic young leader who at this point of his record represents a high-risk, high-reward play.
Dormady, older, more reserved and more experienced, is the conservative, high-percentage play in a game like this.
Jones has said both quarterbacks deserve to play, but he’s not going to make that a priority over winning the game.
When asked about playing two quarterbacks, Jones made it clear it’s possible he will only play one.
“I think the circumstances of the game comes into play,” Jones said. “What’s your rhythm on offense? This is a game where your possessions will be limited.”
No doubt Georgia Tech is known for controlling the football and limiting opponents’ offensive snaps, and that puts a premium on efficiency.
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“There’s teams that have had 20 plays at halftime, and seven or eight plays in a quarter,” Jones said. “I think it’s in the flow of the game more so than the deservingness to play both, because they are very deserving, they have worked exceptionally hard.
“It’s which individual gives you the best opportunity. We have great confidence in both of them.”
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SEC Country’s Mike Griffith and WNML’s Josh Ward weigh in on the concept that after all this talk of two quarterbacks, Tennessee might only play one in the opener.
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