Butch Jones’ handling of Guarantano against Alabama was putrid

Butch Jones’ handling of Guarantano against Alabama was putrid

We all knew what was going to happen.

Tennessee was going to march into Tuscaloosa and lose handily. Consider it mission accomplished, as the Vols lost to Alabama, 45-7, on Saturday, extending the Crimson Tide’s winning streak in the “rivalry” to 11 games.

Good news: Tennessee snapped its touchdown-less streak of 12 quarters with a pick six from linebacker Daniel Bituli.

News that’s impossible to interpret but is fun anyway: Rashaan Gaulden decided to flip off the fan base of college football’s most dominant dynasty.

Bad news: The offense still hasn’t scored a touchdown since the first half against UMass.

But even worse than the offensive performance on Saturday — the Vols gained 108 yards of total offense and seven first downs — was Jones’ handling of quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, which was putrid.

Any matchup against Nick Saban’s vicious defense is a challenge for quarterbacks, particularly those who are making their second career start. Behind an underperforming offensive line while targeting receivers who routinely fail to get open, the odds were clearly stacked against Guarantano.

Yet, Jones again proved why he’s the worst offensive mind in the SEC:

Why does Jones continue to put his players in these type of situations?

This isn’t Indiana State. This is Alabama — a defense so powerful that it has single handedly derailed both Florida State and Vanderbilt’s respective seasons. Under no circumstances should Guarantano be forced into situations where a swarm of college football’s most physically imposing beasts have free shots at him.

In all honesty, Guarantano’s day should’ve been done at the end of the first half. Nothing from his performance (9-of-16 passing, 44 yards, INT, 11 carries, -12 yards) can be carried over into future games. Instead, all Guarantano will carry over is constant body aches and a potential diagnosis of PTSD.

Again, everybody knew that the Crimson Tide were about to dominate the Vols (Alabama outgained Tennessee by nearly 500 yards and accumulated 28 more first downs). Hell, even Jones himself admitted he knew in the postgame press conference when he said “they’ve been doing that to everybody.”

If Jones understood his team’s fate, he should’ve protected the future of the program. Instead, he repeatedly placed him in a battle he wasn’t ready to fight. He put him in the ultimate position to fail.

Then again, just as everyone expected Alabama to win with ease, we should’ve also expected Jones to mismanage his offense once again.

Mission accomplished.

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