Opening Volunteers QB odds at BookMaker
Quinten Dormady -160
Jarrett Guarantano +130
The staff likely has a good idea of who will be starting when the Vols open their season in a primetime ESPN matchup with Georgia Tech on Monday, September 4. But Davis and new offensive coordinator Larry Scott aren’t giving any indication as to who that might be. So it’s up to us to speculate.
The safe pick is Dormady, who served as backup to Dobbs the past two seasons and saw a little bit of action. And when I say a little bit, I mean very little. Dobbs was the guy and proved to be very durable over his career, not leaving many snaps for others to take.
Dormady did get into two games last season with his most extensive action coming in a romp over Tennessee Tech. He threw for 109 yards on 9 of 13 passing. He also mopped up in a blowout loss to Alabama going 2 of 4 for 39 yards. In his 2015 freshman season, Dormady saw action in six games but again was used as a late-game replacement to finish things off. During his career Dormady has completed 63 percent of his passes with a touchdown and no interceptions, but we’re talking a very small sample size against less than stellar competition.
Dormady had a good spring practice and according to many observers gained some separation in the race with Guarantano, that’s why he’s going off at -160 to start the opener. Dormady is your prototypical quarterback with good size and a strong, accurate throwing arm. After four years with Dobbs, including the last two as the starter, it will be a change for the offense. But it’s something Scott and Davis are willing to do to fit the personnel.
Both players came to Rocky Top as four-star recruits and Guarantano’s game is more like that of Dobbs. And being a freshman, he obviously doesn’t have the major college game experience or the rapport with the coaching staff that Dormady has. Another strike against Guarantano is that you don’t see many freshman quarterbacks having success in the SEC, unless you reside in Tuscaloosa.
Both players just want a chance to play and the competition is open after Dobbs graduated. Guarantano enters with a little more hype since he was a finalist in the Nike Elite 11 quarterback camp. But both players said they would be open to a two-quarterback system if it meant a national championship.
This battle is one of the more wide-open in college football. Two players with little to no college experience that have contrasting styles. I could see Davis going with the freshman simply because he’s more mobile and has a game that’s similar to that of Dobbs. And the Vols had success with the former starter. But on the other hand, the team probably should have been more successful and nine wins the last two seasons were fewer than the Vols should’ve gotten. Maybe it’s time for a change. Experience is a factor, and although Dormady doesn’t have much, he has more than Guarantano.
Bet on current QB Match Up odds at BookMaker: Quinten Dormady -160