Dormady makes his case in Vols' QB competition
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Quinten Dormady delivered quite an opening volley in a Tennessee quarterback competition that figures to last well into the summer.
Dormady went 10-of-10 passing for 120 yards and threw touchdown passes on each of his two series Saturday in a weather-shortened Orange & White Game. Dormady is bidding to replace the departed Joshua Dobbs as Tennessee's starting quarterback.
''That's always the goal, to go out and complete every ball and score points,'' said Dormady, who will be a junior this fall. ''I think we did a good job of that today. As a team, we executed very well. I couldn't be happier.''
Dormady threw touchdown passes of 1 yard to Jauan Jennings and 19 yards to Eli Wolf as the White team representing the offense won 44-29 over the Orange team made up of defensive players. Each team earned points for achievements, such as first downs for the offense or three-and-outs for the defense.
Dormady and Jarrett Guarantano are considered the main contenders in a competition that also includes Sheriron Jones, walk-on Zac Jancek and incoming freshman Will McBride. Dormady, Guarantano and Jones were the only three quarterbacks who played Saturday before the approach of stormy weather caused the game to end after two 10-minute quarters.
Coach Butch Jones said after the game that no quarterback has an edge. Tennessee opens its season Sept. 4 against Georgia Tech at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
''There's no time frame,'' he said. ''I don't ever believe you give yourself a set time when you have to name a starting quarterback. I want them to compete. I think competition is extremely healthy. I think they've all elevated their games because of the competition.''
Dormady backed up Dobbs the last two seasons and has played 10 games in a reserve role. The only other Tennessee quarterback with any college experience whatsoever is Sheriron Jones, who threw one pass last season.
Guarantano, who will be a redshirt freshman this fall, went 4 of 5 for 41 yards. His two series ended with a punt and a missed 35-yard field-goal attempt.
Sheriron Jones went 1-of-4 passing for 2 yards and also had a 7-yard run.
Quarterbacks were ruled down as soon as anyone touched them, which neutralized the mobility that is considered one of Guarantano's main strengths. All these quarterbacks will have plenty more opportunities to show what they can do before a starter is named.
''We just go out and perform,'' Guarantano said. ''We're all great friends. We all help each other. We're all high-fiving when one of us does well. We're all giving our all. There's nothing really to it. We just all want to play, and that definitely shows when we're on the field.''
Dormady also won a quarterback challenge in which each of the candidates threw at various stationary and moving targets as well as trying to recreate Dobbs' 43-yard Hail Mary completion to Jennings from Tennessee's 34-31 victory at Georgia last season . Dormady's Hail Mary pass hit a plywood stand that featured a picture of Jennings making the catch against Georgia.
''I actually do my internship down at the print shop where they made that (stand of Jennings),'' Dormady said. ''It actually got done yesterday, so I saw it, but I didn't actually throw at it (beforehand).''
NOTES: During the game, former Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett was given a framed jersey and photos to salute him for setting the Vols' career sacks record. ... About 20 players were held out of the game either for precautionary reasons or to recover from injuries. ... Running back John Kelly won the Peyton Manning award for offensive leadership and defensive end Darrell Taylor won the Al Wilson award for defensive leadership. Tight end Jakob Johnson was named the most improved offensive player and Justin Martin the most improved defensive player. Wide receiver Latrell Williams and defensive lineman Quay Picou won awards for best physical and mental conditioning. Wide receiver Marquez Callaway won the 63 Award for effort.
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