Guarantano, Phillips Earn SEC Player of the Week

Tennessee redshirt sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has been named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and senior defensive end Kyle Phillips has been named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday.

This week’s honors mark the second time this season that a Vol has been recognized by the SEC as freshman defensive back Bryce Thompson was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Sept. 10.

The last time Tennessee received Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades was in 2016. VFLs and current NFL players Joshua Dobbs and Derek Barnett received the honors on Sept. 26, 2016 after UT’s 38-28 victory over No. 19-ranked Florida.

Guarantano has also been named to the PFF College National Team of the Week. He picked up a 93.3 grade from PFF College – the highest grade of any offensive player on the National Team of the Week.

The Lodi, N.J., native tallied career-bests in attempts (32), completions (21) and yardage (328), while tossing two touchdowns and committing zero turnovers as Tennessee won its first SEC game of the season against No. 21 Auburn. Guarantano’s 328-yard performance is the most by a Vol since Dobbs passed for 340 yards at Vanderbilt on Nov. 26, 2016.

Phillips had an equally impressive performance, recording a career-high nine tackles and a strip-sack that led to a defensive touchdown and gave Tennessee the lead over Auburn. The Nashville native sacked the Tigers’ quarterback for a loss of eight yards to force a fumble. It was then picked up by freshman defensive back Alontae Taylor and run in for an eight-yard touchdown.

On the season, Phillips has 25 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. His 25 tackles rank fourth on the team while his one fumble recovered ties him for sixth in the SEC.

Guarantano has completed 80 of 125 pass attempts for 1,129 yards and six touchdowns with only two interceptions this season. His 64.0 completion percentage ranks fifth in the SEC. He is averaging 9.0 yards per attempt, which is fourth in the SEC and No. 16 in the nation.

Together, the duo led the Vols to their first road upset over a ranked SEC team since Phillip Fulmer led Tennessee to a 51-33 win at No. 10 Georgia on Oct. 7, 2006.

The Vols return to action against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET at Neyland Stadium. Tickets are available at The SEC Network’s traveling pregame show, SEC Nation, will be live from Tennessee’s campus on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to Noon, as well.

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Source: University of Tennessee Athletic Department