Just below this post, we noted that wide receiver Jauan Jennings is back in the good graces of the Tennessee football program. Now, one of the players who could be throwing to Jennings is officially in the Rocky Top fold as well.
Earlier this month, Keller Chryst announced on social media that he had committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Tennessee. Friday, UT confirmed that the quarterback signed a financial aid agreement earlier this week and will join the team after he graduates from Stanford in the spring.
As a graduate transfer, Chryst, who announced in late January that he was leaving the Cardinal, will immediately join a quarterback fray on Rocky Top that includes Jarrett Guarantano and Will McBride.
Chryst began the 2016 season as the backup to Ryan Burns, who started the first seven games after winning the job coming out of camp before losing it to Chryst midseason. While he suffered a torn ACL in Stanford’s Sun Bowl win over North Carolina in that postseason, he began the 2017 season as the starter; another injury in the Week 4 win over UCLA opened the door for redshirt freshman K.J. Costello to start the following week against Arizona State. Chryst returned in Week 6 and started the next three games.
Ahead of the Washington State game in early November, however, a healthy Chryst was benched in favor of Costello. In what turned out to be the final three starts of Chryst’s career with the Cardinal, he completed just under 57 percent of his passes for 453 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
In parts of three seasons, Chryst, whose uncle Paul Chryst is the head coach at Wisconsin, passed for 1,926 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions in 289 attempts.
Tennessee knows all about second half comebacks after rallying to beat Florida last week. After Saturday, they know all about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat too.
Joshua Dobbs threw a Hail Mary as time expired that receiver Jauan Jennings inexplicable pulled out of the air in the end zone to help the Vols escape 34-31 in another thriller between the hedges.
After rallying from 10 down at halftime, Tennessee’s defense stepped up in the fourth quarter when star defensive end Derek Barnett sacked Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason in his own end zone. The freshman fumbled the ball, which was later recovered by the Vols for a touchdown and what appeared to be the game-winning points.
But Georgia had other ideas.
Despite Eason throwing an interception, the Bulldogs defense forced a stop with just over a minute left. Eason took over and looked very un-freshman like under center, driving his team down the field in impressive fashion before hitting Riley Ridley for 47 yards and an inexplicable touchdown with just 10 seconds left in the game.
Amid the pandemonium in Athens though was that Tennessee had one last shot to win the game.
After a good kick return to the Georgia 48 yard line, Dobbs dropped back, wound up, and somehow found Jennings in the end zone with four Georgia defenders on his back. The play was reviewed but the touchdown counted and Tennessee escaped with the win.
The victory by the Vols gives them a near lock on the SEC East standings having beaten the two other main contenders in Georgia and Florida on consecutive weeks.
Head coach Butch Jones is likely to inform his team that they can’t keep coming back from big deficits at halftime against the Texas A&M’s and Alabama’s of the world but, for now, they’ll likely celebrate all the way to Knoxville after such a wild ending.