The Tennessee Volunteers are fresh off one of their more impressive victories in recent memory. Don’t take that the wrong way, either. A win over Missouri by itself is not impressive. However, this is the first time in a long time where Tennessee dominated both sides of the ball, and the victory never seemed in doubt. Good teams win games they’re supposed to, great teams dominate them. We very well might be witnessing Tennessee transition from being a good team to a great team.
As we all have already been told, the real test comes this weekend when the Vols travel to Athens. In a matchup of the unbeatens, the Vols will take on the Bulldogs primetime on CBS. Some out there might already be writing the Vols off in this game. But, to quote the great Lee Corso, I say, “Not so fast!”
This is the closest the talent differential has been between these two teams since the Vols pulled off the Dobbnail Boot victory in 2016. On top of that, Tennessee finally has some elite talent on the team, especially on the offensive line. Obviously Georgia has been recruiting on a whole different level lately, but Tennessee finally has the manpower to compete. Don’t believe me? Well, ask Jeremy Pruitt, then.
Pruitt has not been shy about during his early tenure is letting everybody know that his guys just were not capable of beating good teams. He has gone on record stating that his team didn’t know how to compete on Saturdays. In fact, he has said they didn’t even know how to practice when he took over. It’s possible this was just a backhanded shot at Butch Jones, but to me, Pruitt doesn’t seem like a “fluff” kinda guy. He is gonna tell it how it is.
When asked after the Missouri game about whether or not Tennessee could compete with Georgia, he had this to say, “Absolutely. The last two years we’ve played them, they’ve had a really good football team. I’m sure I’ve not even watched them, but I’m sure they’ll have a really good football team this year. They’ve got good players; they’ve got good coaches, but we do too. That’s why I came to UT, and that’s why these players came to Tennessee—to play in big games like this.”
This will no doubt be Tennessee’s best chance at beating Georgia since Pruitt took over. Tennessee has all the tools to complete the upset. Georgia still has questions at quarterback, as Stetson Bennet has not been overly impressive to this point. Tennessee will need several things to go their way, but if the defense can contain the Bulldog’s run game, I really like the Vols’ chances.
We know the players are going to be ready. Now it’s time for the fans to get ready. This is not the same ole’ Tennessee team that will just lay down anymore. Get ready; I have a feeling things are about to get real interesting.
Georgia, see you soon.