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Vols’ Biggest Storylines Going Into The Georgia Game


Tennessee’s Win Streak

I said it in last week’s edition of this article, and I’m going to keep saying it until I can’t any more. Tennessee is on one hell of a win streak, stretching back to last season. With their most recent win over Missouri, the streak now sits at eight.

Fans of opposing teams will try and tell you that those wins were over some not-very-impressive opponents. Maybe. But if winning was easy, everyone would do it.

Unfortunately, there is another streak for the Vols going into this game…

Something has to give. Tennessee will win against a top-10 team someday, and someday soon. Today is a good opportunity to do just that.

Early Battle For The SEC East. Rivalry Renewed…?

The Georgia-Tennessee rivalry isn’t exactly one of the most historic rivalries in the SEC. But there’s hate here. We don’t like them. And they don’t like us. There was also a time where this game had a major impact on how the SEC East was going to play out. Remember when it was always Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee fighting for the East crown? I remember. Obviously, Tennessee fell off there for a little while, but maybe this year will be back to the good ole days. All three are in the top-15 for the first time in who-knows how long.

It seems like these games are either incredibly close and tense…or they’re just blowouts that put people to sleep by halftime. The past three meetings have been the latter. Hopefully today is a version of the former.

Tennessee’s Offensive Line Vs. Georgia’s Defensive Front

Tennessee fans started calling this massive, road grader Tennessee offensive line the Tennessee Valley Authority. Now everyone is leaning into it.

Today will be their biggest test of the season by far. It’s been covered ad nauseam all week and all year: this Georgia defense is big, strong, fast, and aggressive. It’s strength vs. strength for both of these teams. The old “unstoppable force meets immovable object” paradox comes to mind. And someone has to win.

The Rise Of Stetson Bennett

Speaking of ad nauseam, if you’re not tired of hearing about Bennett’s story and how he got to this point, you probably will be before today is over. He went the JUCO route because he couldn’t play his way off the Georgia practice squad. Then he went back to Georgia and was promptly told he wouldn’t ever start in the SEC by Todd Monken. Now, he’s starting in the SEC because all of Georgia’s other options at QB are objectively terrible.

No part of that story is heartwarming or impressive. He took the easy way out of Athens looking for playing time. Then turned around and drank the proverbial Kool-aid Kirby Smart was giving him, just to find out nobody that recruited him back believed he could be a starter. Yet you will hear about it six or seven times on the broadcast today.

Running Backs…All Of Them

People keep talking about Bennett like he is the biggest offensive story going into this game. It’s just not the case. Georgia’s running back room, as always, is stacked. Zamir White and James Cook are both starter-quality, and are big play threats every time they touch the ball. It’s a virtual certainty that one or both of them will break 100 yards total today.

But Tennessee currently has the top rusher in the SEC.

What’s that? You thought Eric Gray would be the man this season? Me too, honestly. But don’t worry, Gray is only ten yards behind him in yards from scrimmage and actually has two more touchdowns than Ty Chandler. Both are averaging more than five yards per touch. They are both good, as well.

With rain in the forecast, today, it’s safe to assume these running backs are going to determine who wins this game.

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