Pregame: Tennessee at Georgia

Pregame: Tennessee at Georgia
Tennessee defensive lineman Matthew Butler takes down Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV during the 2021 game. (Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics)

Twenty one months.

That's all the time Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel needed to turn a 3-7 Volunteers team he inherited – which was facing NCAA sanctions over alleged recruiting infractions and an unprecedented transfer portal exodus – into the number one ranked team in the country. I'm not sure that anyone, not even fans looking through the most orange colored glasses, saw that big of a turnaround coming so quickly. The number one ranking is a testament to the work put in by the Tennessee players over the offseason. It also points to the coaching staff's ability to not only install a scheme, but an entire program.

Fast. Not many teams run more plays per game than Tennessee, and even fewer operate with the kind of pace that Tennessee uses on offense between the whistles. Fun. Explosive plays are a ton of fun. The Vols lead the country in pass plays of 30 or more yards. Offense isn't the only area where Tennessee is explosive. The Volunteers rank atop the SEC – tied with Florida –  in takeaways with 16 total on the season. Real. Well, it's hard to argue with the results. Fast. Fun. Real. That's what the Tennessee program is about in everything that they do.

Now that the Vols are the number one team in the country they face a new challenge. A potentially more difficult challenge: defending that ranking. What better way to start that defense than with a road trip to the undefeated, reigning national champions?

Here's how I think the Vols can, and will, upset the Georgia Bulldogs on the road.

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