My biggest worry today isn’t the possibility of a Georgia hangover after last week’s leave-everything-on-the-field classic. No, I don’t expect the Dawgs to play at the same emotional level today, but when you read a fan piece like this one, about how UT can pull off the upset, you realize it’s going to take a lot more than Georgia not bringing its A game for that to happen.
What does make me a little nervous is the possibility that Butch Jones treats today like a bowl game. It’s a perfect opportunity to take a “what the heck” approach – it’s in the middle of his first year and the last three games have brought the fan base back to reality. After the season, nobody in Knoxville is really going to care if a loss to Georgia is close or not; if taking a bunch of chances like fake punts, onside kicks and fourth down attempts gives UT a chance to win, why not? Plus, who knows how Georgia’s kids handle a crazy game?
As I indicated earlier, turnovers are something to keep an eye on, both because that’s the obvious way for Tennessee to stay in the game (like last year) and because the Vols have been all over the place in that regard this season. If that’s not a factor, then I think Georgia’s run defense and passing game will be the difference. Well, and this:
The Vols will be sporting a new look for the Georgia game, donning the Smokey gray uniforms for the first time. It will be a motivator, a boost to recruiting, and Butch said “I think it’s something our fan base has been waiting for.”
Player James Stone, who spoke briefly at the press conference, said it would be “extra juice” to motivate the guys.
James, speaking from experience, that probably isn’t going to end well.