Vols-'Dawgs set for a shootout?

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In spite of its issues and coaching changes over the last few years, Tennessee has maintained a level of success playing Georgia in Knoxville.

The Bulldogs haven't left "The Hill" victorious since 2005.

"I haven't looked at those games lately, but we started poorly," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "The thing that I didn't like was that in both of those games before it was over it looked like they beat us to the point where we gave in. It's hard to fight when you are so far down. I don't know if we fought the full 60 minutes. That's what happens when you get behind and you get behind in a place like that. We haven't had many of those since I've been at Georgia. Those were two situations right there where it did."

In spite of those recent woes at Neyland Stadium and losing half of their last 18 games, the Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) trip up from Athens with a busload of momentum and confidence, especially after drubbing the Volunteers 41-14 last year.

Georgia hasn't been held to under 21 points in any of its five games thus far and put up 42 on defending SEC Eastern Division champion South Carolina.

Thus, with a defense that has just three senior starters surrounding 14 underclassmen in the two deep, the Tennessee offense may find itself needing to win a shootout.

The loss of the SEC's top receiver Justin Hunter to a season-ending ACL tear certainly threw the Vols (3-1, 0-1) for a loop but UT still has weapons to help it be successful against the 'Dawgs.

"They are No. 2 in the league in total offense, No. 2 in passing and No. 1 in passing efficiency," Richt said of the Big Orange. "Another thing that is pretty impressive is I think they are tied for first in America in third down conversions. That's why they are also leading the league in time of possession, because when you get your third downs, you continue drives and you burn more clock and you get more yards and score more points. That's going to be a challenge for us."

Vol offensive coordinator Jim Chaney needs to have some tricks up his sleeve to slow down Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.

The last time Chaney devised a game plan that led UT to a win over Georgia, his offense totaled 472 yards. However, the football was touched only six times that Oct. 2009 day offensively by Vols that are still on the roster. In three of those instances it was by Vols Marsalis Teague and Austin Johnson, who both play defense now.

To hear some of what Chaney said following Wednesday morning's practice at Haslam Field, click play on the video below.


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