The Volunteers (3-2, 0-2 SEC) would like nothing more than to storm back into the race to Atlanta. Their backs are against the wall and another league loss would seemingly eliminate them from SEC championship contention. After a bye this week, the road takes them to Starkville to play Mississippi State (4-0, 1-0).
The Bulldogs travel to Kentucky (1-4, 0-2) before hosting the Big Orange on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m.
While the 51-44 loss to Georgia on Saturday wasn't what Tennessee needed to get it where it wants to go, several positives can be extracted from the trip to Sanford Stadium.
The most glaring step forward is the perseverance the Orange & White showed to take a 30-27 first-half lead after falling behind 17 points in front of a sea of red nearly 93,000 Bulldog fans strong.
Coach Derek Dooley knows his Pro-Style offense can't be truly effective unless the ground game is clicking. Behind tailback Rajion Neal's 23-carry, 104-yard performance, the team netted 197 rushing yards.
Led by likely first-round NFL Draft selection Jarvis Jones, Georgia has one of the more talented defenses in the SEC. Yet, their lone sack came on quarterback Tyler Bray's fourth-quarter fumble near the line of scrimmage. Jones was rendered a virtual non-factor, thanks primarily to the play of Vol left tackle Antonio Richardson.
After being gashed with numerous big plays early in the contest, the Tennessee defense stepped up in the final quarter, keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard and to 16 yards.
The Vols took Monday off and got back to work Tuesday morning with a physical session. To see what their head coach and several players said after practice on Haslam Field, click on the videos below:
Antonio "Tiny" Richardson