My pick: UT 27, Georgia 23

Georgia's high-octane offense is sure to score some points on Tennessee Saturday night at Neyland Stadium, so the only way the Vols can win is to light up the scoreboard, as well.

I think the Vols can do that, based on the late fireworks they exhibited last Saturday at Auburn. Down 28-7 two plays into the final period, the Vols drove 63 and 80 yards for touchdowns, and had a potential game-tying drive end with an interception deep in Auburn territory.

For the game, quarterback Casey Clausen completed 30 of 47 throws for 355 yards and two touchdowns. Like many observers, offensive coordinator Randy Sanders was encouraged by the way the passing game brought the team back from the brink of disaster.

''It gives me a little more confidence that, if we need to throw it (on every down), we can,'' he said. ''It's not necessarily the game we want to play but, if need be, I think we can be successful that way.''

Improving Tennessee's chances of being successful against Georgia is the emergence of two young wide receivers -- sophomore Chris Hannon and freshman Jayson Swain. Swain had four catches for 54 yards in the Vols' win at Florida. Hannon burned Auburn for 95 yards on five catches -- all in the fourth quarter.

''It was nice to see Chris step up and do what he did,'' Sanders said. ''I was surprised we didn't get more out of Jayson than we did. There were a couple of occasions when we should've been able to get it to him that we weren't able to.''

Informed that Swain caught just two balls for 13 yards at Auburn, Sanders replied, ''He should've had five for about 60.''

Still, the coordinator believes the emergence of Hannon and Swain will take some of the heat off of fellow receivers James Banks, Mark Jones and Tony Brown.

''It's nice to see those guys (Hannon, Swain) keep coming and keep getting better,'' Sanders said. ''We're still striving for consistency -- getting the same guys giving us the same effort every play.''

Of course, an improved offense won't be enough if Tennessee's defense plays as poorly as it did at Auburn. Humiliated by last week's outcome, Vol defenders are determined to perform better vs. Georgia.

''I think they're humble,'' defensive coordinator John Chavis said. ''I think they know we have a big challenge -- and a big opportunity -- ahead of us. We can't worry about what happened last week, other than going out and correcting the mistakes. We've got to get ready for Georgia, and I think the attitude from that standpoint is very positive.''

Tennessee's offense came out of the Auburn game with a newfound confidence in its passing game. Tennessee's defense came out of the game with a newfound sense of urgency.

I think that could be decisive Saturday night.

My pick: Tennessee 27, Georgia 23.


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