Streak? What streak?

Georgia's four-game winning streak in the series with Tennessee apparently bothers UT's fans a lot more than it bothers UT's players. Heck, some Vols weren't even aware of the streak until reporters asked them about it this week.

''I didn't realize what the streak was till I got here today,'' linebacker Omar Gaither said at Tuesday's media day. ''You can't think about the streak. This year we're 0-0 against each other.''

Because Tennessee is a young team, many of the Vols will be getting their first taste of the Bulldog rivalry this Saturday in Athens. They aren't aware of the recent trend -- Georgia finding ways to win and Tennessee finding ways to lose.

''A lot of these guys weren't involved in that streak,'' Gaither said, ''so it doesn't matter.''

Gaither will be a busy man Saturday afternoon. Sometimes he'll blitz quarterback David Greene. Sometimes he'll storm into a gap to belt a running back. Sometimes he'll drop into pass coverage. Because Georgia utilizes so many play-action passes, Gaither's ability to read and react quickly is going to be vital.

''Definitely,'' he said. ''When the defense does a good job on the run, the pass won't be effective. So we've got to focus on stopping the run.''

Actually, it's a little more complicated than that. Tennessee did a good job stopping the run last weekend vs. Auburn, limiting the Tigers to two yards per play on first down. When the Vols put Auburn in third-down passing situations, however, they couldn't close the deal.

''We just have to play sound, disciplined football,'' Gaither said. ''When you give up big plays, it's usually a blown coverage or a wrong technique. Those are things you can work on in practice. For the most part, that's what (the problem) was against Auburn.''

Asked how the third-down defense could be so weak when the first-down defense had been so strong, Gaither shrugged.

''I really couldn't say,'' he said. ''Maybe offenses take more risks on third down. Most teams run on first down and run on second down, and it's easier to defend the run than it is to defend the pass.''

Inside Tennessee Top Stories