KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs have been the top-ranked team in the county for five straight weeks. Not to mention they’ve only trailed for a total of 10 minutes and 37 seconds this season, showing how dominant they’ve been and how much of an uphill battle is for the Vols.
Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Theo Jackson says they aren’t worried about facing Goliath.
“I mean we don’t really look at the record. We just look at them, we get that they play good team ball, but we play good team ball too. We look at them like they put their pants on the same way we do. They put their shoulder pads on the same way that we do. We’re not looking at them like they’re Superman. We’re just going in like we’re gonna work hard this week and go into the game the same way we go into every game -expecting to win.”
Vols wide receiver Javonta Payton added that the Dawgs defense hasn’t seen an offense as fast as Tennessee’s.
Third down woes
The Vols defense has vastly improved overall from last season but has struggled significantly on third down.
In their last two games, Tennessee allowed Alabama to convert on 15 of their 20 opportunities on third down and let Kentucky convert on 12 of their 17 third down opportunities leading to 612 total yards of offense.
Vols linebacker coach Brian Jean-Mary spoke for his unit on Tuesday, saying they need to tackle better. “We want to pressure on third down, have to beat one on one blocks, if we pressure with five and they’re blocking with five we have a couple of guys in one on one situations that we have to start winning those situations.”
The defense has continued to struggle to contain dual-threat quarterbacks as well — allowing UK QB Will Levis to rush for two scores on Saturday. Vols DB Theo Jackson said that’s one reason they struggle on third down.
When they limit the QB run, more times than not, they can get off of the field.
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