KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee is marching into a game against the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs who have the best defense in all of college football with confidence at the quarterback position thanks to the way Davy O’Brien Award semifinalist Hendon Hooker has led the Vols offense.

Hooker’s growth has coincided with the success of the Vols offense. Tennessee picked up its first win of the season over a ranked opponent thanks to their big-play offense with Hooker leading the way.

The Vols have scored 344 points this season which is more than any of the previous four seasons, and that’s with three games still yet to be played. Hooker’s nearly 200 quarterback rating plays a huge part in that. The senior is the pulse of this team and coach Josh Heupel says he’s a great leader.

“I just think what’s striking about him is his maturity on and off the field,” Heupel said. “Just the way he handles himself as a person. That factors into how he prepares and handles positives and negatives during the course of any given day, a practice, a game. I think the thing that’s striking to me (is), and you don’t know it until you’re with him in those environments, just the competitive nature of him.”

The Vols will hope the best of Hooker continues to show up Saturday against the Bulldogs’ top-ranked defense.

Tennessee and Georgia will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

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