Georgia is looking like one of the best teams in the country and certainly one of the best in the SEC after shutting down Mississippi State in a 31-3 win on Saturday night. That assumed SEC East supremacy will be tested this week with a trip to Knoxville to face Tennessee in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.
If Georgia is going to challenge Alabama, it's probably a credit to the experience that Kirby Smart had as an assistant for the Crimson Tide under Nick Saban. In previewing Saturday's game, SEC on CBS lead analyst Gary Danielson pointed out that Smart has committed to what he knows will work on offense (power run game) and defense (even naming the positions like Alabama does).
"Kirby tipped his hand when he took the job. Look who he hired! He hired Jim Chaney and Sam Pittman, the two guys who created the offense at Arkansas the first two years when Bielema got there when they ran the ball between the tackles," Danielson said this week on the 247Sports College Football Podcast. "He brought in Mel Tucker, and of course Kirby himself running the defense, and said we're going to be Alabama-esque. They even name the defenders on their depth chart the same way Alabama does. They are recreating what they know will work."
Across the field, Georgia will find a Tennessee team that's yearning for some success after losing at Florida on a Hail Mary and struggling with UMass at home. In diagnosing the Vols' issues, Danielson points to the transitions not only in personnel but scheme.
"I think it's an odd time to go through a transition. I think when Josh Dobbs left, and when they decided to hand the offense to Larry Scott, I think the change in the offense was so different -- what they're trying to do this year compared to what they were doing a year ago with Josh Dobbs -- everyone is kind of floundering as to 'who are we, what do we do?' They haven't practiced plays like this for three and a half years. The zone read is gone, they just don't look like the same team. They just look like no one's in sync. The receivers are used to a different kind of passing tree."
Georgia and Tennessee kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET from Knoxville. The game can be seen on CBS, CBSSports.com and with the CBS Sports App.