Tennessee didn’t play this weekend, but that doesn’t mean developments around the SEC won’t affect the Vols’ future.
After a month of football, there is enough of a sample size to develop some educated opinions on other teams and how their play will affect the Vols.
Here are three things that happened during the bye week that you should be mindful of moving forward.
LSU has improved, but not much
The Tigers looked like a dumpster fire against Florida State in their season-opening loss. A mass player exodus appreared to be in the making. It seems the Tigers have righted the ship, slightly. LSU shouldn’t have struggled against Auburn as it did in a 21-17 win on Saturday. Auburn just isn’t very talented. That brings up another question.
It’s natural to assume that LSU is always uber talented. After all, the Tigers won a national championship with two very average head coaches: Les Miles and Ed Orgeron. However, LSU doesn’t appear overall talented this season. LSU’s talent is good, not great. That’s why the Vols are a favorite to win at Baton Rouge on Saturday.
Georgia isn’t as grand as predicted – so far
The Bulldogs needed a fourth-quarter rally to beat Missouri on Saturday. That should never have been the case, especially after the Bulldogs struggled against Samford the week before. Missouri is simply not very good while there is still talent on Georgia’s roster. However, the Bulldogs have yet to jell on the field and have shown signs of frustration.
Georgia can certainly still “turn it on” with its current crew, but that mentality opens up the door for potential upsets. Perhaps the Bulldogs will have everything in place by the time they play the Vols on Nov. 5. If not, the Vols could be in position for a banner win against their SEC East Rival
Against Kentucky, Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart had a below-average day by anyone’s standards, but especially when judged in Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin’s offense, which is very similar to what the Vols run. Dart completed 15-of-29 passes for 213 yards and an interception. Take note. Dart did not throw a touchdown. Was that a bad game by a new Ole Miss quarterback or a strong day from Kentucky’s secondary? Probably the latter.
Kentucky’s pass defense is giving up just 173 yards per game, which is second best in the SEC. Tennessee’s offense is first in the SEC with 365 yards passing per game. Something will have to give when the Vols face the Cats on Oct. 29.