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Tennessee DL Omari Thomas: “Everyone is pushing each other…”

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SEC football games are won, or lost, in the trenches. This age-old saying is evident in Tennessee’s play this season. 

The Volunteer’s defensive line has held opponents to 92.9 rushing yards per game. They have only given up 10 touchdowns on the ground thus far. The defensive line is top-10 nationally for run defense. 

The Volunteers defensive line has also found themselves in the top-four in the SEC for sacks. 

Tennessee has found success on the offensive line as well, contributing to almost 200 yards of rushing per game. 

“Offensive line, defensive line, we always going against each other everyday in practice,” Tennessee defensive lineman Omari Thomas told the media on Monday. “We honed in on being able to coach each other up.” 

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The Volunteer’s defensive line has a tough task this week with Stetson Bennett and Georgia. Bennett – Georgia’s senior quarterback who led the Bulldogs to a National Championship last season – averages 8.8 yards per attempt. He has 2349 yards on the season. 

Tennessee DL Omari Thomas

“We know that he’s able to use his legs and be able to use his arm,” Thomas said. “He’s a great quarterback, he makes plays, and he’s someone on that team that gets Georgia going. We know that he’s a winner.”

Tennessee comes into Saturday tied for No. 2 in the nation. Their matchup with Georgia will likely hold SEC Championship implications, and even National Championship implications. 

Rome was not built in a day, and Tennessee’s successes did not come overnight. 

“I say for us it all happened in the offseason,” Thomas said. “We started focusing a lot on expecting to be there, not hoping to be there in the offseason. We just come in everyday, we try to get better, we just work to get better every week. Everyone is pushing each other on the team, uplifting each other.” 

With the pressure mounting on this Tennessee football team, outside noise is at a season high. College Gameday will be in Athens on Saturday for the matchup, a game that will likely decide Tennessee’s postseason destiny. 

It’s easy to look ahead to the postseason, but Thomas says the Volunteers are taking the season one week at a time. 

“We just, really, taking it game-by-game,” Thomas said. “We can’t look that far ahead (at the postseason). We just really focusing game-by-game, Georgia’s the next game. This week we’re really just focusing on Georgia, just trying to get that win there. 

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