Bulldogs Blog

Kirby Smart: Tennessee is 'probably the best team in the East'

By Jason Butt


Georgia head coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs host Tennessee on Saturday.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs host Tennessee on Saturday. AP

In Kirby Smart’s eyes, it won’t be any easier facing Tennessee on Saturday.

Coming off a 45-14 drubbing against Mississippi, Georgia would like a reprieve to regroup and figure out what went wrong. But not a whole lot of time can be spent dwelling on the previous opponent with Tennessee coming to town.

Smart, during an appearance with 680 The Fan on Wednesday, said the Volunteers look to be the top team in the division at the moment. Therefore, it will be a good opportunity to see how his team stacks against a tough opponent coming off a blowout loss.

“We get a chance to go play a really good football team. It’s a measuring stick,” Smart said. “It’s what our program’s about. Let’s find out, let’s go play who we consider to be one of the better teams in the country, probably one of the better teams in the SEC – probably the best team in the East. Let’s go find out where we are and play these guys.”

The Volunteers have had an up-and-down season. While they’re 4-0, they almost lost to Appalachian State in overtime and received a stiff challenge from Ohio. But Tennessee also had a convincing win over Virginia Tech at the Battle of Bristol and came back from a 21-point deficit to defeat Florida 38-28.

Smart said he issued a challenge to his players coming off of last week’s loss.

“I want each guy to play his best game,” Smart said. “That’s the bottom line. Go play your best game. Play physical. These guys are physical, now. They get after it. Last year we played them at Alabama and I really thought they were the most physical team we played all year.”