Tennessee leads the series 19-15-2, although the Bulldogs have won their last three visits to Neyland Stadium. UT rallied for a 51-33 triumph a year ago in Athens, the Vols second straight win at Sanford Stadium.
Florida’s game at LSU follows UT-Georgia and kicks off at 7:28 p.m. Central time from Baton Rouge, La. Also being televised that weekend are Thursday’s Kentucky at South Carolina game on ESPN (7:30 p.m. Eastern), and Saturday’s Vanderbilt at Auburn contest on Lincoln Financial Sports (11:30 a.m. Central).
InSIDe the Vols -- RECEIVING TRIO HOLDING ITS OWN
Tennessee’s projected top three wide receivers for 2007 did not enter this season with a great deal of experience. In fact, Lucas Taylor, Austin Rogers and Josh Briscoe owned a combined total of just 29 catches for 321 yards and one touchdown in their collegiate careers prior to this season.
But in four 2007 games to date, the current Vols trio matches up quite nicely with departed former teammates Robert Meachem, Jayson Swain and Bret Smith.
Those three heralded Vols, through four games one year ago, had a combined 50 catches for 819 yards and seven touchdowns. Meachem led the way with 23 catches for a whopping 420 yards and four scores, and his rate of 18.3 yards per catch lifted the threesome’s overall average to 16.4 yards per reception. Swain at the time had 19 catches for 314 yards and three TDs, while Smith added eight catches for 85 yards despite missing one game because of injury.
Compare those statistics to this season’s combined total for Taylor-Rogers-Briscoe of 67 catches, 824 yards and four TDs. Taylor leads with 24 receptions for 382 yards and two touchdowns. Briscoe follows with 23 catches for 191 yards and a score, with Rogers at 20 catches, 251 yards and one touchdown. The overall yards-per-catch number is slightly lower at 12.3, but the balance is better as all three receivers have at least 20 catches and nearly 200 yards apiece.
Makes you wonder if Vols quarterback Erik Ainge has even noticed a difference.
Tennessee’s open date this week is the third by an SEC team this season...Arkansas had its open week Sept. 8, while Vanderbilt was idle this past Saturday...Upcoming open dates for SEC teams in 2007 are Oct. 13 (Florida), Oct. 20 (Georgia), Oct. 27 (Alabama and LSU), Nov. 3 (Kentucky and Mississippi State), Nov. 10 (Ole Miss) and Nov. 17 (Auburn and South Carolina)...SEC Commissioner Mike Slive mandated for the first time this season that all league schools must play the final weekend of the regular season, which this year falls on Nov. 24, so that no team would have an open-week advantage leading into the SEC Championship Game...The Mobile Press-Register has named the late Reggie White of Tennessee, a College and Pro Football Hall of Famer, as the top defensive lineman for its Southeastern Conference 75-Year Anniversary series.