Josh Heupel previews Tennessee-Georgia game

No. 3 Tennessee (8-0, 4-0 SEC) will play at No. 1 Georgia (8-0, 5-0 SEC) Saturday in Week 10.

Kickoff between the Vols and Bulldogs is slated for 3:30 p.m. EDT. CBS will televise the SEC East matchup.

Second-year Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel met with media Monday and previewed the Week 10 matchup at Georgia.

“Obviously looking forward to this week, playing a great opponent,” Heupel said of Georgia.

“They have great personnel in all three phases of the game and are well-coached. Huge test for us, and looking forward to the week.”

Heupel’s additional game week preview is listed next from a transcript provided by the University of Tennessee.

1. On the importance of confidence going into the game “You can win a game with confidence because you have paid the price, you have worked, you have prepared to go out and play the right way. Both teams I am sure are confident and should be. For us this week, preparation is going to be key. 

1. On the importance of confidence going into the game They are really good. You have to understand their schemes, that is important. The personnel, the battles within the battle, are going to be really important. The line of scrimmage is going to be important. It is a physical game out on the perimeter too, so on both sides of the ball, you have to match that.”

2. On convincing the team that they are capable of winning every week “I haven’t convinced them. They have convinced themselves. We talked about a team of hope, a team of belief. We were on that spectrum a year ago. Because of our work habits—not just during training camp or during the season—but the work habits since we get back last January, there is an expectation within our locker room. 

2. On convincing the team that they are capable of winning every week You pair that with good leadership inside of the locker room, staff and players that are connected, that compete hard every single day, you put yourself in a position to go play good football and try to fight and find a way to be on the plus side of the scoreboard when you walk off the field.”

3. On generating big plays in the passing game at UT and during his time at UCF “We did it at a previous stop (Missouri) when we were inside of this league before that too. It takes all of those pieces. The scheme is putting your players in a position to be successful. 

3. On generating big plays in the passing game at UT and during his time at UCF I think we always ask the question, what can our players do? Individually, what can they do at a really high level? And let’s put them in a position to do that. Then, your players have to be able to go out and perform and execute. 

3. On generating big plays in the passing game at UT and during his time at UCF That’s understanding your job, it’s off-season training. It’s understanding defenses on the offensive side of the ball for us. Then, you put your quarterback in a position to be accurate with the football.”

4. On graduated players having extra time around the facility “Those guys are still in class loads. It’s not like they are not. They are handling the academic side of it. You get into a master’s program, you take fewer hours. The master’s program is more difficult too in some respects. 

4. On graduated players having extra time around the facility I think the maturity of all of those guys has helped, just in the balancing act of what it is to be a college student-athlete, from academics to social life to the football side of it. 

4. On graduated players having extra time around the facility The maturity of those guys knowing how to handle the ups and downs, how to compete every single day, how to be consistent in your behaviors, your energy, and your focus, absolutely. 

4. On graduated players having extra time around the facility You have heard me say it a bunch, good football teams have really good leadership, and great football teams have great leadership inside the locker room.”

5. On Georgia's tight ends and the challenge they present “Obviously, those guys are hugely involved in everything that they are doing. They do a good job in the run game, but then the play-action pass, the boots, the movements, the shots, using them on reverses, all of those things. 

5. On Georgia's tight ends and the challenge they present Eye discipline is extremely important inside of your defense—first, second and third levels. It is a huge test for us. Their athleticism creates a lot of explosive (plays) for them.”

6. On Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter and the impact he can have “He’s athletic and disruptive. He’s great on third downs rushing the passer. He’s explosive, dynamic and changes the way the game is played. If you watch the video when he’s healthy, that’s on normal downs too. With the versatility from him, he can be a problem.”

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