Tennessee Vols morning report: Josh Heupel kicks off Georgia week

Tennessee fans cheer during a game between Tennessee and Akron at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.Kns Utvakron0917
Tennessee fans cheer during a game between Tennessee and Akron at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.Kns Utvakron0917 /

A blowout win over the Kentucky Wildcats is in the rearview mirror, October is over, and the Tennessee Vols football team is set to kick off November by preparing for one of the most historic matchups in SEC regular season history. It’s a No. 2 vs. No. 1 matchup.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with UT getting ready for that game, which will be against the Georgia Bulldogs. Monday’s media session involved Josh Heupel and players, and we’ll touch on what they all said here.

Beyond that media session, football stories also include multiple weekly honors and an update on a new game time. We also have coverage of Rick Barnes speaking along with a preview of a soccer matchup, so there’s plenty to get to. Let’s start with football.

Josh Heupel talks Georgia week – Matt Ray, SI.com

On the heels of their 44-6 win over Kentucky, the Tennessee Vols football team dove in to preparing for Georgia Monday. Josh Heupel held his weekly press conference regarding the preparations. Here’s a bit of what he said about the team being confident.

"“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.”"

Players talk Georgia – Brent Hubbs, VolQuest

In addition to Heupel, three Tennessee football players spoke with the media Monday: Omari Thomas, Hendon Hooker and Jerome Carvin. Hooker talked about his leadership abilities developing. This is how he described it.

"“I’ve grown just from learning. Learning experiences and being put in different situations and knowing how to build relationships and knowing how to talk to different individuals in a way that will help them or motivate them to get what we need to get done and help them throughout the job. They help me with my job. It’s a two-way road from being a leader and communicating at a high level.”"

Thomas talked about the pride the team has in what they are doing in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Here is what he said on that front.

"“We come in, offensive line and defensive line, we are always going against each other every day in practice. We hone in on just being able to coach each other. So, different things like going against players in practice, going against Jerome (Carvin), or things like that, he is coaching me up on things he sees from me. I’m coaching him up on different things I see from him. We can always help each other and just continue to get better as an offensive line and defensive line.”"

Carvin talked about being excited to go play in a hostile environment against Georgia. This is his explanation for that thought process.

"“You’re in the SEC. Every time you play on the road, it’s going to be a tough environment in this conference. Really excited to go down there and play. All the guys are ready to rock and roll. We’re excited. Still have to keep a level head, got to remain focused.”"

Darnell Wright earns SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week – SECSports

For the third straight week and fourth time this year, the Tennessee Vols football team had an SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week. Darnell Wright won the award, his second in three weeks.

"Wright blocked and paved the way for a Tennessee offense that put 422 yards – 127 more than Kentucky’s defensive average allowed – as the No. 3 Vols beat the No. 19 Wildcats, 44-6, in Neyland Stadium."

Hendon Hooker earns weekly QB honors – AllStateSugarBowl

With an extremely efficient performance against Kentucky, Tennessee football quarterback Hendon Hooker was once again named to the Davey O’Brien Great 8 and the list of Manning Award Stars of the Week. It was Hooker’s fourth appearance on the Great 8.

"Hooker, who also runs for a touchdown, gets things rolling early with a 55-yard TD pass 1:27 into the game as he leads the Volunteers to an impressive 44-6 SEC victory over No. 19 Kentucky."

Missouri kickoff time set – SECSports

On Nov. 12, the Tennessee Vols football team will kick off at Noon ET against the Missouri Tigers for UT’s final home game. It will either be on CBS or ESPN.

"November 12 will feature a CBS doubleheader with either Missouri at Tennessee or LSU at Arkansas playing at Noon ET / 11 am CT, followed by Alabama at Ole Miss in the traditional 3:30 ET / 2:30 CT window. The matchup in the first game of the day will be determined after games of November 5."

Rick Barnes speaks at QB club – Ben McKee, GoVols247

Coming off a 99-80 exhibition win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Tennessee Vols basketball coach Rick Barnes spoke at the Knoxville Quarterback Club Monday. Here’s a bit of what he said.

"“Obviously playing Friday night against Gonzaga was a good experience for us. I wish we got to do that more. You know, being part of the rules committee, I’ve always felt it was really important that we play more exhibition games.”"

Soccer set for SEC Tournament – UTSports

As the No. 3 seed and SEC East co-Champions, the Tennessee Lady Vols will kick off their appearance in the SEC Tournament Tuesday against the No. 6 seed Georgia Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET in Pensacola, Fla. at the Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex.

"Georgia (11-5-2, 5-3-2 SEC) arrives at the tournament on the heels of a 1-1 draw with Mississippi State.The Lady Vols own a 19-9-1 advantage in the all-time series against the Bulldogs. The teams met earlier this season on Oct. 9 in Athens when Tennessee won 2-0."