6. Can the Vols neutralize their penalty disadvantage?
They were able to do this last week against Kentucky, and to be fair, they force a lot of penalties with their tempo. However, Tennessee football remains prone to committing a ton of penalties, and while it hasn’t cost them yet, it has cost them at least three games in the Heupel tenure.
Last year, the Vols lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers, Ole Miss Rebels and Purdue Boilermakers all because of penalties. This year, they are No. 124 in fewest penalty yards at 73.9 per game, and they are No. 122 in fewest penalties per game at just under eight and a half.
Georgia, meanwhile, is No. 15 in fewest penalty yards at 39.4 per game, and they are tied with the Stanford Cardinal at No. 5 in fewest penalties per game with four. Smart has this team highly disciplined, and again, while that’s easy when slowing the tempo, it gives them a huge advantage.
There are actually similarities to how the Vols match up with Georgia and how they match up with the Alabama Crimson Tide. However, Alabama is awful at avoiding penalties, and that’s how they lost to the Vols. UT won’t have that same advantage Saturday, but most importantly, they need to make sure Georgia doesn’t gain an advantage here.