Last season: 10-3
Last game vs. Georgia: 19-14 win
Series Record: Tennessee leads 18-14-2
Most memorable Georgia win: 2001 – Mark Richt, David Greene and Georgia arrive on the SEC by shocking Tennessee in Knoxville for the first time in 20 seasons. It was Tennessee’s only loss of the regular season.
Most painful Georgia loss: 2004 – Tennessee knocks out Georgia, a national championship contender, in Athens. The Vols were a two-touchdown underdog to Georgia that day.
Starters returning: 16
Best player: Gerald Riggs
Biggest Weakness: Secondary
2005’s big question: Is Tennessee as good as advertised?
Inside the numbers vs. Georgia (as seen in the upcoming Dawg Post 2005 Season Preview):
That’s how many Tennessee players were arrested in just over a year. Georgia has had problems in that department as well, but Tennessee’s off-season has been an eyesore for the program. Also, Head Coach Phil Fulmer’s late-1990s complaints to the SEC about Alabama, which eventually led to the NCAA’s slapping Bama with probation, made their way to the newspapers this summer. Both fueled the fire for conspiracy theories as they relate to Fulmer and the way he runs his program.
SEC Media Day’s quote to note:
“I’m really glad to be back in Birmingham. I have not seen the Commissioner yet, so someone please tell him that I am here. Because it can be kind of expensive to miss this thing.” – Tennessee Head Coach Phillip Fulmer on missing last season’s SEC Media Days.
“There were some performances that were worthy of an Oscar.” – Fulmer again, this time talking about his legal difficulties concerning a recruiting scandal from the last 1990s. “There are no winners in this thing.”
“There’s not anything in college football that I do not enjoy.” – Fulmer talking during his opening statement. “I have and I will defend my program, the players, our coaches and our fans.”
“Some people will choose to wallow in the stench of cheating.” Fulmer said to conclude his opening statement.
“I don’t know how smart we are to move Jason Allen from safety to cornerback.” – Fulmer talking about the Vols’ top returning secondary member. Allen returned to Tennessee for his senior season and wanted to make the move to corner.
“It will be interesting to see if Gerald Riggs will be able to handle the load this season. He’s grown up a lot this off-season.” – Fulmer on his star running back.
“It ended up on my phone call.” – Fulmer concerning threats he received regarding the recruiting scandal and legal issues he has dealt with the last few seasons.
“I’m not going to give any advice to Steve (Spurrier) – he’s got all the answers anyway.” – Fulmer on his long-time nemesis who is now coaching at South Carolina. “I said ‘awe, crap’ when I heard he was coming back.”
Legge’s projected SEC finish: Overall SEC Champions; 1st SEC East
Legge’s All-SEC Vols: OL Arron Sears, RB Gerald Riggs, DL Jesse Mahelona, DB Jason Allen