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110621 ATHENS: Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett escapes the Missouri pressure and looks to pass to Jermaine Burton during the second quarter in a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Athens. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

National media expects Tennessee to give Georgia football a ‘difficult test’ in Week 11

Georgia continues to play like the best team in the country. The Bulldogs have proved their worthiness of the No. 1 ranking in all polls, with a 43-6 win over Missouri being the latest example.

“The top-ranked Bulldogs allowed just 273 yards to Missouri and Stetson Bennett IV threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns in the 43-6 blowout,” CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee wrote. " Ho hum, just another complete performance from the best team in the country.”

With the latest version of the College Football Playoff rankings dropping at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, Georgia is once again expected to retain the top spot. If anything, the results of last week have led to only more confusion as far as which teams should be ranked second through fourth.

Georgia is a heavy favorite entering this weekend. But where as the likes of Missouri and Florida have been unable to hang with the Bulldogs some seem to think Tennessee will be able to do so. The Volunteers come in averaging 38.2 points per game, good for third in the SEC.

There is an expectation among those in the national media that this game will be a stiff test for the Georgia defense.

“Georgia’s defense, which leads the FBS while allowing only 6.6 points per game, might get one of its more difficult tests from the Volunteers’ high-flying offense,” ESPN’s Mark Schlabach wrote.

Kirby Smart voiced similar concerns when speaking to reporters on Monday, comparing the uniqueness of Tennessee’s tempo to that of the old triple option offenses at Georgia Tech.

“It’s so fast you can’t really simulate it in your practices, so you have to try and find a creative way to practice for it,” Smart said. “It’s so different that it’s hard to prepare for. You can’t simulate it with your team unless you do it. We don’t do that as well as they do it, so it makes it tough to prepare for.”

Related: Kirby Smart’s Georgia defense braces for lightning-fast Tennessee offense

For as much praise as the Tennessee offense has gotten so far, the Volunteers do still have some concerns. Kentucky did score 42 points on Saturday and the Volunteers are 5-4 on the season.

Many will look to see what Georgia does at quarterback, not just against Tennessee but in the SEC championship game as well. Bennett started against Missouri and threw for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was Bennett’s fifth consecutive start for the Bulldogs.

JT Daniels though also made his return to the field against the Tigers. He did not enter the game until the third quarter but still threw for 82 yards and a touchdown along with an interception.

Given Smart’s history with regards to the quarterback position, all eyes will be on how he handles Bennett and Daniels in the weeks to come

“Georgia has coasted through this season so minimally challenged, it still feels like we don’t know everything we need to know about whether Bennett has really broken through this season,” ESPN’s Bill Connelly said “This feels like an unfair standard, but it might remain a question until the SEC championship game in Atlanta.”

On the season, Bennett has thrown 14 touchdowns to 4 interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes. Daniels has thrown for 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions while completing 74 percent of his passes.

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