Georgia football-Tennessee-alabama
November 5, 2022 Athens - Tennessee's quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) is sacked by Georgia's defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) during the first half in an NCAA football game at Sanford Stadium in Athens on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Georgia won 27-13 over Tennessee. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Jalin Hyatt pays Georgia football the ultimate compliment: ‘Way more physical than Alabama’

Georgia’s win over Tennessee on Saturday wasn’t so much because Georgia outplayed Tennessee. To be sure, the Bulldogs did so in the 27-13 win over the previously unbeaten Volunteers. The final score does not capture how thoroughly the Bulldogs dominated Tennessee.

The Bulldogs beat the Volunteers because at this point Georgia is a better program than Tennessee. It’s why Kirby Smart felt the need to bring up how his team didn’t need to go into the transfer portal to add talent in his postgame interview.

“A bunch of kids that love this place,” Smart said. “We took zero out of the portal. They all love it here. They competed their ass off and these fans are elite. I’m so proud of our university and these kids.”

Even Tennessee, still in the midst of its best season in 20-plus years, recognizes that Georgia is a different beast right now. This Tennessee team scored 52 points on Alabama less than a month ago. It beat the Crimson Tide, the previous apex predator in the sport.

If you don’t believe that Georgia now wears the crown, listen to what Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt had to say after his team lost to Georgia.

“They’re definitely physical,” Hyatt said. “Way more physical than Alabama.”

That allowed the Georgia quarterback to carve up the Tennessee defense. He threw for 257 yards on 17 of 25 passing. He had two touchdown passes and added a rushing touchdown to boot.

Bennett has been in the Georgia program as long as anyone. He’s come to define what Georgia does.

“Competitive excellence. Competitive toughness. he’s a winner,” Smart said. “I mean, let’s be honest. The guys wins. The guy knows how to play the game. he understands what people are doing.”

Related: Stetson Bennett dialed in, leads Georgia to 27-13 win over Tennessee in battle of No. 1-ranked teams

For so long, Alabama had been the standard in college football. But after Alabama’s loss to LSU on Saturday, the Crimson Tide may not make it to Atlanta to take represent the SEC West. Its championship hopes appear to be dashed.

Georgia’s are very much alive. It’s clear the Bulldogs are the best team in the country this season. They were last season as well.

Bigger than that though, Georgia looks like the best program in college football. It didn’t happen overnight but that’s what Smart has built at Georgia.

“I think everybody in the SEC recruits well. Everybody’s got good football players around them,” Smart said. “Yeah, you’ve got to go sign good football players. We’ve done that but from what I hear from other people who watch us, it’s physical toughness. It’s Tuesday and Wednesday practice and I think physical toughness won out today for us because they’re a really physical team.”

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