Kirby Smart has a lot of respect for Tennessee football.

The Vols have not kept things very competitive with Georgia over the past few years, but Smart made that much clear last week when asked about his team’s outlook at the CFP after beating Mizzou last week. Smart said simply “We’ve got Tennessee next week.”

On Wednesday during the SEC’s final teleconference of the season, Smart noted that Neyland Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the entire country. And the results certainly show that.

Tennessee has not lost at home since Georgia beat them in 2021. The Vols may not be as strong as last season, but they’re a different team within the confines of Neyland Stadium.

Here’s what Smart had to say about playing the Vols on the road:

“It’s a tough environment when you go on the road in the SEC, it’s never easy. Neyland presents one of the toughest ones in the country, in terms of environment and noise,” Smart said. “But we emphasize that every week, we don’t do that week to week, we have to decide that for our defense when we’re home. So we do it to the offense when we’re going against the defense.”

Smart continued, explaining how playing on the road vs. at home presents its differences while also accepting that Georgia wants to streamline their approach as much as possible.

“It is something that is continuous for us, even in the offseason, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s hard and you scheme things differently, you do a little less of this and a little more of this. You carry a little more of these and a little less of those, when you’re on the home and road. You have to execute at a high level, it puts more pressure on your run game because you have to be able to run the ball and the line of scrimmage is important at anytime, but it’s really important on the road.”

Georgia faces off against Tennessee at 3:30 on CBS.