Peyton Manning and Kirby Smart have friendly banter over their careers at Tennessee and Georgia. Manning points out that he was 4-0 against Georgia, however Smart counters that he intercepted Manning.

During an appearance Saturday morning on “SEC Nation,” Manning recalled how he and Smart took some visits together in high school, such as to Florida. Manning then played along with Marty Smith and Ryan McGee to promote the Vols’ success against the Smart defense.

“We basically looked wherever you were and threw it to the guy you were covering,” Manning said.

On his return to Knoxville, Manning said it’s incredibly special and a big reason why he chose Tennessee as Manning cited several Tennessee legends and its tradition.

“I cherish my time coming back,” Manning said as he recalled that he was in Knoxville last season when the Vols beat No. 1 Alabama. “I’m feeling good about the Vols against the University of Georgia.”

Manning said Tennessee must play free to pull the upset on Saturday because the pressure is on Georgia.

“I know how that feels when you’re expected to win every single game,” he said. “We need to have some explosive plays to kind of shorten some drives. Gotta protect the ball, and Georgia’s so good at getting the ball back for you. I think in the 4th quarter, if we can just keep it close, now maybe Georgia tightens up a little bit and we go free and then take the goalposts down and take them to the Tennessee River. I got it all mapped out.”

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.