Tennessee is off to a much better start than last season. The Vols began the 2019 season with a 1-4 record. This season though, Tennessee has captured victories in its first 2 games.

Associate head coach Tee Martin broke down on WNSP-FM 105.5 the main reasons why he believes this season’s version of Tennessee is much improved. Martin cites continuity across the board as the biggest factor.

“Coordinators on offense and defense for the second year in a row – and that familiarity with the guys on both sides of the ball – helped us a lot,” Martin said in a quote transcribed by AL.com. “We’ve been in some close games. This time last year, I don’t know if we win those games, so it speaks to the maturity and growth in the program on both sides of the ball.”

Tennessee proved its moxie in Week 1. Despite surrendering a 2-touchdown lead in the second half, Tennessee recovered to edge out South Carolina. In Week 2, Tennessee easily defeated Missouri 35-12.

Martin was effusive in his praise for QB Jarrett Guarantano, who so far has amassed 449 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.

“He’s playing really good football,” Martin said. “He understands the play. He understands what we’re asking him to do. He’s operating at the line of scrimmage really well. We do a lot of checking at the line of scrimmage. We do a lot of things that require the quarterback to operate pre-snap. You can see the growth and him being comfortable in his second year in Jim Chaney’s system.”

Next up is a daunting contest at No. 3 Georgia. Georgia is coming off a convincing 27-6 victory vs. Auburn.

Martin has faith that Tennessee is up for the task, though.

“Georgia was clicking on all cylinders,” Martin said. “Their quarterback is operating good. They run the ball well. They hold on to the ball by converting third downs. … Defensively, they were aggressive. They pressured the quarterback. They disrupted a lot of things up front. We look forward to the challenge.”