Will Justin Worley be able to continue success against Georgia defense?
Justin Worley is off to the best start of his career. The Tennessee senior has 721 yards, six touchdowns, three interceptions and a 120.30 efficiency on 70-of-120 passing.
Worley kicked off his season with two dominant performances against Utah State and Arkansas State. However, he struggled facing a tough defense in No. 4 Oklahoma. The Sooners displayed why they are considered one of the nation’s best pass rushing units, sacking Worley five times and hurrying him eight.
Tennessee’s offensive line was outmatched by Oklahoma and struggled to protect Worley. But the quarterback kept his faith in his teammates and said they will use the Week 3 loss as a learning experience.
On Saturday, the Vols will face another dominant pass rush in No. 12 Georgia. The Bulldogs bring a 3-4 scheme led by linebackers Amario Herrera, Ramik Wilson, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd. All four linebackers have the skill and athleticism to excel in both coverage and pressuring the quarterback.
Herrera leads the Bulldogs in both tackles (24) and sacks (3.0). Wilson is one tackle shy of tying Herrera as Georgia’s leading tackler. Jenkins is coming off a 2013 season that saw him record a team-high 12 tackles for loss. Floyd currently has 13 tackles and two sacks in his second collegiate season.
Worley will need to have a quick trigger facing a touch pass rush on Saturday. Last season, Tennessee relied on short passes and screens to force overtime against the heavily favored Bulldogs. With a lackluster o-line in the trenches, Worley may not have the time for deep passes to develop facing a stellar pass rush.
Tennessee’s offensive line must show improvement coming off a Week 4 bye. For the Vols to have any chance of an upset, the o-line must protect Worley in order for the senior to have time to make plays.