As the son of former longtime Georgia coach and athletic director Vince Dooley, Derek Dooley was 12 when the Bulldogs won the 1980 national championship. He kept his allegiance to his father’s team until launching his playing career at Virginia.
So when Derek Dooley, now in his third year as Tennessee’s coach, seeks to place perspective on the No. 5 Georgia team which plays the Vols today, it qualifies as an expert opinion.
“They are probably playing as good as I’ve seen them in a long time,” Dooley said.
The Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) have scored more than 40 points in each of their first four games.
Georgia has also won back-to-back games in the series, including a 41-14 decision in Athens two years ago and a 20-12 victory at Tennessee last year.
This season’s matchup features the highest-scoring teams in the SEC. Georgia is averaging 47.5 points per game and Tennessee is at 38.2.
Tennessee (3-1, 0-1 SEC) is equipped to keep pace because of Tyler Bray, who is tied for the NCAA lead with 12 touchdown passes, The Vols also boast top talent at wide receiver with Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Georgia’s Aaron Murray isn’t far behind Bray’s pace. Murray, a junior in his third season starting, has passed for 10 touchdowns with only two interceptions.
“He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Dooley said of Murray.
“He’s got a very strong arm. He’s got a lot of snaps under his belt. They don’t change a lot offensively in what they do. ... He’s had a lot of work at getting good at what they do. You can just see him triggering the ball a lot quicker than he ever has. He’s more accurate than he’s been. That just comes with experience.”