Typically, the Tennessee-Georgia football game is a match-up between two of the top teams in the SEC.
However, this season is not a typical season for either the Vols or Bulldogs.
For the first time since 1906, both schools sport a losing record, and both are winless in conference play. Tennessee (2-3, 0-2 SEC) enters the sixth game of the season for both teams after suffering a heartbreaking 16-14 loss to LSU last week. Georgia (1-4, 0-3 SEC) travels back home after a disappointing 29-27 loss at Colorado.
"It's a proud, talented program with great coaches," UT coach Derek Dooley said at his weekly Monday press conference. "We're expecting them at their best, and that's probably what they'll show. They'll show their best. That's what most good programs do.
"We better be prepared for Georgia's best, because that's what we're going to get. If we aren't at our best, we'll get run out of the stadium."
Getting run out of Sanford Stadium is something the Vols haven't had happen to them in recent memory. UT has won four of the last six meetings in the series, including last year's convincing 45-19 victory in Knoxville. The Vols have also won two of the last three games played "Between the Hedges" in Athens.
One of the main areas of concern for Tennessee will be Georgia's All-American receiver, A.J. Green, who was suspended for the first four games of the season by the NCAA for selling one of his game jerseys to someone the NCAA deemed an agent.
"They've got probably the best player in college football playing receiver," Dooley said. "You saw just his presence his first game back. The guy's unbelievable."
In the game against the Buffalos, Green had seven receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
"One game back and he's made the play of the season so far," UT senior middle linebacker Nick Reveiz said. "How he catches the ball and how he goes up for the ball, he's just a great competitor. You can't replicate a guy like that."
Throwing the ball to Green will be quarterback Aaron Murray. Murray was one of the question marks offensively going into the year for the Dawgs, but the redshirt freshman has performed well, completing 80-of-132 passes (60.6 percent) for 1,100 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Georgia's offensive line was expected to be one of the best in the country but has struggled, paving the way for only 137 rushing yards per game,10th best in the SEC.
Though Mark Richt's team has struggled early in the season, the Vols know the Bulldogs will be motivated to get a win after losing four straight since their season-opening win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
"Georgia is no doubt a powerhouse," Reveiz said. "They've got a great team, and they've got great players still. Nothing has changed in that aspect. Their win column just isn't as big, and neither is ours, so it's one of those things. It's Georgia-Tennessee, and I know they are going to be playing great, and they are going to be ready as we are too. So it's still going to be a battle no matter what."
Much like last week's game against LSU, Dooley will be playing a school he has ties to. Dooley's father, Vince, coached the Bulldogs from 1964 to 1988, winning six SEC titles and the 1980 national championship.
After coaching, Vince Dooley served as the school's athletic director. Derek Dooley was born in Athens but tried to downplay his return to his hometown.
"A lot of people are trying to make something out of this," Dooley said. "I left Athens when I was 18. I know I'm not old, but that was a long time ago. I've worn a lot of colors since that time. I've coached there already as an opponent. I've played there as an opponent. There won't be any nostalgia. Probably more at LSU than there would be at Georgia. It's a very different place than when I grew up.
"The Athens that I knew and the Georgia that I knew was (with) my dad coaching as a kid. And that's it. When he stopped coaching and when I went to college, that ended."
Though the coaches have changed over the years, the Tennessee-Georgia game is still an intense rivalry, especially since both teams often have recruiting battles in the offseason.
Saturday's meeting will be the 39th meeting all-time between the border-state schools. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:21 EDT on the SEC Network.