It seems like it's been forever since the Vols nearly shook up the SEC with an upset of Georgia.

From a journalistic perspective, that's what a bye week will do. It's hard to fill the sports pages when the Vols aren't playing on Saturday.

However, from a football perspective, that week off may have been just what the Vols – and the doctor – ordered.

The Georgia contest two weeks ago was as physically and emotionally testing as fans of the UT program can remember.

The Bulldogs can attest to that, as they lost what seemed like all of their play-makers on offense.

As quarterback Aaron Murray and the Dawgs lost to Missouri between the hedges Saturday, the Vols were recovering.

More importantly, they were preparing for their upcoming test against No. 11 South Carolina.

The Gamecocks are coming off a complete manhandling of the Arkansas Razorbacks in which they scored 52 unanswered points, but let's not get carried away with that performance – the Razorbacks aren't the Vols.

Well, they aren't the Vols that showed up in Neyland Stadium on Oct. 5.

And while that Volunteer team may have left with a loss to add to their record, they also put together a crucial morale victory that has gone a long way for this team's confidence. A confidence that you wouldn't expect to arise from a unit that suffered such a heartbreaking loss.

While confidence is a huge factor for this squad going forward, it doesn't always translate to the field, especially against a team that is equally as confident.

Improvement, however, always shows.

And improve is exactly what UT has done week in and week out, even if the scoreboard hasn't indicated it.

With a team as young as the Vols are, under a first-year head coach in Butch Jones, what more can you ask for?

Not much, but maybe they've improved enough over these past two weeks to not just keep it close against a ranked opponent, but actually take down that adversary.

Only time will tell.

Upset of the Week

Last week: Missouri over Georgia

This week: West Virginia over No. 16 Texas Tech, 31-28

After weeks of not coming remotely close, it was nice to get that one right last week.

Originally, this week's upset was Florida over Missouri, but with the Tigers starting quarterback James Franklin out for the rest of the regular season with a separated shoulder, that seemed like a cop out.

With that said, let's get bold.

This West Virginia team has been bad this season with the departures of quarterback Geno Smith and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, but they have not been as terrible as everyone thinks they've been.

All three of their losses have been against teams that have been ranked at some point this season, and they do have a road win against then-No. 11 Oklahoma State.

And now a Texas Tech team that hasn't really proved anything – the best team they've played all year is a TCU team that is far from the non-BCS power we're used to – has to make a trip to Morgantown to face a Mountaineers team that has had two weeks to prepare for that pass-first, run-never offense of the Red Raiders.

If the Mountaineers' offense is able to build on their improvements over the past two weeks, they'll be sending head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his Texas Tech team back to Lubbock, Texas with their first loss of the year.

Troy Provost-Heron is a sophomore in journalism and electronic media. He can be reached at tprovost@utk.edu and followed on Twitter @TPro_UTDB.