KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee continues to surge.

The Vols are now up to second in the country, tied with Ohio State, after its blowout win over Kentucky Saturday night.

But here’s the thing.

It just doesn’t get any easier for UT, who now travels to Athens this weekend to take on its sixth Top 25 team of the season, number-1 Georgia.

The winner of this one all but locks up the SEC East and a spot in the SEC Championship Game.

Funny thing is, despite being 8 and 0 and the talk of college football, this Tennessee team still feels it has something to prove.

Just listen to Heisman frontrunner Hendon Hooker.

“A lot of guys just have a lot of talent and have so much to prove and so much to show. We have a lot of ambition as well,” Hooker said.  “Going out there and playing with a chip on our shoulder day in and day out. We just always feel like we have something to prove and that just fuels us to go work hard every day.”

“That was our big thing going into the offseason. That’s the big thing Coach Heupel preached about, expecting to win. It’s games in the SEC. You’re going to play tough teams, you’re going to play ranked teams, you’re going to play teams that are going to be highly ranked. It’s all about your preparation, it’s all about your work ethic,” said Vols offensive tackle.  “All your preparation man – when things don’t go right, when you face adversity, you lean back on the preparation that you put in. As long as our preparation is good, we’ll be fine. That’s kind of what we preach here.”

Vols and Georgia kickoff at 2:30 Saturday.