ATHENS, Ga. (WSAV) – When the Georgia Bulldogs take on the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, they will likely have to do so without one of the most important members of their defense.

Head coach Kirby Smart said that linebacker and Savannah native Nolan Smith was “doubtful” for Saturday’s game due to a pectoral injury suffered in UGA’s win over Florida on Saturday.

“His availability has not been determined but his availability does not look good for this week,” Smart said.

UGA is conducting an MRI test on Smith to determine the extent of the injury and will make a final decision on his status after those results come back.

“He’s probably doubtful for this week,” Smart said.

Smith’s presence will be missed against a Tennessee Volunteer offense that is averaging more than 47 points per game this season.

“They have some traditional formations and traditional plays but a lot of it is very different,” Smart said. “It’s very unique. They have a plan of attack based on how you’re going to play them. You’re not going to trick them. You’re not going to show them something they haven’t seen. You have to do what you do better than they do what they do and they’re good at what they do.”

Smith, who has been widely regarded as a first-round NFL Draft prospect in 2023, has 18 tackles and three sacks this year.

UGA retained its No. 1 spot in the latest AP poll while Tennessee tied for No. 2 with Ohio State. Saturday’s game is just the 25th regular season matchup between two top teams.