Currently Tennessee is a 7 point underdog to the Bulldogs at Neyland Stadium. Here’s how our staff thinks the game will turn out.
This is Butch Jones’ Little Big Horn. Jones has lost a portion of the fan base in the ugly loss at Florida and the lackluster win vs UMass. Knowing that he had already lost a different portion of the fan base since the loss to Vanderbilt last season, he is in desperate need of a signature win.
Butch Jones has been his best when his back was against the wall. He’s been pretty good as an underdog coach, and he’s just that with Georgia coming in as 7.5-point favorites. If Tennessee is going to win this game they have to do three things, in my mind. 1) Play turnover free football on offense and create a turnover or two on defense. 2) Limit missed tackles on Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. You can’t let those guys break loose for big plays. 3) Feed your playmakers. John Kelly, Marquez Callaway and Ty Chandler need to touch the ball at least 45 times in this game. Don’t allow Georgia’s defense to dictate whether Callaway gets the ball or not. Find a way to get him the ball.
Tennessee has yet to do all three of these things in a game this season. Therefore, I don’t see it happening against the Bulldogs.
Georgia 34, Tennessee 13
This is a huge game for the Tennessee Vols. If they can somehow pull the upset against a Top 10 team, something Butch Jones has yet to do at Tennessee, it will put them right back into the race for the SEC East.
If they play like they did against UMass, they have no chance. If they play like they did in the second half against against Georgia Tech, upsetting the Bulldogs isn’t out of the question.
I think Georgia is too much to handle for them though. I’m not predicting a blow out but the better team will win this game on Saturday. Kirby Smart and company get out of Knoxville with a “w” and are one step closer to Atlanta.
Georgia 35, Tennessee 17
Tennessee has yet to play a complete game this season. The Vols have looked sluggish at times against every opponent they’ve faced. If Tennessee has any hope of saving the season, it has to start with the Bulldogs.
Butch Jones normally has his teams motivated for games like these, but last Saturday’s survival against UMass makes me seriously doubt that Team 121 will be prepared for Saturday. Georgia is red hot having beaten down Mississippi State last week. They’ll likely ride that momentum into Knoxville on Saturday. I think Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both rush for over 100 yards against the Vols.
Tennessee will drop their second game of the season here.
Georgia 41, Tennessee 20
Although it’s a rivalry game, I don’t see how the Vols can move the ball on Georgia. Weird things are prone to happen, but the Bulldogs are arguably the best defensive team in the SEC. Meanwhile, the Vols still haven’t decided what team they want to be. Georgia doesn’t have that problem. They’ll run the ball down Tennessee’s throats and control the game.
Georgia 27, Tennessee 14
John Kelly. The chances of Tennessee getting this win against a Top 10 Georgia team live and die by John Kelly. Yes, Callaway has made some nice catches, but he disappeared against UMass.
Look for the Bulldogs to stack the box to stop Kelly and dare Dormady or Guarantano or whoever wins Butch’s coin toss to throw the ball. UGA QB Jake Fromm may be rattled at first coming into Neyland, but Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and a solid defense will get him a nice SEC road win.
Georgia 34, Tennessee 21