Picture posted by Georgia Football Twitter Account
For the first time since 1995, Georgia will play at Neyland Stadium before October. The Dawgs and Vols will be meeting for the 47th time, Tennessee leading the series 23-21-2 thanks to two straight victories in the series. Though, it is Georgia that comes into this game with all of the momentum, 4-0 including last week’s win over #17 Mississippi State. While Tennessee enters the game 3-1, surviving against lowly UMass last week 17-13. That should not matter this weekend though, as every game between these two programs since 2011 has been decided by 8 points or less.
Given that stat, it is fitting that the Vegas line is Georgia by 7 ½, but for Georgia to become 5-0 they must do these three things to win. First, Tennessee’s main playmaker is their tailback John Kelly, who comes into the game with 450 yards and 6 touchdowns. So, it is paramount for Georgia to stop Kelly, something they’ve done to the leading rushers in the first four games. The second key for the game is special teams. That is one area that can keep the Vols in the game, just like it did in 2013. Georgia clearly had the better team that day, but a blocked punt for a Touchdown for Tennessee in the third quarter helped them stay in the game before losing to Georgia in Overtime. Therefore, it is important for Rodrigo Blankenship to continue notching touchbacks on kickoffs and Cameron Nizialek to continue his 44.5 yard average on punts to flip the field position. Finally, if Georgia can continue to run the football for over 200 yards in a game, they can control time of possession and grind out a win on the road. Tennessee has the worst rush defense in the SEC, though that is skewed somewhat due to facing Georgia Tech’s triple option in the opening game.
Come Saturday night around 8 PM when the game is over, I expect Georgia to prevail with a 27-14 win. My hope is for Nick Chubb to be the focal point of the game, having a stat line along the lines of 31 carries 207 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is returning to Neyland Stadium 2 years after his devastating knee injury on the first play, so here’s to hoping he gets the final laugh.
God Bless & Go Dawgs!