The first matchup for the Vols in the month of October and the Vols’ first game outside the state comes at Georgia this Saturday. The Vols beat Georgia 38 to 31 in a thriller at Neyland Stadium last year. Georgia parted ways with Coach Mark Richt in the offseason. Richt has since become the Head Coach of the Miami Hurricanes. To fill the vacancy left by Mark Richt the Bulldogs hired former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart. Smart started recruiting for Georgia immediately even though he still had to coach with Alabama in the College Football Playoff, which they won.
At the quarterback position, the Bulldogs have stuck with true freshman Jacob Eason. Although, Greyson Lambert also played at quarterback early in the year. At running back they have some more stability with RB Nick Chubb who rushed for only 747 yards last season because of a knee injury. Although, Chubb does have 2,294 career yards with Georgia in his two years as the top running back. Chubb has dealt with more injuries this season and injured his left ankle in the second quarter of Georgia’s blowout loss to Ole Miss. His status for Saturday’s game is uncertain. Georgia’s offensive line has been less than spectacular thus far this season and Tennessee will need to take advantage of that while rushing the passer.
On the defensive side of the ball, Georgia has had to replace Leonard Floyd, who was drafted by the Chicago Bears during the offseason. However, the Bulldogs have Dominick Sanders who led the team in interceptions last campaign. Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick has also made an impact leading the Bulldogs in total tackles so far.
The Volunteers will need to pressure the young Georgia secondary early and often. If they do that, Josh Dobbs should have another big-game, much like the last aerial attack against Florida. Jalen Hurd is also due a big game. Look for Hurd to breakout some big runs for the Vols high-tempo offense.
The Tennessee defense just might have their best game yet against Georgia. The Georgia offensive line is weak, making easy work for Derek Barnett and Co. The Big Orange secondary needs to step up and play elite, much like their last game, to stop the passing attack of the Bulldogs quarterback Jacob Eason.
Tennessee was on cloud nine after that huge victory over rival Florida last Saturday. Butch Jones will have the Vols raring to go, and ready to win big. Tennessee should win handily to keep their winning streak going.
Prediction: Tennessee-41, Georgia-23