The OWR Staff Predicts Tennessee-Georgia
With the Gators behind them, the Vols face another pivotal game this weekend as they travel to Athens, GA to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. Our staff predicted the outcome of the game for your gambling pleasure.
According to Las Vegas, Tennessee is currently a 4-point favorite and the over/under is 53. Let’s get to it…
John Monroe (@MinisterofD):
Last week, the Vols finally got the monkey, well Gator, off their backs. This week Tennessee travels between the hedges to face a struggling Georgia team. While they may not be as strong as they were a year ago, the Bulldogs are still well stocked with talent. Tennessee needs to start fast, something they have yet to do this year, and be sure to not let up. If the Vols start with the same intensity that they finished the Florida game with, they should have no troubles with the Bulldogs. Despite the momentum, UT has going in, expect this to be closer than many think. However, the previously stated momentum should get Tennessee through this game, and half way through its big 4 game stretch.
Will Warren (@wedwardwarren):
This is a Georgia team destined for an 8–4 run where their best win is very easily North Carolina, a team that may not actually be good. The lines on both sides of the ball are ruining efforts by most skill position players, and on the rare opportunity they have for a great passing play or the like, there’s an unfortunately high chance the ball will be dropped anyway. Star running back Nick Chubb might be hurt. There’s no pass rush. There’s one good playmaker offensively right now if Chubb can’t go. Even the special teams appear to be pretty brutal. For the last five years, this has been an exceptionally close series (neither team has won by more than eight points), but I feel comfortable taking Tennessee to win by the largest margin in this series since 2010: nine whole points.
Celina Summers (@CelinaSummers):
Tennessee-Georgia is a hard game to pick. On the face of things, this shouldn’t be much of a conversation. The UGA offense has been woeful, only eclipsed by the defense’s inability to stop anyone and an atrocious special teams unit. But this is a rivalry game, and new head coach Kirby Smart has to find a way to keep Georgia from realizing why getting rid of Mark Richt doesn’t instantly equate getting over the final hurdle to national prominence. Records go out the window in games like this. Smart knows that a signature win over a rival will get him a pass for this first season. But, the Vols got over a huge mental hurdle last week — one that I said before the season ever started would turn Team 120 into a juggernaut. UT needs to come out of this four-game stretch 3–1 to stay in the CFP picture, and with huge games back-to-back with Texas A&M and Alabama in the next two weeks they can’t afford to overlook a Georgia team which is desperate for that big win. And they won’t. This game will either be following the pattern set in the season so far, down early and roaring back to win, or it’s going to be a brutal Bulldog Saturday in Athens. Sorry Dawgs. You might wish you’d chosen a different picture for your game ticket come Saturday. There’s no way that defense can stop a UT scoring machine running on all cylinders and by the end of the day, UGA quarterback Jacob Eason will be on first name basis with Derek Barnett. Welcome to the Dawg buffet.
Sam Hiatt (@shiattVTF):
As big as the Florida game was, this game may actually be bigger. Not because fans would like to see UT beat Georgia more than Florida, but because if Tennessee can win, they’ll almost for sure win the SEC East. The only team that could plausibly catch them barring a meltdown, is Florida and they have tough SEC West games much like Tennessee. All that to say, I think this is the first game that the Vols FINALLY play a complete game. Georgia’s defense is terrible and I still contend that a freshman quarterback is not beating this Tennessee defense.
Brett Botta (@BrettBotta):
Can you tell me the last time Tennessee has started 5–0? That’s right, 1998. And we all know what happened that year. While this team still has a lot to prove, it’s honestly not out of the realm of possibility. All signs point to a win for Tennessee, but if the Vols come out flat this can make for another interesting game. I do think Georgia will come out better prepared then last week against Ole Miss, but this Tennessee team knows with a win they all but have the East locked up. I despise Georgia and out side of breaking the streak this is a game I want Tennessee to win the most. I travel a ton to Georgia for work and can’t deal with their delusional fans if the Vols can’t pull this out. Luckily they have a freshman QB and shady offensive line. I’d look for Dobbs and the passing game to get going early and often to put the game away in the first two quarters similar to the Rebels last week. Vols 33 UGA 24
Parks Buchanan (@ParksBuchanan):
This is a Georgia team with a brand new coach and a new freshman quarterback who got shoved around in a game against Ole Miss. This Tennessee’s defense is even more fired up now and the win over Florida last week has absolutely carried over to this week and will continue to carry all throughout the season. It’s going to be one rough game down in Athens and the Vols are going to come out swinging and hopefully never look back. Alvin Kamara is going to have a field day Saturday, this is also a chance for Tyler Byrd to breakout and show he’s ready for the SEC. Vols come out big over the Dawgs.
Charlie Burris (@Charlie_Burris):
It’s refreshing to be writing a prediction about a Tennessee-Georgia game where the Vols aren’t an underdog and haven’t already lost three games coming into the contest. In other words: It’s nice that this game means something like it used to.
That being said, Saturday’s matchup is huge for Tennessee. They would effectively lock up the East with a win and that’s pressure UT hasn’t faced in about a decade. Luckily for the Vols, I think they’ll come out loose and ready to go after sailing over the mental hurdle that was Florida last week. Tennessee is better than Georgia in most, if not all, ways. Dobbs, Hurd, and Kamara should be able to rack up a mountain of offensive production and Derek Barnett should be living in the Bulldogs’ backfield. The only question now is this: Can UT play the way we now know they can for an entire game? Comeback wins are nice and all but a decisive victory over UGA would be a excellent change of pace. I’ll say Georgia keeps it close for three quarters and Tennessee runs away with it late.