Things are getting exciting in Georgia. The fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs have a potential top-10 showdown looming next week against the No. 6 South Carolina Gamecocks, a battle that could have national championship implications and put the winner on a fast track to the SEC championship game.
But standing in the way of that tilt is a pesky Tennessee Volunteers team that would love nothing better than to derail Georgia’s best laid plans and place itself in the middle of an SEC East free-for-all.
In order to pull the upset, the Vols, who previously lost to Florida in their only other SEC action of the season, must find a way to slow down a steamrolling Georgia offense (47.50 ppg and 530.00 ypg). QB Aaron Murray ranks second in the SEC and eighth in the nation with a 182.43 passer efficiency rating and finally has a ground game to match his talented arm. Freshman RB Todd Gurley continues to impress and is stirring memories of Hershel Walker in Athens as he leads the league in all-purpose yards (164.25 ypg), rushing yards (101.5 ypg), and scoring (10.5 ppg).
For Tennessee to survive, it may well have to make the game a shootout. The Volunteers have the horses on offense to put points on the board. While QB Tyler Bray and the Tennessee offense lead the SEC with 341.25 passing yards per game, the key will be whether a depleted, but improving, Georgia secondary can cover Tennessee’s stable of tall, rangy receivers. Help may be on the way for the Bulldog defense, as safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree are likely to return from suspensions stemming from off-season violations.
Georgia has few “big” games on its schedule this year, thanks to an abnormality that has it avoiding Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas for the second consecutive regular season. A win against Tennessee sets the ‘Dawgs up for a huge showdown at South Carolina. However, if Georgia shows up Saturday afternoon with an eye on the Gamecocks and is overlooking the Vols, Tennessee could have just enough firepower to turn Georgia’s championship dreams into a nightmare.
TENNESSE vs #5 GEORGIA
SAT. SEPT. 29 – 2:30PM / CBS