General Preview: Tennessee vs Georgia
The Matchup: Tennessee (2-1, 0-0 SEC) at Georgia (2-1, 0-1 SEC)
The Venue: Sanford Stadium
The Kick: 12 p.m. ET
Series Record: Tennessee 21-20-2
Last Meeting: The heavily favored No. 6 Bulldogs were taken to overtime as the Vols put together a late-game rally facing a 17-3 deficit at halftime. Tennessee outscored Georgia 28-14 in the second half, before Georgia kicked a game-winning field goal in OT.
Coaches: Butch Jones (57-35 overall), Mark Richt (128-46 overall).
Last game (Tennessee): Tennessee is coming off a bye week that followed a 34-10 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma. The Sooners handed the Vols their first loss of the 2014 season, following two dominant wins against Utah State and Arkansas State.
Last game (Georgia): Georgia enjoyed a dominant 66-0 win over Troy in Week 4. The Bulldogs bounced back from a 38-35 heartbreaker to then-No. 24 South Carolina.
Tennessee wins if: Tennessee’s defense must contain a strong Georgia rushing attack. The Bulldogs’ talented group of backs will match up against A.J. Johnson and an improved Volunteer linebacking corps. Tennessee will need to see another impressive performance from its defensive line, who lack experience, but seem to be improving each game. The Vols will also need a better performance from their offensive line, who struggled to protect quarterback Justin Worley against Oklahoma.
Georgia wins if: Georgia must capitalize on a strong running game. The Bulldogs will be without wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley once again. The focus will be on a strong rushing attack that features Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. Georgia will need to wear down A.J. Johnson, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and a young defensive line with one of the nation’s top running back groups.
What it means if Tennessee wins: Tennessee is farther along in its rebuilding process than most projected entering the season. The Vols can make a serious statement with an upset against a ranked team. Despite its loss to Oklahoma, Tennessee will look like a true contender in the SEC East with a victory over Georgia in Athens.
What it means if Georgia wins: Georgia keeps its SEC East hopes alive with a win over a solid Tennessee team. The Vols– at their worst– have managed to challenge the overmatched Bulldogs in recent years. However, this Tennessee team looks more impressive than any during its recent downswing. Georgia must win to stay in the hunt for the SEC East and will have a tougher task than most expect against a talented Vol roster.