If you think Tennessee has had a tough start to the 2019 season, well, just buckle up. Georgia comes to town tomorrow, ranked No. 3 in the country. After that is a date with Mississippi State, then a trip to No. 1 Alabama.
The Bulldogs enter this one coming off of a bye, just like Tennessee. The Volunteers are looking for a spark after taking one on the chin in Gainesville two weekends ago, losing to Florida 34-3.
Is there anything this staff could change to keep things competitive on Saturday night? Let’s take a look at the predictions.
Austin: Georgia 45, Tennessee 0
Georgia is, far and away, the most complete team the Vols will play to date. Offensively, the Bulldogs are led by 3-year starter Jake Fromm. Fromm has improved as a player each year, and this year is completing a staggering 75% of his passes to go along with six passing touchdowns and no interceptions. In front of Fromm might be the biggest offensive line in the country, and they’re every bit as mean as they are large. The Georgia receiving corps took a hit after 2018 with losses of Hardman, Godwin, and Ridley to the NFL. However, the new crop of pass-catchers has picked up where the previous group left off. I haven’t even mentioned D’Andre Swift yet, their talented running back currently averaging about 8 yards per carry. On the defensive end the Bulldogs are big, strong, and relentless in pursuit.
Normally playing at night in Neyland Stadium would be a major advantage for Tennessee, but fan apathy may allow Georgia a less intimidating atmosphere. While Tennessee had a bye-week to prepare, Georgia did as well. And, Georgia has home games against struggling South Carolina and Kentucky in the weeks to come. In other words, there is nothing to suggest this could be a ‘trap game’ for Georgia where we could catch them looking ahead to a stronger opponent. I don’t have a great feeling about this one, at all.
Clint: Georgia 42, Tennessee 7
On one hand, this was one of two games everyone expected to lose...by a lot. The Bulldogs are simply in another tier when it comes to program competency, team competitiveness, talent acquisition, everything you can name. No one expected this to be close before the season started.
On the other hand...there is an unseen level of apathy setting into the Tennessee fanbase. Pruitt’s defense is the only chance of making this game close, and a tight contest is desperately needed to gain some sort of momentum against other SEC opponents. I’m not sure how many more blowout losses this fanbase can take.
I just don’t see it being much of a fight. Tennessee’s defense keeps it close for a quarter before offensive incompetence lets Georgia control the game.
Evan: Georgia 35, Tennessee 10
Yea, this ain’t gonna be pretty. At all. And to make everything worse, it’s going to be on national TV.
I’d like to think the extra time should help at least make this a competitive game, but Tennessee simply does not have the talent to keep up with a premium SEC school.
Jim Chaney wishes he never left and Pruitt loses another stinker at home as the Bulldogs tear through a lit up Neyland.
Noah: Georgia 45, Tennessee 6
Like everyone else here, you would hope the bye week helped the offense figure out away to generate points that don’t entirely involve Brent Cimaglia.
But if Pruitt and company are going to let two freshmen quarterbacks play in addition to an already struggling Jarrett Guarantano, I can’t think of any scenario where the Vols get anything more than a field goal on the board. That’s not a knock on the young QBs. Pruitt and Chaney are pretty much going to have to try something different like they did in the second half against Florida two weeks ago, but Georgia is just too good.
Cimaglia will prevent a shutout for the second-straight game.
Terry: Georgia 42, Tennessee 14
I’d like to think an open date would help straighten out this Tennessee offense, but I think it’s more of a talent issue than a chemistry issue. Tennessee just doesn’t have the quarterback play to compete in games like this. Toss in the fact that Georgia ranks in the top five in rush defense, and, well... that a difficult mountain to climb.
Offensive issues aside, Tennessee likely won’t be able to contain an efficient Georgia offensive attack, which features D’Andre Swift ripping off eight yards per carry.