Live from Athens: Will UGA awake and vex the Vols?

Clad in their traditional, er, gray, the Vols gather between the hedges. (M. Bradley)

Clad in their traditional, er, gray, the Vols gather between the hedges. (M. Bradley)

Clad in their traditional, er, gray, the Vols gather between the hedges. (M. Bradley)

Clad in their traditional, er, gray, the Vols gather between the hedges. (M. Bradley)

Athens — Georgia should beat Tennessee. Let’s be clear about that. Still, this is one of those games that terrifies the man who’s coaching the favored team.

It’s at home, which means there’s a comfort factor (and not necessarily in a good way). Kickoff is early, which always makes for a late-arriving crowd and often a slow-starting home side. (The Bulldogs upset No. 6 Auburn in 2006 in a game that started before noon CST; Georgia lost here to Missouri last October in a noon game.)

And the Volunteers are talented enough to have played Oklahoma, which a lot of smart folks believe to be the nation’s best squad, relatively close in Norman two weeks ago. Tennessee was driving to make it 27-17 in the fourth quarter, but a tipped passed became the 100-yard interception return that made the final score — 34-10 — appear more emphatic that it was.

Then again, if any team should be forewarned about the Vols’ upset capabilities, it’s Georgia. The Bulldogs needed a last-gasp touchdown to force overtime in Knoxville last season and a Vol fumble on the goal line to escape. A year later, Tennessee under Butch Jones still hasn’t beaten anyone of consequence unless you count Utah State, but the belief here is that the Big Orange isn’t far from being relevant again.

It probably won’t happen this year. The Vols, as noted a time or two, have an awful schedule. But the Bulldogs shouldn’t sleep — or sleep in — on this game.

And with that, the figurative floor is again open. I’ll be here until the last round of “Rocky Top” is played. I welcome your comments and your company, and I thank you, as ever, in advance.

Further reading: Tennessee’s going to upset somebody — but not UGA.

Reader Comments 0

1308 comments
Ruffski
Ruffski

How do you keep a bunch of Rubes in suspense? I'll tell ya later...

Ruffski
Ruffski

Maybe next year... UGA should have OWNED the Vols at home... Lucky to win the game... LOL @ Mason

Dawgie_Style
Dawgie_Style

CMR: "We’re definitely not clicking in throwing the ball, but we’re not going to abort running the ball just to prove we can sling it around.”

HUH??

Terry1961
Terry1961

Mark Bradley, what is this about Butch Jones not beating anyone, maybe not this year, but if I’m not mistaken, his Vols team beat #11 South Carolina at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN last year 23–21. I here a lot of people saying Butch Davis hasn’t had that signature win, what do they call beating South Carolina? The only thing I can see he hasn’t done, is beat a ranked team at their opponents stadium. Happy Now?

Dawgie_Style
Dawgie_Style

@Terry1961 Maybe it's cause Butch Davis hasn't done jack shyt since he got run out of Chapel Hill

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

Uhhhh, I think yall mean Butch Jones of which never coached in Chappel Hill

Terry1961
Terry1961

@Frank_Wren, Some people don't hesitate to speak their minds because they have nothing to lose.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Terry1961 @Frank_Wren

Well, you spoke yours when you said Butch Davis is Tenn's coach--and you lost something. Credibility.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@JeffersonDavisHogg

Arky is better than expected and will give the Mutts a lot of trouble and NC State is better than expected and will give GT a lot of trouble.

Both of the local team's schedules just got harder than expected based on Today's performances.

ruffdawg
ruffdawg

Players like Gurley  don't come around too often.... He has great talent , but even more so a will to win....Something CMR & Bobo lacks, they are very soft , they know our QB is not the answer....but they will ruin a season for being sentimental.

TampGator1
TampGator1

I guess Mason is not Aaron Murray after all.  He looked very Driskel like today.  But....man....is Gurley the best college running back to come along in a long while? Yes, he is. 

Baloney
Baloney

Yes, he is. A man amongst boys.

CHDawg
CHDawg

Driskel is fast, and has a better arm. Mason makes better decisions. If we could combine Driskel's arm and legs with Mason's brain, I think we would have a first rounder.

Baloney
Baloney

Ok fine. UGA deserves better. But to think Ramsey is an immediate solution is short sighted at best.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Hudson Mason, weak arm, sore arm, whatever the case, he should not be a starter for an SEC team.  On radio they just said he is only averaging 6 yards per pass attempt.   All he can do is throw screen passes.

CHDawg
CHDawg

I thought Hutson had more zip on the ball. His arm strength was never his best asset, but it seems to be floating worse lately, as in the last few weeks. I didn't see today much. Murray was probably my favorite UGA qb ever, so I never said that. I have seen a few. Hutson has good points. He generally makes good decisions. But a sore arm is hard to admit, but easy to spot.

Terry1961
Terry1961


What’s sad is, that many of the same people on here, were saying Mason should have started over Murray, the whole time he was our QB, now their saying our backups should start over Mason, maybe, just maybe, that’s why Mark Richt is the Head Coach of UGA, and you all are on here complaining, because from your advantage point its easy to say try the next QB, but I have to believe Coach Richt is putting in the best QB, what would it profit Richt to use Mason, if he had a better QB that was ready to play?

Baloney
Baloney

Hey Techie, you have seen the articles on Jacob Eason, no?

SinceVince
SinceVince

Why hasn't Richt recruited a very good QB to take the reins ??? It's the coaching folks!!! demand better!!!

Mobile Dawg
Mobile Dawg

@Terry1961  No, what's sad is that if the two guys behind Mason aren't as good as he is, we're in real trouble next year.

Terry1961
Terry1961

@SinceVince, Just because their not playing, doesn't mean their not any good, there is more to being a QB, than skill, Richt isn't going to put a QB out there till they know the offense. Did you see the Vols second string QB, I think he fumbled twice, and was getting eat up behind the line. There is a reason you want a seasoned QB back there.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Have you seen true freshman Deshaun Watson from the great state of Georgia??? He is now the starting QB for Clempson you know

Terry1961
Terry1961

@SinceVince, yes, I saw him lose last week, even though FSU was without their QB. 

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

I for one never said HM should start over AM. Murray was a very food Qb and always have us the best chance to win. He frustrated me at times but he was also a big playmaker. I have had all the confidence in the world with HM but am slowly losing it. I hope the return of some deep threat recievers changes things for the offense but I don't see them making a difference in HMs arm strength and accuracy

Baloney
Baloney

Hutson Mason has never had a " strong " arm like Aaron Murray. That is half of the story. His ball is well timed. Up until today, there have been zero picks.

CHDawg
CHDawg

What if Mason's arm is sore? No doubt he is the best on experience, but remember we went through this with Joe Cox and later we found out his arm was sore. The coaches know best, but many baseball players and Qbs have tried to hide a sore arm from their coaches.

Vampire_Bill
Vampire_Bill

Ramsey looked weak out there,  handing off awkwardly for a loss.   Let's hope Bauta can play?

Mobile Dawg
Mobile Dawg

Positives to take away from today, Gurley, and his backups, Oline played pretty good.  Despite giving up 28 points I think the defense played better, they shut the Vols down on a lot of their series, came up with some turnovers.  The coverage overall was better, we did have a few busts but improvement was there.  Special teams were pretty solid, would still like to see more touchbacks.

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

@TravisBickle2014 @Mobile Dawg johnny...tissue ?? that's what we heard from you and your brother from another mother buckeye last year when Gurley didn't play and Bennett, Wesley and Keith Marshall were all lost from the game in Kville with injuries last year...go dogs

Baloney
Baloney

No offense to Mobile. He is usually sensible.

Brice Ramsey isn't ready yet.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Baloney

And Bauta? Not even worth a try against hapless Vandy?

Come on, now.

Mobile Dawg
Mobile Dawg

@Baloney  What about him isn't ready, just asking.  If you read a post earlier I haven't seen them play, just read some about the tools they have.

Baloney
Baloney

Never said Bauta isn't worth a try. The Mason instead of Murray, Ramsey instead of Mason folks can go fly a kite.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Magic-Bus @DawgNole @Baloney

If you think I said Mason is the answer, you better get your spectacles cleaned--or polish those woeful reading comprehension skills.