Does UGA stand a chance against Tennessee? Why, sure

Mississippi defensive end Garrald McDowell, right, forces a fumble against Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason (10) in an NCAA college football game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

This was a rough day, no question. (Bruce Newman/The Oxford Eagle via AP)

This game is more about Tennessee than Georgia. If the Volunteers play at/near capacity, they’ll win. This is a departure from Georgia’s recent past, where we always figured — with exceptions involving Alabama and, briefly, South Carolina — that the Bulldogs would prevail if they didn’t mess up. (They messed up often enough that Mark Richt will be coaching in Atlanta this weekend, not Athens.)

Georgia is no longer the SEC East’s most talented team. It could not have done to Florida what Tennessee did in the second half last Saturday. Heck, the Bulldogs couldn’t do anything like that to Nicholls State. With Nick Chubb’s status in question, they could be lessened even more. (Then again, Tennessee will be without cornerback Cameron Sutton of Jonesboro.)

For the first three games, that was the story of Georgia in Year 1 under new management: The Bulldogs didn’t blow anybody away — they won three games by a total of 12 points; after what happened in Oxford, they’ve been outscored by 19 this season — but didn’t flail so wildly that it mattered. They looked like a well-coached team, which is something we hadn’t always been able to say.

All the coaching in the world wouldn’t have overridden Ole Miss’ manpower superiority. The Rebels would have had to play less than their best to render that a close game. Ergo, 31-0 at the half, 45-0 in the third quarter. The Tennessee game will not be so lopsided.

The Vols’ two best wins under Butch Jones — against Georgia last year and Florida last week — have come at Neyland Stadium. They’ve beaten nobody of note on the road. Even in those two orange-letter home victories, they trailed by 21 points. They can be maddeningly slow to start. If you’re slow to start on the road against a good (but not great) team, you can fall behind and not catch up.

Having had so few signature wins, Jones’ Vols have no real history of Handling Prosperity. After beating Georgia last October, they had a week off; then they played pretty well but lost to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The epic rally against Florida — 38 consecutive points! — could have instilled true belief in a team that hadn’t impressed anyone in this season’s first three games. It could also have left that team fat and sassy.

The guess here, as it has been since June, is that Tennessee will win. But I don’t see this as the runaway that some Georgia fans are fearing. Tennessee in Athens isn’t as daunting as Ole Miss in Oxford. If Joshua Dobbs isn’t having a good day — and he doesn’t always — the Vols aren’t nearly as good as the Rebels. I think weight of numbers will ultimately hold sway, but I’d be surprised if this isn’t a one-touchdown game.

Should Georgia be the team that finishes seven or so points in front, the East is there to be won. Tennessee would need the Bulldogs to lose — beyond Saturday, there are no probable losses on Georgia’s schedule; I’m not sold on Florida or Auburn  —  while the Vols run the conference table, and their next two games are against Alabama and Texas A&M. We say again: This is not a vintage Georgia team, but if it wins Saturday it will be in pole position to play for the SEC title.

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74 comments
Big Wally
Big Wally

Tennessee's year, not ours. 

Dribble
Dribble

This is on Smart  no doubt.  Terrible time management.  Also why is every defender behind the receiver on the final play? Knock the ball DOWN!!!!  Don't you coach that?  WTF????  Pretty sorry.....Like the song says:  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss....  


Big Wally
Big Wally

@Dribble For what it is worth, there are several articles in the Dawgnation part of this site and one of them has several comments from the DB's who were on the field at the time and they stated that they do practice that in drills every Thursday.  They said that they were even instructed right before the play to knock it down. Sounds like coaches did everything they could, the players just didn't execute it.  

Dribble
Dribble

@Big Wally @Dribble  I hear what you are saying but the results were terrible.  Again, hard to knock the ball down when you are standing behind the intended receiver.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@Dribble @Big Wally Yep.  That is why Lorenzo Carter was on the field (obviously normally a LB isn't going to be playing that deep), but he is 6'5 and probably the tallest player they have on defense.  But, like you said, it doesn't matter how tall you are, if you let the WR catch the ball in front of you. Stars are aligned for Tennessee this year.  First time in a decade they beat Florida, behind in every game, but still won, then this.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Dawgnole.  Tough day dude.  One of those days.

OH:IO
OH:IO

dogs be dogs


thuga U


SEC! SEC!

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@OH:IO You excited OH:IO? ..You love your dogs don't you>

Get a life loser..

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @LOGS1973 One of you is very confused.  Liking one comment against the dogs, then bashing the anti dawg comment.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Someone tell Seth no one is reading his live blog on dog local interest. 


Joke

OH:IO
OH:IO

Enjoy the last few hours in the Top 25, dogs. 


After that, it's next year. 


Note the date. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

So you're shrugging off florida as a serious threat to UGA's potential for an SEC East title, MB?

HUGE mistake, as that team has thoroughly owned the Dawgs for the better part of three decades--mentally and physically.

dawg fan
dawg fan

Biggest game of the year for the Dawgs.  We need a "signature win" this year to build momentum for the program.  There won't be many more opportunities for that after this game.  Maybe Florida but that's about it.  Huge game. 

mgunter
mgunter

Bad blocking schemes for average line. Pretty much same line as last year but running game was much better. I really like coach Smart but we have some some motivational issues that were apparent last week.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@mgunter  He's trying to eradicate Richt's sissy "zone blocking" scheme that is great for beating Vandy and Georgia Tech but not so much against the big boys of the SEC.  It's not working that well right now because we don't have the personnel but I think it would be shortsighted to change things up.  We lose against Ole Miss last week regardless of the blocking scheme.  I support what he is doing and in the long run I think it will pay off once we get the horses to do it.  Kirby is not gunning for coach of the year honors in 2016.  He's trying to build a championship program.   

RulerIAMBAMA
RulerIAMBAMA

Its not that UT is some juggernaut team just because they beat UF. Its more of how bad georgia is. Georgia has Nick Chubb with a mediocre at best O line. Not much after that. But yea, UT will this game.

Robert Karma
Robert Karma

The Tennessee since 1999 would follow up a big win (the few they had) with a letdown and loss in their next game. This about killed me last year getting big leads going into the 4th Quarter and then blowing the games (except for the UGA game.) Bradley is correct that these Vols have struggled on the road during this lost decade. History says that Georgia should win the game against the Same Ol' Vols. 


Except this edition of the Big Orange has shown me they are different, resilient, mentally tough and practice the 7 Maxims of Coach Neyland. (http://www.volnation.com/neylands_maxims.php) The 2nd Half against Florida wiped away the doubt I had about this team. These Vols may start slow but they know how to finish strong. Last year they couldn't finish games, this year, they have found their way. Sure, this is college football and I can be surprised on any given Saturday but I expect this mature version of the Vols to take care of business Between the Hedges tomorrow. 


UGA is trying to find their way with a new coach, a Freshman QB, their star RB out, etc., while coming off a blowout loss at Ole Miss. Yes, the Dawgs have pride and will be determined to wash away the bitter taste of last week. They are playing at home and the crowd will be behind them. I'd go with the Dawgs in previous years but not against this new & improved version of Tennessee. This year, the SEC East belongs to Rocky Top. I'm not saying we will beat TAMU & Bama but 1 out of 2 is certainly within our reach. 


UGA will improve but it will take a few years to get where they want to be. Florida is an enigma. Mizzou will take time to be seriously competitive again. Vandy & Kentucky are in the Land of the Lost. My Vols are finally back to where we expect them to be every season, set up to win the East. UGA will have something to say about that... just highly unlikely tomorrow. 


I hope every season in the future comes down to my Vols and the Dawgs. I really, really dislike the Gators. Better UGA than Florida! Still, I have a good feeling about the 2016 Tennessee Volunteers. I hope we can all agree that it is time to dethrone Alabama as the SEC Champion. 


Enjoy the game. No matter who wins or losses, this is always the best time of the year for fans. Go Big Orange! 

Hank Kimball
Hank Kimball

Dawgs will get their mojo this game they will come into their own. Eason will be full grown and the team will have no turnovers and capitalize on Tennersee turnovers. Short field goals will be made long ones won't. Defense will keep Mr. Alpharetta in check all day. DAWGS WIN DAWGS WIN!!!

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@Hank Kimball Their own will be a 21 point loss. You should have watched the dogs against Old Miss and you would know they are no match for Rocky Top.. sorry..Eason can't throw and catch...

TOJacket
TOJacket

Dawgs are catching up in the poll....bunch of rednecks are just waking up from last night drunken stuper.

lolTrumpers
lolTrumpers

@TOJacket That would be "stupor", as in "Your mother must have been in a drunken stupor throughout her third trimester".

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Bradley being Bradley! Sure the Dogs have a chance against the Vols, Hell Kentucky has a "chance" against Bammer , but all this talk of " if this and if that " and UGa can will the SEC East.Well "Not So Fast , Bradley!" We have had three straight seasons of "woulda , Coulda ,and Shoulda" when the Dogs had more talent than the rest of the East.Now it appears that the talent level has evened out and still you talk about "being in the driver's Seat for the East with a victory over the Vols . Well how about slowing your roll , and lowering the expectations for the 2016 Dogs. This team ,the way it is performing on both sides of the ball will be lucky to finish 8-4 , 3rd in the SEC East.

TOJacket
TOJacket

You're sounding like OHIO?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TOJacket That pretty low of you TO. I am just being realistic ,too many holes on this current Dogs squad for Bradley to be talking about championships, even if it is only the SEC east,

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

Georgia will win 42-37 in a nail biter......oh wait, are we talking Basketball?

Mspinks
Mspinks

Total Offense rank  72, Total Defense rank 58,

Sacks Allowed rank 105, 3rd down conversion rank 78,

Passing Offense rank 79, Rushing Offense rank 47

Statistics don't lie! UGA will be lucky if they win 3 more games. 

Only South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and ULM have worse rankings!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Did Leon ever get any teeth?

Big Wally
Big Wally

Let's see; Off. Tackles who can't block, Wide receivers who can't catch, Linebackers who can't tackle, Cornerbacks who can't cover, and kickers who can't kick.  Sure, why not, UGA in a blow out.

TOJacket
TOJacket

At least they have great fans?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TOJacket Tech Going to draw a sellout crowd this week TO? The fans of the U do not travel , so should we expect about 32,000 on the flats Saturday for the Noon Kickoff.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket It should matter to you as your ath. dept. is bankrupt. I'll give you an economics lesson for free - the more people in your stadium, the more money your program gets.

TOJacket
TOJacket

We could buy that Ag school in east Georgia.

TOJacket
TOJacket

I will now state you a fact skippy....1 in six grads at tech become millionaires....did you the story that showed Tech #1 Baby! ....Suck it Lil Wally

Hank Kimball
Hank Kimball

@TOJacket


Ladies please stop your bickering and get back to UGA football. Rivalries are great so I welcome Techies and OHIO I love the challenging topics. But, enough pulling hair and scratching eyes!!!

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket So why is your ath. dept. bankrupt then dumbarse?  Suck on that loser.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket Your program is so poor, you can't even afford to pay attention!


Boom!

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO @Big Wally Hope you and the Buckeyes  don't get passed in the polls this week. Don't expect much of a bump when you blow out Rutgers #104 in the most recent power rankings, almost 20 spots behind the UL Lafayette #87 team you are always making fun of.

lolTrumpers
lolTrumpers

@TOJacket LOL "we".  "You" probably couldn't afford hail insurance on your single-wide.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Doesn't mean a hill of beans to me? He!! 93,000 watched Bama bend you over a fence last year.........do ya get a trophy for that attendance shat?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Buschleaguer

Notice how he hasn't mentioned this week's TV coverage of UGA and his blowhard bunch.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

So this is your new way of declaring yourself above caring if GT wins or loses?

What a fraud.