College Football Pick
If Tennessee can replicate what they did in the second half of the Florida win for an entire Game, the Vols could easily be on their way to the SEC East title. But it’s never that easy in the East and they still have a long way to go, especially with two road Games up next followed by a date with Alabama. Tennessee opened as a -3 point road favorite at Georgia.
It’s a surprise this line isn’t any bigger, but hard to trust Tennessee, especially coming off a big win. But on the other side of that, the Bulldogs haven’t looked all that great this season, despite a 3-1 record.
They won their first three Games, but UNC isn’t as good this year and then beating Nicholls State and Missouri by a combined three points doesn’t exhibit much confidence. Last weekend it was worse against Ole Miss in which they were beaten to a pulp with the Game over at halftime, 31-0.
Freshman quarterback Jacob Eason has had his moments for the Bulldogs this season, but ultimately has struggled more often than not. against the Rebels, he threw a costly pick-six and finished with just 137 yards on 16-of-36 passing. That’s not going to get this team many places, even if they can run for 230 yards, which they did against Ole Miss.
Yes, Tennessee hasn’t looked much better at times, but it’s hard to deny what they did to Florida in the second half last Saturday. The Volunteers came out after halftime, down 21-3, and absolutely demolished the Gators on both sides of the field. That half displayed the talent this team has.
The defensive line consistently got to Florida QB Austin Appleby and on the other side, Joshua Dobbs showed the potential that he has in this offense. But again, why haven’t the Vols been doing this in every Game? That’s a main reason they’re only favored by three points here.
In the meeting last year, it was close throughout, but Dobbs was the difference maker in the end and led the Vols to a 38-31 win. But that also came at home. Can Dobbs put that type of Game in on the road?
At the least, it looks like Tennessee should be able to run again after going for 207 yards last year. Dobbs is at the top of that list, but also running back Jalen Hurd, who’s been solid and Alvin Kamara.
The problem is that they have to stop a Georgia team that also wants to run the ball, whether it’s Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, or Brian Herrien who had two touchdowns last week in the loss. Herrien got those touchdowns because Chubb isn’t full healthy and he may not be able to go in this Game. If that’s the case, covering this Game may be even harder for the Bulldogs.
No matter, if the Bulldogs want to win, they’ll need something more out of Jacob Eason. He’s completing 52% of his passes on the year and has been mostly hit-or-miss. In the loss to the Rebels, he was mostly miss.
We could say that his struggles have been due to playing on the road in three of the first Four Games, but he was also inconsistent against Nicholls State.
We know Tennessee will score, but the jury is still out on Eason in his freshman season. Maybe he’ll be great someday, but he hasn’t looked like the freshman phenom that the Georgia faithful thought he could be.
Our Pick – We’ve been high on the Vols since the beginning of this season. Their performance in the 2nd half last week against Florida validates those feelings.
After losing 5 straight to Georgia in this series, Tennessee won last year 38-31. We think they start their own series winning streak by making it two in a row here. A Tennessee win should also be a cover. Tennessee -3