Georgia is rested after its win over Notre Dame two weeks ago and now it faces Tennessee. The Volunteers may not win, but they covered on the road last year in a 38-12 loss. Similar to that result, the Bulldogs were a -25.5 point road favorite with an over/under of 52.5 as of Tuesday.
The big part in last year’s game was that Tennessee did just enough to keep Georgia at bay and limit them to 38 points, and that included a late Georgia touchdown in the final minutes.
While the Bulldogs moved the ball fairly easily on 5.0 yards per carry and 7.9 yards per pass attempt, they still punted it four times and their methodical approach doesn’t lead to huge scoring games as long as the opponent doesn’t allow big runs.
That’ll be Tennessee’s goal again as it’s allowing a solid 3.7 yards per carry and 149.8 rushing yards per game. Those are solid numbers considering how the early season has gone and even when Georgia ran for 8.1 yards per carry against Vandy in the opener, it still only managed 30 points.
The Bulldogs will take their usual run-first approach in this game behind D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien. As a team, they’re averaging 6.9 yards per carry so it’s easy to see why they don’t ask Jake Fromm to do more.
While he’s a good quarterback with a 75.6% completion rate, he’s attempted just 82 passes for 788 yards. He could probably lead a blowout in this game, but assuming Georgia’s strategy doesn’t change, it’ll likely keep running the ball with Swift and company, which may limit its scoring upside to around 40 points.
But if that’s the case, the Volunteers still need to score, unless they plan on holding Georgia to 30 points or less (a la Vandy). The offense wasn’t the problem in the first few games, but then it couldn’t do anything against Florida in a 34-3 loss.
It’s a wonder how much playing at home matters for Tennessee because it’s not like the fan base is expecting a win, nor does it have hope for the rest of the season.
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is averaging a decent 8.1 yards per attempt, but has four interceptions with seven touchdowns. The Georgia defense stepped up in the win against Notre Dame and has the capability to hold a weaker group like Tennessee below 10 points.
That’s because it could be a long day for running backs Ty Chandler and Eric Gray, who have combined for 447 rushing yards, and are going against Georgia’s rush defense which allows 2.3 yards per carry.
If Chandler and Gray can’t move the ball on the ground, it’ll be up to Guarantano to complete passes and as seen in the Florida game, that’s not an easy thing to bet on.
Tennessee won’t shock the nation with a win, but if its run defense steps up, it’s possible Georgia will be held to another 30 or so points. If that’s the case, getting a cover should be in range for the home team as long as they can score a couple times.
The Bulldogs have covered in their last five SEC games, but have failed to cover in their last four against teams with a losing record.
The under is 5-1 in Tennessee’s last six games following an ATS loss. The underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between these schools and the over is 5-2 in the last seven (under has hit last two years).
Predicted Score – Georgia 32 Tennessee 10