After the first two weeks in the SEC, Florida and Georgia are showing that the two programs may be on a collision course to see who the best team in the SEC East this year. However, there is a third team looking to enter the race, and it is the Tennessee Volunteers. Coach Jeremy Pruitt has Tennessee fans dreaming of Rocky Top once again being a national contender, and the Volunteers get a huge opportunity to prove they belong as they travel to Athens to take on the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs.
The all-time series is 24-23-2 in favor of the Bulldogs, including a 43-14 blowout in Knoxville last year. While Tennessee has shown some improvements early in the year, the Volunteers are still facing a daunting task, as BetOnline has the Bulldogs as a 13-point home favorite.
The Bulldogs quarterback controversy is done for now
Entering last week’s huge game against then No. 7, the Bulldogs didn’t have a definitive answer on who their starting quarterback was going to be. However, quarterback Stetson Bennett showed tremendous poise and leadership, as he threw for 240 yards and a touchdown. He was in control of the offense, as he didn’t throw a single interception, and he let the running game take over.
However, Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt is a former defensive coordinator at Georgia, who thrives on making lives difficult for opposing quarterbacks. The fact that Georgia didn’t know who their quarterback was going to be last week, it may have played a role in how Auburn scouted and game planned for Bennett. Make no mistake about it, Tennessee will be planning for Bennett, so he will have to be ready to see things he hasn’t yet.
The Bulldogs running game is a problem for anybody
Georgia is a smash-mouth style of football team, and they showed that against Auburn by rushing for 202 yards. Leading the way was Zamir White, who carried the ball 19 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
This was a physically dominating performance, as Georgia’s longest run was only 17 yards. What exactly does that mean? It means Auburn knew what was coming every single play, and still, the Tigers could do nothing about it. This was a big reason why the Bulldogs had the ball for over 35 minutes in the game.
The Tennessee quarterback is pretty good too
Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano has had some ups-and-downs in his career, but he has played very well to start the year.
He has completed 61 percent of his passes this year, while not throwing an interception. While his numbers are solid, it is his leadership and presence on the field that has the Volunteers dreaming big.
His number one target is 6-foot-2 senior Josh Palmer, who is averaging 15.6 yards per catch.
Off-season transfer has taken this rivalry to the next level
These teams have been rivals for a long time, and recruited many of the same players.
However, the Volunteers got an added boost last week when Georgia transfer Cade Mays was ruled eligible. His transfer from Georgia to Tennessee caused quite a stir this past off-season, with both sides chirping at each other and throwing out accusations.
Tennessee at Georgia betting prediction
This game has everything you could possibly want in a rivalry game. You have a Tennessee program looking to get back to its championship winning ways. You have a Georgia team that showed the country last week, they are a championship contender once again.
Finally, the off-season drama brings it all together, and you have the makings of a football game filled with a ton of energy. This has the makings of a great football game, with the Bulldogs pulling away late.